Devils defeat Rangers 4-2
Just 34 seconds into the game, Jack Hughes took advantage of a sloppy Rangers line change and beat Henrik Lundqvist to put the Devils up 1-0. New Jersey would never look back, as they defeated the boys in blue 4-2.
Before the game started, New York announced the lineup for the matchup, which lacked Kaapo Kakko, Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba and a few other starters in favor of the depth and youth that did not start in the previous game at MSG.
Henrik Lundqvist was not himself tonight. Although it’s only his first game and no real cause for concern, Lundqvist seemed out of sorts. He allowed three goals on 24 shots within the first 30:20 of the game. Adam Huska, who came in relief, made 15 saves.
Brett Howden and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Rangers and were one of the few forwards who made an impact on the game last night, each with a goal scored. New York took 8 penalties totaling 19 total penalty minutes, including three minors from Joey Keane. Outside of his three minors, Keane did not look comfortable out there and had a plus minus rating of -1. Mason Geertsen was also in that category of not playing well, as he registered a plus/minus rating of -2 and had a minor penalty of his own. Both of those defenseman were not at their best last night.
On a positive note, Tarmo Reunanen was stellar on the back end. Some early hiccups from pinching too much vanished as he was incredibly mobile with the puck and was smart in his positioning. Although he didn’t register a point, he notched 21:47 total ice time and held his own with his strong skating and gap control. Jesper Fast was also good in his first game of action. Totaling 16:10 of ice time, Fast was strong in the offensive zone and played his usual strong two way game. Pavel Buchnevich notched an assist in his first action back and looked competent out there in the offensive zone forecheck.
Although this was a loss, there are some positives to be taken from this, just like the other night at MSG. No need to worry, as this is only pre-season and this is not the final roster. This same thing happens every year and these type of games are prone to happen when the coaching staff is looking for players to round out the roster. Win or lose, the Rangers saw what they needed to see and will take from this and move on to the next, in hopes of finding the best players for the opening night roster.
This game provided a small preview of what’s to come for the future of the Hudson River Rivalry, as did the other night. Wednesday night, we saw Kaapo Kakko and Artemi Panarin and last night, we saw Jack Hughes and PK Subban. Needless to say, when both teams are at full strength, expect some really strong hockey between these two rivals.
The Rangers next game is tonight at 7PM, as the boys in blue travel to the city of Brotherly Love as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers.
LETS GO RANGERS.