After playing one of their strongest games in quite some time, the Devils were unable to hold off the streaking Blueshirts and only earned 1 point. The chances were certainly there throughout the game, including a flurry of opportunities within the first 5 minutes, the best being an in tight chance for Hall that Raanta managed to get just enough of to keep it out of the net. As is the case most nights, Schneider got beat with an awkward floater that deflected at least twice, ultimately getting credited to Kreider who planted himself right in front of the crease. The Rangers second goal was a beautiful feed from Fast to Lindberg who creeped into the zone uncovered and had a gaping net to shoot at, 2-0 Rangers after the first.
The Second period was filled with a lot of back and forth, with the Devils making sure to get as many pucks towards the net as they could. It seemed like they were going to go into the 3rd down 2-0, but Henrique finds a way to sneak behind the net and bury a wrap-around far side to make it 2-1 after the 2nd.
That goal certainly seemed to be a spark during the intermission, as the Devils came out red hot and as in control as ever, thanks in large part to the play of Kyle Palmieri. Just 27 seconds into the 3rd, Palmieri walks in and let a wrister fly from the slot that squeaks under the glove and Raanta who was partially screened, and now its a 2-2 game. The Devils continue to pour on the pressure through forechecking, which ultimately led to Kreider taking a delay of game penalty and put the red hot Devils powerplay back out onto the ice. It only took 4 seconds for the Devils to take advantage, thanks to a clean faceoff win, a bomb from Greene and a great tip by none other than Palmieri, 3-2 Devils just a minute and a half into the 3rd. The Devils got a few more chances after but Raanta held strong, and the Rangers responded with an aggressive forecheck of their own that kept the Devils pinned in their own zone seemingly shift after shift after shift. Shortly following an icing call, the Rangers manage to keep the puck in the zone and cycle it to Clendening at the point who hammered home a slapper through a screen and passed Schneider to tie the game with just over 4 minutes left in the period. Hynes was questioned after the game about whether or not he should have used his timeout there, but he responded that the line on the ice wasn’t out for long and they were fine to play it out.
Overtime wouldn’t take very long, as Palmieri was sprung for a breakaway but was unable to beat Raanta on his initial attempt and also on the rebound chance, but that led to a chance the other way for Zibanejad who faked a slap shot and slid it 5 hole on Schneider, ending this one 4-3. As is the case so many times, the Devils had a great opportunity and couldn’t find a way to close it out.
The Devils fired off 38 shots on Raanta, with the Rangers getting 40 on Schneider. Faceoffs were 54% to 46% in favor of the Rangers, with the Devils leading in Hits 17-11 and blocks 13-6.
Kyle Palmieri continued his hot streak with two huge goals in the 3rd period and a golden opportunity in Overtime. He has really looked comfortable on the ice as of late and continues to make his way to the net, but the biggest improvement that seems to have changed is his willingness to shoot the puck from anywhere on the ice.
Taylor Hall again looked very explosive, getting robbed about 4 minutes into the first by Raanta, and also missed out on a second assist after a tremendous feed to send Zajac in alone but he was unable to get a shot on net. If some more of Halls setup plays were able to get finished off the offense would be in much better shape, the guys around him really need to step it up or bring in someone who can finish consistently for him.
Random fact of the game: Devils are now 0-2-1 since Cammalleri was added back to the lineup after being a healthy scratch. Take that for what you will.
It may have just been because he was playing alongside Miles Wood, but Blandisi seemed to be skating extremely well and extremely fast throughout this one, getting in very quickly on the forecheck and just being a pest on the ice.
Although the overtime loss may be viewed as one he has to stop, Schneider had a pretty strong outing. The first goal was a typical fluke bouncer that he really can’t have any control over, the second goal was just too perfect of a setup but you could say he overplayed the shot a bit, and the third one he was screened by none other than Lovejoy just as the shot was being taken. He did still put up 36 saves and helped keep the Devils in this one after the Rangers seemed to be starting to run away with it early.