Kreider scores SO winner, Rangers beat Devils 4-3
NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Kreider scored the deciding goal in the seventh round of the shootout and the New York Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 Sunday night.
Kaapo Kaako had a goal and an assist, and Adam Fox and Alexis Lafreniere also scored to help the Rangers win their third straight and beat the Devils for the seventh straight time. Alexandar Georgiev made 24 saves.
Pavel Zacha and Jesper Bratt each had a goal and an assist, and Dougie Hamilton also scored for New Jersey. Mackenzie Blackwood had 30 saves before leaving in the third period and entering concussion protocol. Jonathan Bernier made eight saves in relief of Blackwood.
Kaako, Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome also scored for New York in the shootout, and Bratt, Hamilton and Andreas Johnsson scored for New Jersey.
“To be honest with you, (Kreider) was hiding at the end of the bench,” Gerard Gallant said.
Bratt had the game’s best chance in overtime, but his effort on a breakaway was stopped by Georgiev.
“Just make the saves, that’s my job,” Georgiev said. “The guys were so clutch. It’s nice to get rewarded.”
Kakko, who got his first two points of the season, gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead 6:29 into the third period. Following a give-and-go with Strome, Kakko charged toward the net, taking the puck around Blackwood while initiating heavy contact to earn his first goal of the season.
“I knew it’s going to come. Today was the day,” Kakko said. “The first goal is sometimes the hardest after 10 games.”
A few minutes later, Blackwood left the game and entered concussion protocol. He was replaced by Bernier.
Zacha tied the score with 2:44 left in regulation, firing his own rebound past Georgiev for his team-leading seventh of the season.
“We never gave up,” Zacha said. “I think we kept pushing, never backed down from being offensive.”
The Devils earned a point to move to 3-1-1 in their last five games.
“It turns out to be a real good point for our club,” New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said. “To bounce back and score late, we’ve got to take those points.”
With the Rangers trailing 1-0 after one period, Fox tied it early in the second. Blackwood was able to turn away a shot from Lafreniere before the reigning Norris Trophy winner intercepted the goalie’s clearing pass and backhanded the puck past his right shoulder. Fox has 16 points, moving him into a tie with Nashville’s Roman Josi for the most by a defenseman in the NHL this season.
Lafreniere gave New York a 2-1 lead as he knocked in the puck after Jacob Trouba’s shot landed behind Blackwood with 8:36 left in the middle period.
The lead lasted less than 2 minutes. With Ryan Lindgren off for interference, Hamilton fired a powerful wrist shot past Georgiev with 6:40 remaining. It was Hamilton’s 350th career point of his career.
“We just went back and forth but they are a good team,” Gallant said. “They’ve got defensemen who can move the puck real well and they found the middle of the ice a few times. That gave us some trouble for sure.”
Bratt opened the scoring for the Devils on a breakaway at 15:23 of the first period. He took a pass from Dawson Mercer and coolly slotted the puck between Georgiev’s legs. Bratt has scored in back-to-back games and has at least a point in four straight.
Sammy Blais was helped off the ice by the Rangers trainer early in the third period after getting tangled up with Subban in the corner and appearing to injure his right leg.
NO LOVE FOR P.K.
The Madison Square Garden crowd consistently booed Subban whenever he had possession of the puck. The fans’ ill will dates back to a preseason game on Oct. 5 in which Subban got tangled up with Ryan Reaves in the corner, leaving the Rangers’ forward with an injury. Subban was challenged to a fight by Kreider later in that game, and Reaves’ injury kept him out of the final game of the preseason. The fans’ dislike of Subban only increased on Sunday after Blais went down in a similar fashion to Reaves.
Igor Shesterkin was able to back up Georgiev against the Devils after leaving Saturday’s game against the Blue Jackets during the third period and entering concussion protocol.
Devils forward Tyce Thompson is day-to-day with an upper-body injury suffered during Thursday’s game against the Islanders.
Devils: Host Ottawa on Tuesday night.
Rangers: Host Montreal on Tuesday night.
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