Game Wrap-ups

Another hat trick from Chris Kreider powers sloppy Rangers over Devils

Another game, another Chris Kreider hat trick. At some point, you just need to give him the ‘C’. The Rangers were sloppy in the first period, but Kreider put them on his back with three in a row to give the Rangers the win. Ryan Strome, who has been the Rangers best center thus far this season, added a pair of assists. Alexis Lafreniere also had a goal and an assist.

Igor Shesterkin is really the reason why the Rangers were in it after the first period. He made multiple strong saves, setting the table for Kreider and Strome to take it to the next level. But then he left the game unable to put weight on his right leg. That looked bad, and it was non-contact.

It’s worth noting that the Rangers didn’t necessarily play a strong game. This was reminiscent of the Alain Vigneault days, when the Rangers would get circle skated around them, but picked their opportunities well. They forced turnovers at the right time. It’s not overly great seeing the Rangers with two relatively poor games in a row, but they got four points. Gotta learn how to win when you don’t have your best.

Devils 1, Rangers 0 – Bad bounce and a misread

The puck took a wild bounce off the boards right to Jack Hughes, who was wide open in front. Steve Valliquette on the intermission report noted that the body and stick position of Igor Shesterkin on the bounce indicated he did not anticipate the play continuing. I learned something new today on skate and stick positioning on dump-ins.

Rangers 1, Devils 1 – It’s a powerplay goal!

Ryan Strome has elevated his game. He went from a by-product of Artemi Panarin to legitimately the best center on the Rangers this year. This pass was threaded to Chris Kreider, who used his speed to beat his man. I am happily eating my words on Strome.

Rangers 2, Devils 1 – A bounce of their own

This whole play started with Adam Fox pinching in and forcing the turnover at the half boards. He read the play perfectly, took the puck, and fed Strome at the top of the circle –he read the play as well and found ice– for the chance. After Strome missed his solid chance, the puck rebounded around to Ryan Lindgren as Kreider got body position in front. Kreider is still one of the best net-front presences in the game. He got position and was able to get the deflection.

Rangers 3, Devils 1 – Forecheck, turnover, hat trick

A mishandled play by Pavel Zacha led to a turnover to Filip Chytil. Chytil fed Kreider in the slot, who rifled it over Blackwood’s glove for the hat trick.

Rangers 4, Devils 1 – Power move and a 2 on 1

Alexis Lafreniere took the puck from Hughes along the boards in the defensive zone, and started the rush with Pavel Buchnevich. Buch powered through Sami Vatanen which started the 2-on-1. Then a nice give and go, and Buchnevich gave the Rangers a three goal lead.

Rangers 5, Devils 1 – A Brendan Smith powerplay goal

This play started with Kevin Rooney gaining the zone with speed on the powerplay and drawing players to him. Phil Di Giuseppe received Rooney’s pass and just threw it at the net. It deflected out to Brendan Smith at the point who had an empty net, as Aaron Dell didn’t track the puck well.

Rangers 6, Devils 1 – Bust what?

Mika Zibanejad, who was benched earlier, in on the forechecked tipped the cross ice pass. The Devils mishandled, and Lafreniere picked up the loose puck. His shot was an absolute rifle.

Shot Heatmap – Devils controlled, but Rangers win

The Devils really owned most of this game flow. They got a lot of great chances, and they were all over the ice as well. Credit to Shesterkin for keeping the Rangers in it. It’s alarming to see a second game in a row like this, but again, you have to learn how to win games like this. They did.

Skater Results – A lot of bad, but Rangers win

This is a lot of bad, and it jives with the game flow. The Devils really did control most of the game, and it shows here. But it’s about picking your spots. The Rangers did that. Two games in a row like this is concerning, but it’s not the norm for this season. At least not yet.

A hat trick from Kreider and Strome’s pair of assists really saved the Rangers in this one. Plus Shesty looked solid as well. The Rangers really didn’t deserve to win this one, or the one on Tuesday. But you take the points and the lessons for a young team.

Charts from NaturalStatTrick and Evolving-Hockey.

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  • Huge concern for Shester, he was the best player on the ice tonight. He gives his team confidence, which they have been lacking in the early part of the season. I sure hope the highly talented netminder is ok.

  • Most important thing is Igor and how bad his injury is hopefully it looked worse than it is but this is ominous

  • Score not indicative of the game for sure. THIS is the Kreider we need to see at least 75% of the time.

    3 things in life that are guaranteed: Death, taxes, Howden not doing anything with the puck when he gets it, and me whining about his play. Make that 4 things.

    Lafren = Bust.

    Trade Buch? I think not, like I said last year.

    Eff Quinn Hughes, I am happier that we have Fox.

    Hope Shesty is ok. 🙁

    Man, this is a weird year and a weird season, to match the year.

    What a pass from Strome on that first Kreider goal. Perfect.

  • I haven’t seen any of the latest reports on Igor. I hope the kid is alright.

    Look at the play of the kids last night. Chytil’s perfect pass to Kreider. Fox’s perfect pinch. Lafreniere stealing the puck from Hughes to help set up one goal and then firing a laser for a goal later. Sure the Rangers were sloppy, but there were some solid moments like that from the youngsters.

    Strome has been playing extremely well without Bread Man. I am glad that he is finally getting some love here! And Kreider, when he is hot he can sizzle.

    A win is a win, but there were some very nice moments too in this game.

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