- Vladimir Tarasenko (1) Assists: K’Andre Miller (1), Artemi Panarin (1)
- Chris Kreider (1) (Power Play) Assists: Adam Fox (1), Artemi Panarin (2)
- Ryan Lindgren (1) Assists: Adam Fox (2), Filip Chytil (1)
- Chris Kreider (2) (Power Play) Assists: Adam Fox (3), Patrick Kane (1)
- Jack Hughes (1) (Penalty Shot) Unassisted
- Filip Chytil (1) (Empty Net) Assists: Kaapo Kakko (1), Adam Fox (4)
- This was a 2021-22 throwback win for the Rangers that was carried by special teams and Shesterkin.
- The Rangers PK was spectacular early and the PP delivered and that made an enormous difference in the game. The Devils PP looked jittery in the first and the Rangers took advantage, really limited their chances and took the momentum from those kills to grab the lead.
- The PP was also a throwback to last season with a dominant game from Adam Fox and Chris Kreider. Mika Zibanejad was in the bumper spot, which I don’t love, but it all worked tonight with Fox finding lanes and Kreider being his excellent self in front of the net. I’d still prefer Zibanejad in his spot, but it all worked….for tonight.
- Other than special teams, Igor Shesterkin was just dynamite. He was as zoned in as he’s been all season and he just looked incredible, calm and like someone ready to carry a team on another deep playoff run.
- Shesterkin having a dominant game does bring up the fact that the Devils had the puck for most of the second and third periods. You expect the Devils to push, especially being down 2-0 after one, but the game was lopsided at times and the Rangers were lucky that Shesterkin was on his game. The Rangers did a good job blocking shots and for all of the Devils possession, they didn’t have 50 shots or 20 Grade A chances. The Devils had the puck a lot, but they weren’t getting chance after chance after chance. The Rangers were solid enough in front of Shesterkin, but they didn’t play nearly enough in the offensive zone. The Devils speed was an issue at times, Jack Hughes was an issue as the game went on, I thought that early on he looked like he was trying to do too much, and they showed why they are a dangerous team.
- The Rangers didn’t turn the puck over as egregiously as they have in the past, so that was good, but there is more to clean up for the rest of the series unless they trust that Igor Shesterkin will only give up one goal per game.
- Adam Fox was just excellent all night. Four assists, four blocked shots and even three hits. Artemi Panarin had two secondary assists and his best play may have been jumping to open up the lane for K’Andre Miller to hit Vladimir Tarasenko to open the scoring. The Kid Line had some moments, but overall the Rangers big offensive players didn’t have a ton of opportunities at even strength. But when Ryan Lindgren does what he did who needs those guys….
- Overall this was a pretty convincing win for the Rangers. They were opportunistic, they dominated special teams and their goalie was excellent. That is how the Rangers have won a lot like that over the last two years so it’s not surprising to see them win like that tonight. You hope that they get to limit the Devils by playing more in the offensive zone, but this formula worked for tonight.
- I expect more of the same from the Devils in Game 2 and for them to try and overwhelm the Rangers offensively early. It’s a different game if they score first and the Rangers have to chase them. There is a lot from tonight that the Rangers can and should bring to Game two, special teams especially, but everything is better if the Rangers can get their top guys to have the puck more in the offensive zone.
- Game Two is Thursday night in New Jersey.