New York Rangers 5, New Jersey Devils 0: Antti Raanta collects second-straight shutout
Dec 11, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (right) celebrates after scoring his first NHL goal against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Everything went right for Antti Raanta and the New York Rangers tonight as they dominated the New Jersey Devils 5-0.

  • New York Rangers 5 (20-9-1, 41 pts)
  • New Jersey Devils 0 (12-10-6, 28 pts)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

This is exactly what the New York Rangers were looking for.

Coming off the grittiest victory of the season in Chicago, the Blueshirts needed a more complete performance to defeat the New Jersey Devils and extend their win streak to three.

That’s exactly what Alain Vigneault’s squad did.

Lead by strong special teams and yet another shutout performance from Antti Raanta, the Rangers cruised past their Metropolitan rivals 5-0.

After Adam Henrique’s goal was called back due to Henrique kicking the puck past Raanta, the Blueshirts got on the board through Chris Kreider. The Rangers executed a perfect cycle down low which resulted in Kreider sliding one between the wickets of Cory Schneider following a nifty pass from Mats Zuccarello.

How about J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes.

The two much-improved forwards connected for an absolutely beauty shorthanded goal, with Miller on the receiving end of a perfect feed from Hayes to double the lead. The goal put Miller atop the league lead in shorthanded goals, while Hayes’ assist means he now is tied for the lead in shorthanded points.

Brady Skjei was the next one to get involved, as he netted his first career NHL goal in the waning seconds of the second period thanks to a funny redirection of the stick of Devils’ forward Kyle Palmieri.

Brandon Pirri would go on to add one on the man advantage, ending his dry spell at 13 games. Jimmy Vesey would also join the party, netting his 10th goal of the season on the power play.

Antti Raanta was outstanding once again. He continued to be patient in net and stopped 19 Devils shots that he faced. Now with three straight solid showings (two of them being shutouts), one has to wonder whether he or the struggling Henrik Lundqvist will be the starter when the Chicago Blackhawks come to town on Tuesday.

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