Connect with us

Devils Postgame

Devils Takeaways: Rangers Beat Up Devils in 5-1 Loss

The Devils were beat up by the Rangers en route to a 5-1 loss.



New Jersey Devils

NEWARK — The New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers met on Thursday night with an instant spark. Early in the game, rookie Matt Rempe took a run at Nathan Bastian and the Rangers freshman received a match penalty. Rempe’s night was over just 2:25 into the first period. A physical battle ensued in which the hits edge went to the Rangers who outhit the Devils 26-17.

Bastian left the game following Rempe’s hit, however, returned and even dropped the mitts with Rangers captain Jacob Trouba. According to head coach Lindy Ruff, Bastian suffered a separate injury later and missed the third period.

The Rangers didn’t only win in the hits column, however. New York ran New Jersey out of the Prudential Center ringing up goaltender Nico Daws for five goals.

Let’s dive into the Devils’ 5-1 loss to the rival Rangers.

Devils Recap

The Devils went to a five-minute power play early in the first period following a match penalty on Rempe. However, the Devils couldn’t convert. The Rangers later went to the power play as a result of a minor (slash) on Curtis Lazar. The Rangers scored in five seconds, a goal by Mika Zibanajad. The Rangers later doubled their lead on another power-play goal by Alexis Lafreniere. Lafreniere added another goal in the second, as did Chris Kreider. In the third, Vincent Trocheck gave the Rangers a 5-0 lead. Jack Hughes netted a late goal, however, it was too little too late for the Devils.

Nico Daws made 13 saves on 18 shots in his sixth straight start.


Rough Night, Rookie

Luke Hughes had a tough game against the Rangers.

The rookie blueliner had a rough night staying on his feet, mostly because he was outmuscled by a physical Rangers foe.

However, even in the areas that are supposed to be Hughes’ strengths, Luke struggles to pull through in a big moment. As the QB of the first power play unit, the 20-year-old defenseman found it difficult to facilitate play. His distributing was off resulting in quite a few turnovers, and when he had the option to shoot he opted to pass.

Hughes’ most egregious error came under his own red line, however.

The Devils won a defensive zone draw and the puck made its way to the endboard. Hughes attempted to recover the puck but instead turned it over with slight pressure from Jonny Brodzinski to Lafreniere in the slot who beat Daws to give the Rangers an early 2-0 lead.

This isn’t the first time Luke has had an egregious turnover that led to a detrimental goal against the Devils. The Devils rookie will certainly need to get his turnovers under control, and fast.

Sloppy Line Changes

Line changes have been a bit of a problem this season too.

Lately, a miscue on line changes has left the Devils shorthanded on their end of the ice.  That somewhat happened again on Thursday, although, you’ll have to give Igor Shesterkin credit for a heads-up play by the Ranger goaltender.

The Devils dumped the puck deep into the Rangers’ end of the ice and headed for a line change. Shesterkin intercepted the clear behind his net, fired the puck to the Devils’ blueline to Artemi Panarin, and the Ranger winger fed Kreider in the 2-on-1 situation resulting in New York’s third goal.

There were certainly a couple of issues with the line change. One, the Rangers had two forwards patiently waiting on their blue line for someone to send the puck up ice to them. Hence the Shesterkin assist. Second, the urgency to get into position after the change was certainly lacking. Luke Hughes was the lone defenseman back on the play. John Marino was late getting into position following the change that resulted in the Rangers odd-man rush, and didn’t look all that urgent to provide support.

Low-Danger Chances

The Devils know how to score goals, although lately that’s been a bit of an issue. On Thursday night against the Rangers, Jack seemed to think there were too many low-danger shots.

“One goal on 40 shots probably means a lot of perimeter shooting,” Hughes explained. “(Shesterkin) saw a lot of pucks.”

However, if you ask Ruff, he seems to think the Devils, Jack included, were a bit too passive on their chances.

“I will tell you that Luke was in high danger and he passed it to his brother (for a) low-danger shot,” Ruff explained. “So I mean, I’ll reference one play here. I think we did that a couple of times. You know, you look at even the odd-numbered rusher, John Marino went in shorthanded but doesn’t even get us an opportunity to score a goal. And we did that several times. We did it on the power play, we did it shorthand. But, you can’t second-guess every play. The players on the ice, seeing what he sees and he’s going to try to make his best decision, sometimes that decision isn’t the right one.”

The fact of the matter is the Devils had 40 shots on goal while the Rangers had 18. All five of New York’s goals were created in high-danger areas below the dots and in the slot. Although the Devils created a few chances in those areas as well, the rest were from the perimeter and above the dots.

Although 40 shots might look like a lot, the Devils overthought, became too passive, took themselves out of legitimate scoring chances, and opted for lower-danger shots. It happened at even strength and especially on the power play. It was another game where the man advantage went 0/5.

Perhaps, it’s time for changes to be made to the special teams units.

For more Devils news, visit New Jersey Hockey Now and like our Facebook page.
Follow us on 𝕏:


And on Threads:


Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now LLC. NJ Hockey Now is in no way affiliated with the New Jersey Devils or the National Hockey League.