The New York Rangers captured their second consecutive OT win of the preseason, defeating the New Jersey Devils in overtime on a power play goal by rookie Filip Chytil.
With merely 3.5 seconds remaining in overtime, offseason acquisition Kevin Shattenkirk orchestrated a pretty passing sequence with Mats Zuccarello who found the newly minted 18-year-old Chytil across the slot for the one-timer.
Both teams finished tied for shots on goal with 29 apiece, while the Rangers held a slight edge in face-off percentage at 52%.
BLUESHIRT BULLET POINTS
1 – Shattenkirk showed his skillset is as advertised, factoring prominently in three goals, including two on the power play. He exhibited a poise, confidence and quick-decisiveness with his transition and puck movement. If the Rangers get this type of effort on a nightly basis, they will have a competent offensive-minded defenseman for the first time since Shattenkirk’s boyhood idol Brian Leetch manned the blue line.
2 – Head Coach Alain Vigneault on Chytil: “We haven’t seen him a lot because of his injury and he didn’t go to Traverse City. In the three practices that we have seen him and tonight, it was just a continuation of what we saw during practice. He’s a very smooth and good skater. Good set of hands, he was able to go into traffic. He does it in practice and his teammates aren’t going to abuse him in practice, so it’s interesting to see what he could do in the game. He got into traffic and made the plays that he had to make.”
3 – Credit center Kevin Hayes for an obvious effort to work ethic this offseason. Criticized at times for his inconsistency and level of commitment, Hayes was engaged throughout the night, strong on and off the puck and smart at both ends of the ice. The question will be whether he can sustain this.
4 – After the Rangers jettisoned Antti Ranta to Arizona, there were question marks about who could spell Henrik Lundqvist. In two games thus far, Ondrej Pavelec, Brandon Halverson and Alexandar Georgiev all seemed capable. Pavelec had the obvious edge, perhaps moreso due to experience than anything else, but it didn’t appear that any of the trio would be a detriment to the organization. As always, credit belongs with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire.
5 – Speaking of Lundqvist, The King appeared in regular season form and showed no ill-effects of his offseason injury while representing Team Sweden. “It’s fun to be out there again. You need it; you need these first couple games to really show yourself and it’s a reminder too of what you really need to work on in the next two weeks here to get prepared for the season. But it was fun. Obviously there are things you want to do better, but overall it was fun to be out there again and competing and playing here at the Garden.”
6 – While Chytil stole the show last night, newly signed veteran center David Desharnais had a formidable effort. The former Edmonton Oiler had a goal in over 18 minutes of ice time and played a smart, hard-nosed, two-way style.
7 – On the rookie front, Lias Andersson was again consistent albeit unspectacular. Ryan Gropp showed some grit along the boards, but didn’t give any indication he is ready for the professional game. Adam Tambellini had some offensive glimpses, but not enough to warrant NHL consideration at this point.
8 – Closing Note: Chris Kreider had an excellent game, factoring in a goal and using exceptional breakout speed. The “A” on his jersey also signaled a shift in the coaching staff’s thinking in expecting more of Kreider, both in consistency and in leadership. Will he be up for the task?
9 – Blueshirt Bulletin’s 3 NYR Stars of the Game: No. 3 – Chris Kreider, No. 2 – Kevin Shattenkirk, No. 1 – Filip Chytil
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