Lias Andersson scores twice in the Rangers preseason victory over the Devils
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

New York Rangers hockey is back and in a big way as the team defeated the New Jersey Devils in overtime Monday night. 

Dom Renna

Hockey has finally returned.

Both the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils faced off for their first preseason game of the season, with the Blueshirts taking it 4-3 in overtime.

For the Rangers, they saw big contributions from Lias Andersson and Pavel Buchnevich who look to take the next step in their young careers. Buchnevich looks to be a force on the Blueshirts’ top line, while Andersson is trying to live up to the hype of being a top-10 draft pick.

Andersson had himself a big night in his first look in 2018-19 scoring two goals, one while the team was shorthanded.

It all started with a defensive play in the neutral zone by Andersson. He then broke in with a couple of dekes and put the puck off the right crossbar and in.

When the Rangers took Andersson seventh-overall a season ago, the scouting report said he was responsible defensively. If that keeps up and he scores goals like this, he can be an NHL center for a long time.

That wasn’t all for the 19-year-old. He tallied another goal, this time with the Blueshirts on the power play and down 3-2.

Andersson was not the only one who had a big night for the Blueshirts. Pavel Buchnevich also joined the party adding a goal and an assist on the overtime winner.

Buch used the big slap shot and got the puck past Devils netminder Keith Kinkaid to tie things at two. This year is going to be a big season for Buchnevich who is looking to prove that he can be the player that the Rangers and their fans feel he is capable of being. So far so good with shots like this and the pass below.

That wasn’t all from Buchnevich either.

Passes like this are what make Rangers fans so excited over the 23-year-old winger. Watch how he has Devils’ goalie Cameron Johnson convinced that he is taking the shot. Instead, Buchnevich finds Neal Pionk for the easy tap-in and a 4-3 Rangers win in David Quinn’s Ranger debut.

Buchnevich and Andersson are all positives to take from the Rangers first game this preseason. Other notables were Alexandar Georgiev who allowed two goals on 18 shots. Tony DeAngelo also had an impressive showing, as he tries to make the Blueshirts’ roster out of training camp.

On the injury front, Boo Nieves took a hit to the head by Eric Gryba and had to leave the game in the third period. There is no update on his status.

The Blueshirts next preseason contest is Wednesday when they take on the Flyers at the Garden.

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Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.