The Friday night matchup against Our Hated Rivals unfortunately did not start the way we hoped, as the Rangers would get some zone time in the first couple minutes. Mika Zibanejad would have a great chance in the slot but Nico Daws came up with the save.
A couple minutes later, Nico Hischier would get the first Devils chances of the game and would be stopped by Igor Shesterkin.
P.K. Subban was greeted by a chorus of boos from the spectators at MSG after injuring Ryan Reaves in the preseason and Sammy Blais in a game earlier this year, knocking Blais out for the season.
Nico Daws would make a save on a deflection on an Adam Fox shot. The rebound was cleared away by Subban.
Nico Hischier would get the first break of the game as Bratt caught Miller too far ahead. Shesterkin made the save and robbed Nico on the rebound too.
New Jersey would get the first power play of the game as Panarin was called for cross-checking with 12:17 left in the 1st. The man advantage started with Shesterkin making a good glove save on Hughes from between the dots. The rest of the power play was not very eventful.
Nico Daws made another positional save on a deflection with 9:00 left in the period. Unfortunately, right afterwards another point shot would bounce around, this time off Daws right to the stick of Mika Zibanejad who put the Rangers on the scoreboard first. Daws responded with a big save on Strome in front less than a minute later.
Shesterkin would make another good save after Tatar tipped a shot from Hamilton with 6:27 left in the period.
Nico Hischier would make his own breakaway, his second of the game, with a fake drop pass and he would convert this time, firing a shot past Shesterkin to tie the game
Jack Hughes didn’t want to be left out of the flash show, so he tried a ridiculous spin-o-rama no-look pass, did it perfectly, and got the pass to the stick of Sharangovich, who was unfortunately in too tight to bury it.
The Devils would get the second PP of the game, as Reaves was called for goaltender interference. The best Devils chances of the PP were Bastian sending a rebound wide and Sharangovich shooting one from pretty close in over the net. The Rangers would get a 2 on 1 of their own, and Daws came up with a big save.
Goodrow and Subban got into a fight with 46.1 seconds left in the period.
The 2nd period started without any high danger chances for either team. Mason Geertsen took an offensive zone penalty with 14:25 left in the period. The Devils effectively killed the penalty.
After the PP, however, Lindgren picked off a Colton White pass and dropped it to Chytil, who fired one short side past Daws, probably one he’d like to have back.
Not too long after that, the Rangers had a good chance for a shot in front, but Siegenthaler made a nice recovery and blocked the shot.
With about 8:00 left, Bratt and Johnsson had a give-and-go, but the final one-timer by Bratt missed the net.
With 5:40 left, Boqvist tried a nice move but Shesterkin made a pad save on the backhander.
Subban had a chance as the trailer but Shesterkin made a windmill save to keep the Rangers up 1.
The Devils had a good chance when Hischier carried the puck over the zone, who gave it to Johnsson, who set up Bratt for another one-timer, but Shesterkin came up with another save. Graves then crashed the net with the puck, but Shesterkin came out to greet him, preventing the scoring chance at the cost of his helmet being knocked off.
With 18:44 left in the 3rd period, Sharangovich was robbed by Shesterkin after a couple chances by the Devils.
Hischier and Johnsson got a 2 on 1 with 14:40 left in the 3rd, but Strome managed to tip Hischier’s pass just enough that Johnsson could only get a backhander off rather than a forehand shot. The Rangers went the other way and had a 3 on 2 but Siegenthaler once again showed his defensive ability by breaking it up. Strome gave Bratt a shove and a whack afterwards and got himself sent to the box for 2. On the ensuing power play, Johnsson took it over the line, passed it to Mercer, who gave it back, and Johnsson set up Sharangovich for a great chance but he fired it wide. A few puck movements and a shot later, a rebound came out the Johnsson, who was robbed by Shesterkin. There was a scramble in front but the Rangers tied up Mercer and Johnsson to prevent them from putting the puck home. After the PP ended, the Rangers had a 2 on 1 the other way, but the puck went off the heel of Strome’s stick, a huge lucky break for the Devils.
After a 4 on 4, the Devils got the cycle going for a bit, but were unable to tie the game. The Rangers went the other way. Zibanejad passed the puck across to Kreider, who one-timed it past Daws and into the net to double the Rangers lead.
With 6:15 left, there a few shoves were exchanged, and Johnsson was sent to the box. The Rangers did not score on the PP. They would get another one later as Subban took Panarin down, but Daws continued to shut the door.
In the end, it was a pretty typical game for the Rangers. The Devils had them beat in xG at both 5v5 and all situations, but the fantastic goaltending of Shesterkin won them the game. Nico Daws saved .19 goals above expected, but Shesterkin had 2.36 gsax. The Devils outplayed the Rangers and got solid goaltending.
Additionally, the Devils did have chances. They had over 3 expected goals. However, they kept missing the net on some of the best chances. I know Sharangovich missed the net a few times on good opportunities. Bastian missed a rebound chance. He wasn’t playing, but Pavel Zacha also often misses the net. The Devils are just not very good at getting their shots on net. It’s kind of hard to score when you don’t shot at the net.
Overall, I’d say the positives were the offense creation and goaltending. The finishing wasn’t there, but the offense created and Daws was good in net. Siegenthaler also had a good game, making a few nice plays to break up Rangers chances. The negatives were inability to finish chances and overall chance suppression. The Devils gave up over 3 xGs to the Rangers.
What did you think of the game? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for reading.