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The Rangers smothered the Devils’ high-profile offense with a no-points win

Low-scoring games are becoming a comfort zone for the Rangers.

At least that’s what it looked like on Friday night as Rangers slammed and dictated the pace of play for 60 minutes at the Garden to earn a 3-1 win over the Devils.

The Rangers, who boasted 32 saves from goaltender Igor Shesterkin, limited their outrageous Cross River rivals to a single goal after the Devils had scored three or more goals in their last five games, including three matchups in which they had five or scored more goals. Rangers’ top line also stayed hot, with Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad leading the team to victory with a goal and an assist.

Shesterkin, who picked up his 27th win of the season, kept Rangers afloat with two shorthanded stretches in the first and another in the third, but the Russia keeper made – to no surprise – big stops all night.

To set the tone, Shesterkin twice denied Nico Hischier a breakaway in the first half. He then caught a wrister from Jack Hughes during the Devils’ first power play and another shot from Tomas Tatar later in the period.

Igor Shesterkin parried in the second third.
Igor Shesterkin parries in the second third.
NY Post: Charles Wenzelberg
Igor Shesterkin loses his mask after being hit by Ryan Graves.
Igor Shesterkin loses his mask after being hit by Ryan Graves.
NY Post: Charles Wenzelberg

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Shesterkin popped a PK Subban-Snipe out of the slot in the second period, igniting chants of his name. The keeper then came out to challenge Ryan Graves when the Devils defender netted a move after 18:27 of the period. His helmet popped off, but the Rangers retained the lead.

Despite significantly fewer shots from both teams in the second period, Rangers took the lead again. Filip Chytil unleashed an emphatic fist pump for the Garden crowd after smacking one out of the slot past Devils goalie Nico Daws at 8:57 to give Rangers a 2-1 lead.

Kreider then scored just over halfway through the third period to put Rangers up by two.

The Rangers were active in the first half right after the puck drop, blasting the Devils 16-12 despite going into the first break with a tie. After Zibanejad cleaned up a rebound on a Jacob Trouba shot, the Devils responded just over 2½ minutes later when Captain Hischier split the Rangers’ defense and hit Shesterkin in the top corner.

Mika Zibanejad scores past Nico Daws.
Mika Zibanejad scores past Nico Daws.
NY Post: Charles Wenzelberg
Filip Chytil (72) celebrates with his teammates after his second half goal.
Filip Chytil (72) celebrates with his teammates after his second half goal.
NY Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Hits started early and came often, with the first period culminating in Barclay Goodrow and Subban dropping the gloves.

With Kevin Rooney on injured reserve after suffering an undisclosed upper body injury on Wednesday, Jonny Brodzinski pulled into the lineup for the sixth time this season and the first time since Jan. 30. Also, Greg McKegg had his first healthy scratch in 26 games in favor of Morgan Barron.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/04/rangers-stifle-devils-high-powered-offense-in-low-scoring-win/ The Rangers smothered the Devils’ high-profile offense with a no-points win

JOE HERNANDEZ

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