The New York Rangers looked to stop their six game losing streak against the Devils on Saturday. Henrik Lundqvist was back in net for the Rangers while Cory Schneider got the start for the Devils. Kevin Shattenkirk was also back in the lineup for Marc Staal.
The Rangers got their first chance when Anthony DeAngelo slipped a backdoor pass to Ryan Strome, but his deflection was saved by Schneider. Strome then took a holding penalty, but the Rangers killed it with ease. With just over nine minutes left Blake Coleman took a holding penalty, but the Rangers powerplay only generated one shot. The Rangers had another powerplay later, which generated no good chances. Immediately after the powerplay was killed, the Devils scored when Damon Severson fired a slapshot from the point that went past a screened Lundqvist. After three penalties in the last two and a half minutes, Coleman scored a powerplay goal with another slapshot from the point with only ten seconds remaining in the period, putting the Devils up two, following an ill-advised turnover from Mika Zibanejad.
The Rangers turned it on in the second period and managed to outshoot the Devils fourteen to two. Early in the period Strome had a great chance when he brought in a two on one and took it himself, but Schneider stepped up to the challenge. With 12:27 left Drew Strafford took a tripping penalty, but the Rangers once again couldn’t get anything going on the powerplay. With 5:20 left, the Rangers went on the powerplay again and this time Zibanejad created two great chances as he slid two beautiful cross-ice passes to Chris Kreider who was waiting on the backside of the crease. After hitting the post on the first chance, the second chance was broken up at the last second and the Rangers failed once again. The Rangers finally broke through with 1:46 left when Shattenkirk fired a slap shot from the point that took a deflection off of Strome’s leg to pull the Rangers back to within one.
The Rangers tied it up with 18:30 left in the third when Libor Hajek found the top right corner after Kreider found him streaking down the left side. Hajek, who scored his first NHL goal, was later injured and left the game. Two minutes later DeAngelo had a great opportunity from the right dot with an open net but Schneider made a fantastic diving save with his glove. Schneider made another great save later when Zibanejad slid a backdoor pass to Filip Chytil on a two on one. With 6:35 to play the Rangers took the lead as Mika fed Vladislav Namestnikov from behind the net. Namestnikov fired a one-timer from the left dot to the top right corner. After blowing another powerplay, the Rangers iced the game when Strome scored his second of the night into an open net after a nice feed from Namestnikov.
After struggling in the first period, the Rangers came back to dominate in the second and third periods. Strome and Namestnikov had great games, combining for three goals and six points. The powerplay really struggled however, failing on all five attempts. The Rangers play next at Edmonton on Monday as they look to work on tonight’s victory.