Former Ranger Brian Boyle scored the game-tying goal midway through the 3rd period, and then scored the deciding goal in the shootout as the New Jersey Devils beat the Rangers, 4-3, Thursday night in Newark. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Blueshirts.
New Jersey dominated the action most of the night, hammering Henrik Lundqvist with 48 shots on goal on the night, the most the Rangers have allowed in one game this season. Lundqvist, who made a season-high 45 saves, kept things close, especially in the 2nd period when the Devils had 23 shots on goal.
John Moore gave the Devils a 1-0 lead 7:22 into the 1st period, but Jimmy Vesey tied the game, 1-1, a few minutes later, at the 9:55 mark, after a flurry of shots in front of John Schneider and the Devils’ net.
New York took a 2-1 lead at the 11:59 mark of the 1st period. Chris Kreider‘s initial shot was stopped but Nick Holden put the rebound past Schneider for his 2nd goal of the season.
In the 2nd, Blake Coleman scored a shorthanded goal with 3:36 to go in the period to tie the game 2-2.
The Blueshirts regained the lead early in the 3rd period when Kevin Hayes took a puck that had caromed off the end boards and beat Schneider from a tough angle to make it 3-2 at 1:48.
That set the stage for Boyle’s heroics. Midway through the period, while stationed just in front of Lundqvist, Boyle backhanded a pass from Taylor Hall into the net for a power play goal at 11:54 and a 3-3 tie.
Neither team scored in the five-minute overtime, and the Rangers could not take advantage of a power play opportunity for the final 68 seconds.
In the shootout, Kyle Palmieri and Mika Zibanejad each scored in the second frame of the OT. Boyle beat Lundqvist under the goalie’s legs in the 4th round of the shootout, and Schneider stopped Kevin Shattenkirk to seal the win for New Jersey.
The Rangers [now 19-12-4, 42 pts] host the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night at The Garden.