Rangers fast start fades quick in 6-4 loss to Devils

That was not how it was supposed go after Mika Zibanejad’s brilliant 5 goal performance last game. That was not how it was supposed go with Igor Shesterkin coming back from injury. That was not how it was supposed go after the Rangers opened the scoring off a beautiful feed from Julien Gauthier to find Filip Chytil, but that’s how it went. A stunning 6-4 loss on home ice to a lesser team in the heat of a playoff fight.

Shaky Shesterkin

Things started ok for Shesterkin tonight, but right after Filip Chytil’s opening goal, he gave one up to Kyle Palmieri 48 seconds later. It was a bad angle shot where Shesterkin didn’t hug the post and got burnt. Maybe it was rust, but from that point on he was shaky. He finished the night with just 18 saves on 23 shots before giving way to Henrik Lundqvist in the third. Hank would stop all 5 shots he faced.

It wasn’t all Shesterkin’s fault as the Rangers gave him no support defensively. And he was also the victim to some unlucky bounces like John Hayden’s goal that would make it 5-2 and all but seal the Blueshirts fate. After the game Shesterkin said he felt fine and that the lay-off was the problem.

Zibanejad scores again

The one bright spot was Mika Zibanejad scoring his 39th of the season off a great pass by Adam Fox. Unfortunately for Fox, his two assists could not compensate for what easily was his worst defensive game of the season. McKegg and DeAngelo would net the others in this very disappointing loss. The Rangers are now 3 points out of the last playoff spot.

Post Game Notes

  • Pavel Buchnevich tallied two assists and recorded four shots on goal. Buchnevich extended his point streak to five games (one goal, six assists), and he has posted a multi-assist/point game in each of the last two contests (four assists in the two games).
  • Adam Fox notched two assists in tonight’s game. He posted his third career multi-assist game and his seventh career multi-point game. Fox is the fifth rookie defenseman in franchise history who has recorded at least 30 assists in a season (Ron Greschner – 1974-75; Reijo Ruotsalainen – 1981-82; Brian Leetch – 1988-89; Brady Skjei – 2016-17). He has tallied an assist/point in five of the last seven games, registering seven points (one goal, six assists) over the span.
  • Mika Zibanejad registered a goal in tonight’s contest. He has tallied a point in 13 of the last 14 games (17 goals, eight assists), and he has recorded a goal in 10 of the last 11 contests (15 goals over the span); according to NHL Stats and Information, he is the third Ranger in franchise history who has registered a goal in 10 games over an 11-game span (Andy Bathgate in 1962-63 and Jean Ratelle in 1971-72). Also according to NHL Stats and Information, Zibanejad’s six goals over a two-game span are tied for the most in franchise history, and he is the fourth Rangers to tally six goals in a two-game span (Frank Boucher in 1927-28, Steve Vickers in 1972-73, and Mark Pavelich in 1982-83). He extended his goal/point streak to four games (nine goals, one assist over the span). Zibanejad added to his career-high in goals this season (39).

Notes courtesy of the NYR PR Dept.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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