New York Rangers win a time capsule game against the New Jersey Devils at the Garden

Apr 3, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Matt Rempe (73) and New Jersey Devils
Apr 3, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Matt Rempe (73) and New Jersey Devils / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Chaos. Anarchy. Mayhem. Madison Square Garden saw one of the weirdest games you'll ever see as we opened the vault to go back to the late 1980s and renew the Hudson River rivarly with a bang. The Rangers would overcome a vicious Devils roster and walk away from this game with two points despite an incredibly sloppy second period.

This game started with a firecracker. A line brawl involving Jimmy Vesey, Barclay Goodrow, Matt Rempe, K'Andre Miller, and Jacob Trouba saw both five-man units square off. Peter Laviolette and Travis Greene started barking at each other behind the benches while Igor Shesterkin was offering a goalie fight to Kaapo Kahkonen in the Devils' net. Two seconds into the game, we'd returned to the 1990s. It is an excellent reminder that this is supposed to be a rivalry. Cuylle would get into a solo fight later with Dawson Mercer, so we had all sorts of fun tonight.

New York would strike first in this game as the Breadman would do his thing. A dump-in goes around the boards before Adam Fox holds it in. Kahkonen stops Fox's shot, but Alexis Lafreniere can get to the rebound. Lafreniere got it over to Artemi Panarin, but he hit the back of the net. However, New Jersey challenged this for offsides, saying Fox didn't keep the puck in. Eventually, the referees determined that it was kept in, and the Rangers were going to the powerplay.

New York would double the lead with two minutes to go in the first. Roslovic got the puck in deep and got it out in front to Alex Wennberg. Wennberg's shot was deflected and trickled through Kahkonen's legs. The first one to react to the loose puck was Alexis Lafreniere, who pushed the puck over the line and gave the Blueshirts a hold on this game.

New Jersey would cut into the lead in the second as Jack Hughes started to come into the game. A deceptive pass from the Devils star to Ondrej Palat allowed the Czech winger to fire the one-timer under the bar, and Igor Shesterkin could not get across to it. New York still leads, but suddenly, that commanding control is wavering.


New Jersey would tie the game up halfway through the second period. A Jesper Bratt pass from behind the net allowed former Ranger Brendan Smith to walk in from behind Braden Schneider, who was on the ice, and he buried the puck home past Igor Shesterkin to tie us up again, where we were after the line brawl.

Jesper Bratt would continue to dominate the play as he chased a puck into the offensive zone. Quickly turning away from Adam Fox, Bratt fired a gorgeous backhand play through the crease to Nico Hischier at the back post, and Igor had no answer for that pass. It went in, and the Rangers were trailing after holding a 2-0 lead.

Kaapo Kakko would score on the similarly named Kaapo Kahkonen to tie this game up. The former Shark goalie had no answer when Kakko was able to create a breakaway when Luke Hughes' stick broken when he wound up for a shot from the point. Kakko buried the chance to give the Rangers hope when they needed it, and a tired Luke Hughes couldn't keep up with Kakko.

With less than five minutes to go in the game, the Rangers powerplay would come to life. Artemi Panarin brings the puck through center and fires it back to the point at pace to Adam Fox. Fox's shot is low and hard into the office of Chris Kreider, and Mr. Powerplay goal tips it home to give the Blueshirts the lead once again. New York have put themselves ahead once more.

That would be the end of this one, as the Rangers took the two points and condemned their Hudson River rivals to another defeat. Jersey were desperate, and they put up a good account of themselves in this one, but the Rangers were just better. Chris Kreider's individual talent turned out to be a difference maker, as it so often is, and the Rangers win.