Rangers skate past Devils 4-3 in preseason opener
• RANGERS GAME CENTER
• FEATURE: Roster Hopefuls Score Big in Win
By Dave Lozo, NHL.com
NEW YORK -- Devils forward Zach Parise tied the score with 1:46 left in the third period, but Marian Gaborik
won it with a power-play goal at 3:12 of overtime as the New York Rangers came away with a 4-3 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
Devils center Rod Pelley was sent to the penalty box for boarding Mike Sauer
, and Gaborik fired a blazing wrister from the slot to end it. It was Gaborik's second goal of the night.
Parise's long blast from the top of the left circle slithered through Rangers goaltender Chad Johnson
, to force overtime. Johnson replaced Martin Biron
to start the third period.
scored late in the second period to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead and made his presence felt physically early.
Boyle displayed a scorer's skill when he blew past Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas and shifted the puck quickly from his backhand to his forehand and slipped the puck through goaltender Martin Brodeur. During the first period, he displayed his physical side when he delivered three huge hits on one shift that he capped by fighting Devils center Adam Mair.
Newly acquired left wing Alexander Frolov
scored his first goal as a Ranger and had the assists on both of Gaborik's goals. The Devils' top line of Parise-Travis Zajac-Ilya Kovalchuk looked sharp. Kovalchuk and Zajac had a goal and an assist, and Parise had a goal and two assists.
Biron played a solid two periods, stopping 17 of 19 shots before giving way to Johnson. Brodeur was far busier for the Devils during his two periods, allowing three goals on 27 shots. Jeff Frazee replaced Brodeur for the third period.
|Goaltender Martin Biron made his first preseason start for the Rangers -- and first start at The Garden wearing a Rangers uniform -- on Thursday night.
, who stood out throughout the game, did most of the heavy lifting on Gaborik's power-play goal at 6:43 of the first period. He sliced to the middle off the left-wing boards to draw defenders to him before sliding a pass to Frolov in the left-wing corner. From there, Frolov whipped a cross-crease pass that found Gaborik, who tapped home his first of the preseason.
Zajac tied the score 6:28 later after a turnover at the blue line by Rangers defenseman Marc Staal
. Zach Parise corralled the puck and feathered a pass to Kovalchuk in what was a quick 3-on-2 rush. Kovalchuk dropped the puck back perfectly for Zajac, who stepped into a one-time blast that left a vapor trail over the shoulder of Biron, who was helpless to stop it.
Frolov put the Rangers back on top at 5:15 of the second period with his first goal for his new team. Devils defenseman attempted a backward pass in his zone to Matt Taormina, who couldn't handle the puck. It bounced to the forechecking Frolov, who undressed Brodeur with a nice backhand-to-forehand move.
Kovalchuk tied the game for a second time by beating Biron on a breakaway at 12:14 of the second period. He slipped behind Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi
and took a long pass from Parise. Kovalchuk rifled a quick wrister off the post and past Biron.
The 2-2 score was short-lived, however, as Boyle's nifty goal came 2:06 later to put the Rangers back on top.
The Devils and Rangers will meet again at Prudential Center on Saturday at 7 p.m.