Reliving Rangers: Vitali Kravtsov scores first NHL goal and throws shade at Devils

vitali kravtsov trade
Apr 18, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New York Rangers right wing Vitali Kravtsov (74) scores a goal past New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29) during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Forever Blueshirts continues its offseason coverage with our Reliving Rangers series. Every so often we will bring you some of the best moments from this season and crank up the time machine for some bigger blasts from the past.

In this edition, we go back to Vitali Kravtsov’s first NHL goal which came against the Devils. A team he thought he already scored his first against before an offside challenge took it away.

Vitali Kravtsov scores first NHL goal

April 18th: It wasn’t easy game for the New York Rangers. Once again they had jumped out to a lead only to let up and see the Devils come back. This time, New Jersey actually tied the contest but a Mika Zibanejad power play goal late in the third period salvaged the victory. 

One of the goal scorers was rookie Vitali Kravtsov and this time there was no offside challenge to take it away. On the goal, Kravtsov created a turnover and Brett Howden found him for the first of many. Enjoy Rangers fans.

After the game, Kravtsov was asked about scoring his first goal to which he sarcastically said, “second one.”

Kravtsov’s unofficial first goal

vitali kravtsov
Vitali Kravtsov learns first NHL goal off the board (MSGN)

April 16th: It was a special moment in the third period with the Rangers up 4-0 and cruising to victory. Vitali Kravtsov coming off the left circle beat Mackenzie Blackwood 5-hole for his first NHL goal. The smile on his face, those of his teammates, and the Garden Faithful lit up the Garden.

A few short seconds after all the jubilation, former Rangers assistant and now Devils head coach Lindy Ruff challenged the play for offside. The replay showed that Pavel Buchnevich dangled the blue-line a split second to long and drew Mika Zibanejad offside by a few centimeters.

No goal.

MSG Network camera crews caught the candid moment when Kravtsov learned the puck that was just retrieved was not his first NHL goal. The 21 year-old just shrugged his shoulders and laughed it off. He also had a look in his eye that said, “I guess I’ll just have to score two the next game.”

He indeed got one.

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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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