Rangers play 66% of a hockey game, get goalie’d again in loss to Devils

Igor Shesterkin and Mackenzie Blackwood were the story in this one. The Rangers had no business being in this one in the first, but Shesterkin stood tall. Then the Devils had no business being in the game in the second and third, yet Blackwood stood tall. Unfortunately for the Rangers, two flukey goals were the difference in this one.

Listen, the Rangers are injured. They are short on talented depth. They were basically playing a youth hockey team up front and AHLers on defense. Yet they still showed up and put up a good game. This wasn’t coaching, this wasn’t goaltending. It was a matter of luck. The Rangers can’t buy a timely goal at the moment. Some of that is luck. Some of that is lacking true skill right now.

Devils 1, Rangers 0 – A rare PPG against

https://twitter.com/HeresYourReplay/status/1361847615785164800

The Rangers haven’t given up a powerplay goal against in seven games. It looks like he didn’t see it? A good shot by Pavel Zacha. It was only a matter of time.

Rangers 1, Devils 1 – Colin Blackwell, again

This was a solid goal by the entire third line. Good passing, getting to open ice, and using defensemen as screens. This ended with Colin Blackwell with a laser from the circle.

Devils 2, Rangers 1 – Bad luck

https://twitter.com/HeresYourReplay/status/1361853331220668416

Will Butcher threw one in front and it just hit off Jacob Trouba’s leg. Bad luck. The tweet says it was Zacha’s, but it wasn’t.

Rangers 2, Devils 2 – Resting Buch Face

Chris Kreider forced the turnover in the corner, then fed Pavel Buchnevich across the Royal Road. Buchnevich snuck this one under Blackwood’s glove.

Devils 3, Rangers 2 – The Double Deflection

https://twitter.com/HeresYourReplay/status/1361864553210994690

There was nothing Shesterkin could do on this one. PK Subban’s shot was deflected right off the shot, then again in the high slot by Yegor Sharangovich. You can argue that Adam Fox was a little late to Sharangovich here.

Devils 4, Rangers 2 – Running Around

https://twitter.com/HeresYourReplay/status/1361865568895303680

A bunch of turnovers in their own zone, which leads to blown coverages all over. Nick Merkley was left open long enough at the circle to get it by Shesterkin

Devils 5, Rangers 2 – Empty netter

Chris Kreider tried to force something in desperation, and it didn’t work.

Shot Heatmap – Frustrating

The Rangers had a disastrous first period. They were lucky to get out of it scoreless. But they really turned it on after that period. The Blueshirts utterly dominated, yet Blackwood stood tall, yet again. This team just can’t buy a goal right now.

Skater Charts – Some Good and Some Fun

The Rangers played well again in this one. But this is one snake bitten team. Blackwood stood tall when he needed to. The Devils got two lucky goals when the Rangers were dominating the game.

These are the losses that sting because you know the Rangers could have (should have?) won. I’m focusing on the positives and the process in this one. The first period was rough, but the second and third were solid hockey. This isn’t fun, watching the Rangers lose like this. But we knew it might happen a lot this season. And so far, it has.

Charts from Natural Stat Trick and Evolving-Hockey.