Zibanejad scores in OT to help Rangers beat Devils again
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) The New York Rangers are finding ways to win, and the New Jersey Devils just aren’t.
Moments after goaltender Antti Raanta stopped Kyle Palmieri on a breakaway, Mika Zibanejad scored 1:16 into overtime and the Rangers rallied to beat the Devils 4-3 on Saturday.
”I had to redeem myself after that letdown on the breakaway the other way,” said Zibanejad, whose mistake gave Palmieri a chance to complete a hat trick. ”Rants came up big and it’s nice to see that puck cross the goal line once again and win the game.”
The goal was Zibanejad’s first in 16 games and it gave the Rangers their ninth win in 11 games (9-1-1). Struggling New Jersey got its fourth loss in five games (1-3-1).
Raanta made 36 saves. He said he stopped Palmieri’s shot with his skate.
”I was glad to make the save and then score at the other end so it was huge two points for me and the more for the team,” said Raanta, who was giving Henrik Lundqvist a rare night off. ”This is a tight race right now and every point was crucial so it was nice to get those two points.”
It was a tough loss for the Devils, who rallied from a 2-0 deficit late in the second period, scoring three times in a 2:46 span to take a 3-2 lead.
Adam Clendening tied the game for New York with 4:25 left in regulation and then Zibanejad won it after taking a long pass from Brady Skjei, faking a shot and sliding the puck between the legs of goaltender Cory Schneider, who had 36 saves.
”Obviously, for me, I have to make that save in overtime and give my guys another chance,” Schneider said. ”A lot of good things tonight, a fun game to play in, but obviously the way we lose, put a sour taste in my mouth and our team’s as well.”
Chris Kreider and Oscar Lindberg also scored for the Rangers, who are 3-0 against New Jersey this season.
Palmieri scored twice in a 47-second span in the third period and Adam Henrique once for the Devils.
”I think we were happy with our group’s effort, just not the result we needed to get,” Palmieri said.
Totally outplayed for most of the first two periods, the Devils got back into the game on a wraparound by Henrique that made it 2-1.
Palmieri tied it just 27 seconds into the third period on a shot from the top of the left circle that went off Raanta’s glove.
The go-ahead goal came four seconds after Kreider was penalized for delay of game. Travis Zajac won a faceoff and Palmieri deflected Andy Greene’s shot from the point past a screened Raanta. The Rangers claimed goaltender interference, but the goal counted.
Despite being outshot 15-10 in the first period, the Rangers grabbed a 2-0 lead on goals by Kreider and Lindberg.
Kreider got his 23rd of the season after a Dan Girardi’s shot hit off him and popped into the net. Lindberg got his second in three games and fourth of the season with 2:28 left in the period on a great counterattack.
NOTES: The Rangers now have 40 wins in each of the last four seasons. … New York D Kevin Klein missed his second straight game with back spasms. … Devils F Pavel Zacha is out indefinitely with a concussion from Monday. … Rangers rookie Pavel Buchnevich was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. … Raanta has started three games and played in four overall since Jan. 1. … Devils D Seth Helgeson was placed on waivers on Friday and not claimed.
Rangers: Host Columbus on Sunday.
Devils: Host Montreal on Monday.