Zibanejad's hat trick lifts Rangers past Devils
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Can the Rangers get another huge win against another rival?

After being blown out in their season opener, the New York Rangers were able to bounce back in the best way possible against the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Head coach David Quinn decided to go with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, so the Rangers’ lineup for Tuesday’s game would be the same as the lineup that recorded a five-goal shutout against the Islanders.

That meant Tony DeAngelo, former Devil Kevin Rooney, and Igor Shesterkin would sit. So how did the first “Hudson River Rivalry” game of the season go for the Blueshirts?

1st period: Caught sleeping

Just 32 seconds in, the Rangers were caught on a line change, allowing the New Jersey Devils to score first. Another 32 seconds later, Chris Kreider was booked for tripping.

Mike Zibanejad had an opportunity to score a short-handed goal, but the one-on-two made it difficult. Overall, it was a great kill by the Rangers who didn’t allow a shot on goal.

Shortly after, Alexandar Georgiev made an incredible save on a Devils two-on-one chance to keep them from scoring again.

The Rangers third line had a great shift 15 minutes in, but the Devils defense didn’t let any shots through. This was an issue they had to deal with throughout the period.

The Rangers did finish the period very strong and would look to carry that momentum into the second period.


2nd period: End the Lindgren-Trouba experiment

The second period started with some highlight-reel stuff from Brendan Lemieux, who blocked two slapshots on the same leg and could barely skate off the ice.

The Rangers had a huge scoring chance, but goalie MacKenzie Blackwood came up with an even bigger save. However, a little fight ensued and the Rangers were able to get a chance on the power play.

Chris Kreider attempted a backhanded pass that bounced off Devils defenseman Ryan Murray’s skate into the goal.

The Rangers’ inability to win faceoffs proved to be a problem that led to the Devils scoring their second goal.

Kreider had two great scoring chances on the Rangers’ next power play, but was unable to capitalize.

The defensive pairing of Ryan Lindgren and Jacob Trouba struggled mightily this game, as did Georgiev.

The Rangers were able to get on the power play yet again, with Adam Fox making a deceiving pass to Zibanejad, who was able to shoot it in.

Trouba was booked for high-sticking, leaving the Rangers short-handed.

The Devils scored, but a great challenge by Quinn led to the goal being overturned.

The period ended with a good shot by Trouba, but Blackwood made a fantastic save to keep the Rangers at two goals heading into the third.

Overall, the Rangers actually played an intense and overall good period, but ended up conceding three goals.


3rd period: Close, but no cigar

Speaking of Georgiev playing poorly, Quinn pulled him and started Shesterkin for the third.

The Rangers’ first opportunity to cut the lead down came on an early power play, but they were unable to score.

Later on, Pavel Buchnevich mad an amazing drop back pass to Phillip Di Giuseppe, who was able to get the puck to Filip Chytil for his first of the year.

With the Rangers down a goal, they were given the chance to tie the game on another power play, and even emptied the net to add an extra skater. However, they were unable to score and will head to Pittsburgh having lost two out of their first three.


Key Moment: The Challenge

No, the Rangers’ key moment of the game wasn’t a save, a goal, or a defensive play, but the challenge that overturned what would have been the Devils’ fifth goal.

This prevented the team from feeling discouraged and enabled them to maintain the high-energy that they had been playing with.


Player of the Game: Adam Fox

Adam Fox was, undoubtedly, the Rangers’ best player. He did have two assists, but he also made other great offensive plays and was fantastic defensively.

Fox was New York’s best defenseman last year, and it looks like that’s an honor he’s going to work hard to keep this season.


Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.