With that, the 2022-23 season comes to an end for the New York Rangers. That was one of the worst performances that the Blueshirts had all season. There was not a lot to like about this one at all. The one silver lining for this is Igor Shesterkin as the Rangers wasted another fantastic performance from one of their franchises’ elite netminders. It’s incredibly disheartening to think that Igor was that special yet again and the Rangers wasted it.
It was not good in the first period. New Jersey started to kick the Rangers up and down the ice. At even strength, it became clear that there was nothing going for the Blueshirts. On their three powerplays, they posed some threats. Mika Zibanejad had a one-timer that was held in a really impressive fashion by the Devils’ young goalie. New York did not get enough to test Akira Schmid in this game in general.
In the second, a sloppy turnover in the defensive end allowed Ondrej Palat to set up Michael McLeod to make it 1-0 Devils on a shorthanded goal. Tomas Tatar would make it 2-0 Devils before the end of the period as they started to separate themselves from the Rangers in a game that the Rangers were just beaten up and down the ice. They were outmatched and they just did not turn up.
In the third period, the Devils started to pour salt into the gaping wounds of the Rangers. Erik Haula make it 3-0 with a little more than 5 minutes left to play and then Jesper Bratt got on the board with an empty netter to make it 4-0 as the Rangers lose in Game 7 of the first round. This is the 7th series between the Hudson River Rivals and this is the third win for the Devils. They will play Carolina.
Now, the Rangers have to do some soul-searching. They need to prepare for the draft and they have free agents they need to re-sign or replace. Patrick Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko, Tyler Motte, Niko Mikkola, K’Andre Miller, Alexis Lafreniere, and Jaroslav Halak will all need new deals or to be replaced. This team is going to see a lot of regression due to the limited cap space too. This feels like a real waste by the organization.