Anything would have been an improvement from last time Rangers took on Devils, but this one counted as a much-needed catch-up after a couple of disappointing losses.
The Rangers came to the Prudential Center and got the job done against the downed Devils on Tuesday by scoring two power-play goals en route to a 3-1 win in their fourth-to-last away game of the regular season.
With the Penguins’ loss to the Avalanche, the Rangers sunk even further into second place in the Metropolitan Division, four points ahead of Pittsburgh and four wins behind them. The Devils, on the other hand, gave up their fifth game in a row.
It was the fourth and final time the Cross-Hudson rivals met this season, and Rangers won the 2021-22 series 3-1.
Ryan Strome returned to the Rangers lineup after a four-game absence with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Rangers’ top powerplay unit also appeared to be returning to their peak form, going 2-on-3 that night. Coincidence? Probably not.
Power-play heroics in the opening 20 minutes kept Rangers ahead into the second period, where they managed just a single shot on goal while the Devils got six to goaltender Alexandar Georgiev.
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But Justin Braun, running in only his third game with Rangers, provided an insurance goal just under four minutes into the third period. His long shot from the top of the zone made it a two-goal game. Braun ran down Braden Schneider’s left for the first time since the Flyers traded the veteran defenseman to New York at the trade deadline, and the pairing was quite effective.
Rangers may have fallen 1-0 down by just under seven minutes into the game when Yegor Sharangovich converted a counterattack to give the Devils an early lead, but the rest of the first period belonged to the visitors.
Schneider grounded the Devils’ Jesper Boqvist with a clean strike in the neutral zone and Sharangovich unnecessarily pounced on the rookie defender. It was Sharangovich’s fault, as Schneider beat the Devils winger and shed blood in his first NHL fight.
Sharangovich was assessed an instigator penalty and game misconduct, giving the Rangers a power play. Strome then equalized at 11:07 of the first with his 16th goal of the season.
The Devils’ Pavel Zacha gave Rangers another opportunity to gain a man advantage when he was called on to hold Adam Fox later in the period. Chris Kreider’s sharp-edged rebound of a pass from Artemi Panarin gave Rangers a 2-1 lead at 5:57 p.m.
The power play goal was Kreider’s 25th goal of the season, surpassing Jaromir Jagr to set a new Rangers record, as well as his 10th winning goal that season, setting another Rangers record.
New Jersey had to play most of the game with 10 forwards after losing Sharangovich and former blueshirt Jimmy Vesey to separate incidents with Schneider.
Schneider possessed Sharangovich in their first fight. Vesey then took the brunt of an awkward hit he took against the boards on Schneider and needed support from the mid-frame ice.
The Devils were already without Nathan Bastian and young star Jack Hughes, who sustained a season-ending left knee injury Sunday against the Islanders.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/05/rangers-get-payback-on-devils-in-ryan-stromes-return/ Rangers get it home with the return of Ryan Strome for Devils