Whenever the Rangers need a big performance in an elimination game, Big Game Chris Kreider answers the call. With the Rangers down 1-0, Kreider got the biggest goal of the series thus far, redirecting Mika Zibanejad’s shot past Akira Schmid just before the first period ended. That goal set the tone for the game, as the Rangers didn’t look back. Kreider added two more assists on the next two goals to send the series back to Jersey for Game 7.
Zibanejad was the benefactor of one of Kreider’s assists, finally breaking through with the huge second goal to give the Rangers the lead. Vladimir Tarasenko gave the Rangers the two goal cushion, and Barclay Goodrow sealed it in the third. It took way too long, but the Rangers finally got to Schmid, and he was clearly rattled after Zibanejad’s goal.
Schmid was eventually pulled, and now the story is how he will respond. He was the story in Game 3, and was clearly a big factor in Games 4 and 5. High event hockey favors the Rangers, especially with how Igor Shesterkin has been playing.
Devils 1, Rangers 0
Curtis Lazar got on the inside of Barclay Goodrow and had a clear lane to the rebound. A fourth line was bound to score, and it was the Devils who got the critical first goal from their tertiary depth.
Rangers 1, Devils 1
Captain Clutch Chris Kreider. Sometimes, just get to the front of the net, something we’ve been begging this team to do for the last three games. Mika Zibanejad’s shot was going wide, but the Rangers created their own luck by being in front of the net, and the puck went in off Kreider’s skate.
Rangers 2, Devils 1
Mika Zibanejad finally got one. He clearly had a jump in his step, and after air mailing his point shot, the Devils forgot to cover him in the slot. He found the soft spot between three Devils, and roofed the Kreider feed.
Rangers 3, Devils 1
The Rangers needed someone to step up, and Chris Kreider answered the call. His forecheck caused chaos along the boards, and he eventually came away with the puck and found Vladimir Tarasenko in the high slot with room. Tarasenko’s catch and release was ridiculous.
Rangers 4, Devils 1
Barclay Goodrow forced the turnover, springing the 2 on 1 with Jimmy Vesey. Goodrow drove the net and knocked Vesey’s rebound out of the air and past Schmid.
Rangers 5, Devils 1
The Devils appeared to sleep walk after Goodrow’s goal, and they had some faulty coverage in the defensive zone. The Rangers were able to cycle, finally, and Braden Schneider blasted one past Schmid, one he probably should have stopped. The kid got rattled.
Rangers 5, Devils 2
The Devils avoided another 5-1 score with a late powerplay goal off a bad angle shot/rebound from Dawson Mercer.