The New York Rangers took control of the opening period in their first-round playoff matchup against the New Jersey Devils. They scored two goals and killed off three penalties to grab a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.
New York Rangers shine at both ends of the ice in electric first period against the New Jersey Devils
Vladimir Tarasenko became the first player to score in the series. The goal was a thing of beauty. Tarasenko beat Devils goalie Vitak Vanacek from the high slot with a perfectly placed wrist shot.
The play started with K’Andre Miller intercepting a Devils turnover in their defensive zone. Miller quickly found Vladimir Tarasenko in the high slot, and the Russian sniper wasted no time in releasing his shot. The puck sailed past Vanacek’s glove and into the back of the net, sending the Rangers bench into a frenzy.
Five minutes later, Chris Kreider tipped in an Adam Fox shot on the power play with 10:30 left in the period.
Kreider’s goal came on the Rangers’ first power-play opportunity of the game, and it was crucial. It gave the Rangers a two-goal cushion and put the Devils on their heels. The play started with Fox winding up for a shot from the point. Kreider, who was stationed in front of the net, got a piece of the shot and redirected it past Devils goalie Vitak Vanacek.
The goal was a perfect example of the Rangers’ power-playing prowess, as they used their speed and skill to create scoring chances. Fox, who has been one of the league’s top defensemen during the regular season, showed off his puck-moving ability. Kreider, meanwhile, displayed his strength and hand-eye coordination in front of the net.
The New York Rangers’ penalty kill was equally impressive in the opening period. They shut down three Devils power plays and prevented them from generating any sustained pressure. The Devils didn’t register a shot on goal until less than six minutes left in the period, and they struggled to get anything going offensively.
The New York Rangers’ strong play in the opening period was even more impressive considering they were playing on the road. The Devils, who finished the regular season with the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, have been dominant at home all season. However, the Rangers showed no signs of intimidation or nerves, instead playing with poise and confidence.
As the game progressed, the New York Rangers continued to play with discipline and intensity. They held off a late surge by the Devils to secure a 2-0 advantage after one period of play.