NEW YORK -- The Rangers secured a point in pushing the game to overtime on Chris Kreider's equalizer with less than 22 seconds left in regulation, the Devils rattled off three unanswered goals in the third and edged the Blueshirts 4-3 on Eric Gelinas' overtime game winner at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
After a week spent lamenting the Rangers' inability to gain traction in the standings, the team failed again to string together a pair of wins, falling instead to a mediocre 15-14-1 record.
Adding concern to the situation is the fact defenseman Marc Staal left the game during the third period and did not return. Staal, who missed half of last season with a frightening eye injury, appeared to get hit in the face by New Jersey's Reid Boucher on a play that went unpenalized. An MSG replay showed Staal slamming his helmet down on the ground in anger/frustration as he walked down the tunnel toward the trainer’s room.
All tied up: 41 years young, folks. Veteran Devils forward and future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr was masterful in setting up the Devils' game-tying goal in the third period. Jagr controlled the puck down low and dragged a few Rangers defenders with him behind the net, before whipping it toward Henrik Lundqvist. Travis Zajac was there all alone at the right post to bury the rebound and knot the game 2-2.
Controversial call: With the Rangers up 2-0 in the second period on goals from Brad Richards and Mats Zuccarello, the Devils cut that led in half with a goal from tough guy Cam Janssen. Janssen barreled into the net but not before the puck glanced off his skate. After a video review, the on-ice referee indicated that the replay did not find evidence of a "distinct kicking motion." The decision was not a popular one with the MSG crowd; Blueshirts fans were livid after the announcement. In related news, Janssen now has three goals, which is more than about half of the Rangers' roster can claim.
Prime opportunities: A couple of youngsters earned themselves promotions Saturday night. Rangers prospect JT Miller, summoned from the AHL on Wednesday, debuted on a line with Derick Brassard and Carl Hagelin. In previous stints up with the big club, Miller had been limited primarily to fourth-line duty. Boucher was paired with some top-tier talent in his second game in the NHL. The 2011 draft pick skated on a line with Jagr and first-line center Travis Zajac.
Missing in action: Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky missed Saturday’s match with an upper-body injury. Depth blueliner Peter Harrold, scratched for the previous five games, replaced him in the lineup and was on the ice for Richards' first-period marker. Harrold's ill-advised pinch led to an odd-man rush, allowing Richards to bury his team-leading ninth goal of the season and extend his point streak to six games.