Rangers bring heat but fall to Devils 4-3 thanks to Mackenzie Blackwood’s 47 save performance

The New York Rangers brought the offense, but the Devils combatted that with goalie Mackenzie Blackwood. He turned aside 47 shots as the Blueshirts brought the heat firing 43 shots from the second period on.

Mika Zibanejad fell awkwardly into the boards late in the third period and struggled to make it to the bench. He was visibly shaken and could not return in the final minutes as the Ranger pushed to equalize.

No update as to what may have happened to Mika or if there is a lingering concern.

Rangers fall behind early as Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren struggle

The Rangers were down 32 seconds into the game when Travis Zajac scored on what looked like an innocent play. It was a goal Alexandar Georgiev would’ve like to get back, but it was poor defense to blame as well.

Overall, it looked like Georgiev struggled to track the puck as he gave up 4 goals on 20 shots. Three of those goals came on 10 shots in the 2nd period. Igor Shesterkin relieved him in the third period and stopped all 8 shots he faced.

Speaking of struggles, the Jacob Trouba / Ryan Lindgren pairing which looked dominate just a game ago had a rough go of it. In particular, Ryan Lindgren looked a little lost at times, but none more so then on Jack Hughes first of the night.

“We gave the puck up too often in the neutral zone and in dangerous areas,” David Quinn said after the game. “It really slowed us down. We weren’t consistent enough in what we have to do to win.”

Brendan Lemieux elevated his stock with a great game

rangers vs devils
Brendan Lemieux after 2 huge and painful blocks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

One of the Rangers stand out players tonight was Brendan Lemieux. He hustled all night and played with speed. In the third period he was stopped on a partial breakaway by Blackwood but drew a penalty.

However, it was during the 2nd period that he answered the bell and blocked two blasts by PK Subban. He could barely move after the first shot and had to crawl back to the bench after the second. Kudos to Lemieux tonight.

Scoring not an issue for the Rangers

The Rangers scored three times tonight, but should’ve had more. That’s the beauty of hockey. The team with the most shots doesn’t always win and usually it’s the other guy in between the pipes that’s the problem.

On the PP tonight, Adam Fox did a wonderful job moving the puck on point and notched two assists. His pass to Mika Zibanejad was an absolute beauty and shows you just how smart of player Fox is.

The Rangers brought to one goal in the third period on the sheer will and power of Pavel Buchnevich. It was Filip Chytil who scored the goal, but it was Buchnevich who drove the play.

It’s time to bring back Tony DeAngelo

Jack Johnson once again wasn’t bad but certainly didn’t make a difference. In particular on the PK, where he was behind his man and failed at trying to lift Miles Wood’s stick before the easy in tap in.

Fans will recall that the primary reason Johnson was brought in was to help the PK. The Devils finished 1 for 2 on the man advantage tonight.

Which leads me to Tony DeAngelo.

It’s time for David Quinn to go with his best lineup and scratch Jack Johnson. Slotting Brendan Smith to the left side with Tony DeAngelo gives the Rangers their best defensive set up. It’s time.

Post Game Notes:

  • The Rangers were 2-for-6 (9:43) on the power play in tonight’s game and registered 16 shots on goal over their six power play opportunities. NY has tallied a power play goal in each of the last two games. The Rangers ranked seventh in the NHL in power play efficiency (22.9%) and ranked fourth in the NHL in power play goals (52) last season.
  • New York was credited with 25 hits in tonight’s contest. The Rangers have registered 20 or more hits in each of the first three games of the 2020-21 season.
  • Adam Fox tallied two power play assists, led all skaters and established a single-game career-high with six shots on goal, led the Rangers with four blocked shots, tied for the game-high with two takeaways, and led the Rangers with a single-game career-high 25:31 of ice time.
  • Artemi Panarin registered two power play assists and recorded four shots on goal in 24:42 of ice time. Panarin has tallied 99 points (34 goals, 65 assists) in 72 games since joining the Rangers prior to the start of the 2019-20 season.
  • Chris Kreider tallied a power play goal, which was his first goal/point of the 2020-21 season, and registered five shots on goal. Kreider established career-highs in goals per game (0.38) and power play goals (nine) last season, and he also tied his career-high in points per game (0.71) in 2019-20. He is now one point away from tying Mark Pavelich for the third-most points by an American-born player in Rangers history, and he is also now two goals away from tying Cecil Dillon for the second-most goals by an American-born player in Rangers history.

Editor’s Note: Post game notes courtesy New York Rangers.

The Blueshirts will practice at the MSG Training Center tomorrow starting at 12:00 PM ET. Followed by another practice at 11:00 AM ET on Thursday.

Rangers next game is at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, January 22. (TV: MSG + 7:00 PM ET)

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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