Rangers survive late Devils scare but win again thanks to Pavel Buchnevich hat-trick

By Anthony Scultore
Apr 17, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Pavel Buchnevich #89 of the New York Rangers is acknowledged by fans after being named first star of the game for his three goal performance against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Birthday Pavel Buchnevich! So what did you wish for to celebrate your 26th? A hat -trick? Well apparently the Birthday Wish Gods listened and the Rangers leading goal scorer completed the set with an empty-netter. Chris Kreider would add a second empty net goal as well and the Blueshirts skated out of MSG with a 6-3.

After the game Buchnevich was asked if a hat-trick was the best birthday present he ever gave himself. “Yes. Too bad it’s only one per year,” he said while laughing. His head coach was complimentary of him, noting Buchnevich’s 200 foot game and the amount of points he has without being on the top power play.

Buchnevich is the first Ranger to score a hat-trick on his birthday. Now it’s time for some post game celebrations – just remember there’s another game tomorrow against the Devils.

Rangers vs Devils: Devils late surge falls short as Blueshirts win third straight

The Blueshirts jumped out to a 3-0 lead on two goals by Pavel Buchnevich and one by Ryan Strome by the end of the first period. Artemi Panarin scored his 16th goal of the season to make it 4-0 until Michael McLeod finally broke through on Igor Shesterkin in the second stanza. The goal snapped the rookie net-minder’s shutout streak at 152:37 and gave the Devils their first goal against him in 199:33 minutes dating back to the March 4th game where he injured himself.

In the third period, the Devils scored two quick ones to cut it to 4-3. David Quinn recognizing his team let up called a timeout. At the bench you could see the coach’s passionate plea to get back to smart hockey and playing defense. The Rangers responded and didn’t give up another goal in the remaining 13:22.

“We’ve talked about this, New Jersey, Buffalo, the teams that are out of it, they’re going to play their [tails] off and if we think it’s ever going to be easy we’re sadly, sadly mistaken,” Quinn said. “I wasn’t surprised with the pushback we got from them. … We have a very, very difficult game tomorrow, that’s for sure.”

NHL.com

Top Six getting it done in Rangers playoff push

The Rangers scored six goals today and all off the sticks of their top six forwards. Here’s today’s stat line:

  • Artemi Panarin 1G, 3A
  • Pavel Buchnevich 3G
  • Ryan Strome 1G, 2A
  • Mika Zibanejad 3A
  • Chris Kreider 1G

Buchnevich now leads the team with 19 goals. Panarin has 49 points in 33 games to lead the team in scoring. His 1.48 points per game pace is second in the NHL to only Connor McDavid’s 1.64. Mika Zibanejad has also come to life with 28 points in his last 19 games. And Ryan Strome now has 42 points in 44 games this season.

Rangers Post Game Notes

  • The Rangers won six of their last seven home games, dating back to Mar. 17 vs. Philadelphia (6-1-0 record), and have outscored opponents, 39-17, over the span. New York has also earned at least one point in eight of its last nine home games (7-1-1 record).
  • Ryan Strome and Pavel Buchnevich each tallied their 40th point of the season in today’s game, joining Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox as Rangers who have recorded at least 40 points in 2020-21. The last time the Blueshirts had at least four players (regardless of position) record 40 or more points through the team’s first 44 games of a season was 2006-07 (Jaromir Jagr, Martin Straka, Michael Nylander, and Brendan Shanahan). As of the conclusion of today’s game, the Rangers are the only NHL team that has four players who have recorded 40 or more points this season.
  • The Rangers were 2-for-3 (4:42) on the power play in today’s game and recorded two power play goals in the first period. The Blueshirts have tallied seven power play goals in the last eight games (7-for-18; 38.9%), 14 power play goals in the last 14 games (14-for-40; 35.0%), and 16 power play goals in the last 17 games (16-for-50; 32.0%).

Next Game: Tomorrow, Sunday, Apr. 18 at New Jersey (3:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG 2).