The New York Rangers shut out the New Jersey Devils 5-0 at MSG. For a box score, click here.
For the second game in a row, the Rangers let in a goal and Antti Raanta still got the shutout. Have to love when the bounces go your way. That said, tonight clearly was no goal when Adam Henrique kicked the puck in just two minutes into the game. The handful of Devils fans who for some reason paid to come to MSG made their presence known when the goal was first scored. But they were silent from the moment it was disallowed until they decided to sneak out during the third period, although you could hear the Rangers fans any time one did.
It was weird to not see Lundqvist in a game like this or in three straight games when he’s healthy but give credit where it’s due – Raanta has been playing well. Granted the Devils only attempted 41 shots, with 19 getting to the Rangers goaltender, but he still had to be sharp at times and was. (In contrast, the Rangers attempted 60 shots with 31 getting on net.)
You also can’t have back-to-back shutouts without the defense doing something right. I’m sure their fancy stat numbers aren’t perfect, but I haven’t seen clear mistakes from any of them in the past two games. After last year, I will absolutely take that. They’ve also figured into five out of the last six goals scored by the team. Most importantly, Brady Skjei got his first NHL goal tonight right before the buzzer to end the second period.
After the game, Skjei called that lucky. I call it a clean faceoff win from Lindberg, perfect pass from Stepan and even better shot from the rookie defenseman. Oh and tonight was his 37th NHL game. For those wondering, it took McDonagh 40 games to get his first goal.
The goal came three minutes after the Rangers fourth shorthanded goal of the year taking a 1-0 lead (which they got as Kreider buried a beautiful pass from Zuccarello from his office behind the net) and making it 3-0 after forty. On the Rangers third penalty of the period, Kyle Palmieri tripped at center ice leading to a 2-on-1 for Hayes and Miller. The two didn’t miss.
Miller did have a scare in the third when he blocked a shot with his hand. He was in clear pain as he went back to the bench but Jim Ramsay worked his magic and Miller was able to get back on the ice. (From my view I could see Ramsay working on his right wrist. Hopefully it’s nothing serious.)
The Rangers would add two power play goals in the third (one being from Brandon Pirri, who scored his first goal in 13 games) as the Devils looked like they just wanted the game to end. Can’t blame them as the Rangers have been in that position this year too. Honestly other than the goals, the only thing that happened in the third was Kevin Klein beating up Devils rookie Nick Lappin who tried to get at Skjei for a clean (at least from what I saw) hit he threw moments before. Just added to the celebration when the buzzer sounded a couple minutes later.
Next up the Rangers have a rematch with the Blackhawks, this time at MSG on Tuesday night. I can’t imagine that will end 1-0 again but I said the same thing two seasons ago so we’ll see what happens.
(Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)