The Rangers came away with a chippy 6-2 preseason victory over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.
Here are the key takeaways …
– The Rangers took an early 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the game. Adam Fox drove to the left side of the net before sending a beautiful pass in front of the net for Mika Zibanejad, who simply had to tap it in for an easy goal. The goal was a good sign for both Zibanejad, who led all Rangers skaters with 24 goals last season, and Fox, who led the team with 42 assists.
– Later in the first quarter, Ryan Reaves, who was traded to the Rangers from the Vegas Golden Knights in July, went down with a lower body injury after getting his skates tangled with PK Subban. Reaves fell to the ice awkwardly and was barely able to put any weight on his left leg as he left the ice. The team later announced that Reaves would not return to the game.
– As soon as the puck dropped to start the second period, Chris Kreider went right for Subban in retaliation of the Reaves incident. Kreider dropped the gloves and grabbed Subban, who kept his gloves on. Kreider picked up a roughing penalty and a 10-minute misconduct.
– A few minutes later, the Devils turned the puck over at their own blue line, and Kaapo Kakko did the rest, going end to end and beating Jonathan Bernier with the forehand to make it 2-0.
– After the Devils picked up a couple of penalties to make it a 5-on-3, Fox and Zibanejad teamed up again. Fox read the defense from between the circles before finding Zibanejad for his second goal of the game.
– The Devils answered back midway through the second, as Pavel Zacha made a nice play in the corner to find Jesper Bratt in front, who made the extra pass to Andreas Johnsson for the Devils’ first goal of the game.
– The Rangers offense scored a couple of goals in the blink of an eye later in the second. First, it was Sammy Blais intercepting a pass, staying on his feet, and finding the back of the net. Then, just 20 seconds later, Barclay Goodrow capitalized on a rebound to make it a 5-1 lead.
– Once again, this time at the start of the third period, Kreider and Subban dropped the gloves again. This time it was Subban who initiated things, as the two grabbed each other and fell down to the ice. Things stayed chippy between the two sides, as Subban and Goodrow were both disqualified from the game during a stoppage in play.
– After Marian Studenic scored the Devils’ second goal of the game, it took the Rangers just 19 seconds to answer, as Ryan Strome stole the puck behind the New Jersey net and found Artemi Panarin in front to make it a 6-2.
– Igor Shesterkin finished the game with 32 saves.
The Rangers will skate in their preseason finale against the Islanders on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in Bridgeport, Conn. After that, they’ll get their regular season started next Wednesday on the road against the Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m.
The Devils will face the Islanders in an exhibition game on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. before beginning their regular season against the Chicago Blackhawks next Friday at 7:00 p.m.