New York Rangers outlast Devils in the shootout; PK Subban injures Sammy Blais
The New York Rangers dropped the puck on only their 5th home game of the season as they hosted the New Jersey Devils.
Alexandar Georgiev was given a rare start and battled through three periods, OT, and 7 shootout rounds to prevail 4-3.
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Recap: Rangers 4 vs Devils 3 (SO)
The first period was a pretty balanced affair with the Rangers having the better of the chances. For the most part, the Blueshirts did a great job in the defensive zone to keep the Devils shots coming from low danger areas.
Late in the first period, Chris Kreider broke his stick on a shot. The puck went behind the net where PK Subban worked it out to fabulous rookie Dawson Mercer. With his head up, Mercer found a streaking Jesper Bratt for a breakaway goal on Alexandar Georgiev.
Sammy Blais almost tied the game in the waning minutes but hit the crossbar. The opening stanza came to a close with the Rangers having a slight edge in shots 11-10.
In the second period, the Blueshirts really controlled play and were rewarded early.
At the 3:11 mark, Alexis Lafrenière sprung Julien Gauthier, who went to the net hard. MacKenzie Blackwood made the stop as Lafrenière applied pressure causing a turnover to Adam Fox in the slot. Fox made no mistake with a wicked backhander to tie it at 1 apiece.
Lafrenière then drew a slashing penalty on Jimmy Vesey at 9:20. Just 4 seconds after the penalty expired, it was Laffy cashing in a loose puck of a Jacob Trouba shot. As nice as it was for 13 to score a goal, the Garden erupted when Kaapo Kakko was credited with an assist for his first point on the season.
“We moved the puck well. Troubs made a nice shot and I was lucky enough to have a rebound to put in,” Lafrenière said during the second intermission.
Unfortunately, Dougie Hamilton would knot the game at 13:20 with Ryan Lindgren in the box for interference. The period would end tied 2-2 but the Rangers dominated play outshooting NJ 15-7.
Another ugly incident occurred at the 3:53 mark of the third period involving PK Subban.
Sammy Blais and Subban went to the corner to retrieve the puck and the Devils defenseman appeared to stick out his skate. That caused Blais to go hard into the boards leaving him writhing in pain. Blais needed help off the ice and did not return.
“It’s a lot like the Reaves play,” head coach Gerard Gallant said referencing a Subban slew foot that injured Reaves in preseason. The coach added that he doesn’t know the extent of Blais’ injury.
The rest of the third period was hard fought by both teams and it was Kakko with a strong power move for the go-ahead goal at 6:29. On the play, Blackwood was clipped and headed to the quiet room. He was replaced by Jonathan Bernier.
“Finally got the goal and feeling a little better,” Kakko said. “I knew it was going to come and today was the day.”
New York was playing solid with the lead but all it took was one mistake and the game was tied. Pavel Zacha used his speed to put home a rebound with 2:44 left in the game.
The Rangers responded to the goal by outshooting the Devils, including 5-1 in OT but Bernier stood tall.
In the shootout, it took seven rounds before Chris Kreider went backhand over Bernier to send the Garden Faithful home happy.
“Pretty good atmosphere at MSG, you’re running on adrenaline,” Georgiev said about the shootout. “For me, you just make the saves obviously. That’s my job, to try and focus on the shooter.”
- Alexandar Georgiev battled for the win stopping 24 of 27 and 4 out of 7 in the SO.
- Kaapo Kakko not only picked up his first point, but added a goal (1G – 1A).
- Alexis Lafrenière’s goal was his first point in 7 games. He picked up 13:48 TOI.
- Chris Kreider game-winning shootout goal was his first (in 2 tries).
- Ryan Strome played in his 200th career game with the Rangers, he picked up an assist.
Tomorrow (Monday, November 15): Day Off
Next Game: Tuesday, November 16 vs. Montreal Canadiens (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG)
*Schedule subject to change
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