Your final score in game one of the first round between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils is 5-1 Blueshirts. This was a major win in terms of sending a message to the Devils. It was a huge win because now the Rangers have home ice. This was a major statement in terms of how the Blueshirts put the Devils to the sword and it shows just how well the Rangers played in this one.
Chris Kreider became the franchise leader all-time in playoff goals with 35, so congratulations to the Rangers winger. He’s had to endure some tough times as a member of the Blueshirts and the highs he has gotten to experience have hopefully made up for it. He’s truly taken a step forward late in his career to become a different caliber threat for the Rangers and it’s a good sign for the Rangers’ hopes of a deep playoff run.
Igor was flawless from open play in this game. The one shot that beat him was a penalty shot from Jack Hughes. On more than one occasion, the Russian shot-stopper was there to bail out the Blueshirts when they had blown their defensive assignments. If Shesterkin is going to play like that for the remainder of the series, there may not be a lot longer left in this series. He will make a big difference in this series if he does that.
As I mentioned, this 5-1 win tonight means the Rangers steal home ice back from under the Devils squad. With six games left at most, there are three available to play at Madison Square Garden and three to be played at the Prudential Center. With the Rangers already leading the series, they can just hold home ice and get through this difficult series in six games meaning they are free to play however at the Rock.
This was a difficult game and it will not get easier from here. As the two teams get used to each other, we are going to see more of the love loss between the two teams. It became clearer as the night went on this rivalry would be renewed fairly quickly. There is going to be a lot that happens in this series and it is going to be worth watching as much as you can. Playoff hockey is the best. Are you ready?