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game recap

Rangers edge Devils 4-3 in Richards' debut

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

NHL.com

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Rangers edge Devils 4-3 in Richards' debut
New York Rangers 4, New Jersey Devils 3

The combination of Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik is off to a flying start.

The New York Rangers signed Richards as a free agent this summer in an effort to find a playmaker for Gaborik, who went from 42 goals in 2009-10 to 22 last season. Their first night together was an unqualified success, with both scoring a goal and adding an assist as the Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Richards tied the game 4:22 into the first period and set up Gaborik for a power-play goal early in the second period to give New York a 3-1 lead. Brandon Bell's goal with 3:04 left in regulation snapped a 3-3 tie.

But the chemistry between Richards and Gaborik was easily the best news of the night for the Rangers.

"He's one of the best players in the League," Gaborik said. "You can see he's good at making plays and handling the puck and, also, defensively, he knows where to go. We spent some time in their zone. We still need to work on some things, but I think it was pretty good for the first game."

Coach John Tortorella, who coached Richards in Tampa Bay when the Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004, was also pleased with his new top line -- Wojtek Wolski spent most of the night riding shotgun.

"He made some good plays with the puck," Tortorella said of Richards. "His passing ability, that's a big part of his game so I thought that line created a lot of offense. We'll try some other people along the way."

The best news for the Devils was the play of rookie defenseman Adam Larsson, who rebounded after Richards' goal went into the net off his skate. Larsson, the No. 4 choice in the Entry Draft three months ago, had a pair of assists and looked right at home.

"It didn't seem to rattle him," coach Peter DeBoer said of Richards' goal. "He's pretty calm and poised. I think that's one of his special qualities. Something like that happens to a young defenseman, you never know how they're going to react, but I think he did some really good things tonight, especially on the power play."

scoring summary
1st Period
01:32
NJD
PPG - Adam Henrique (1) Backhand shot - ASST: Ilya Kovalchuk (1), Adam Larsson (1)
1 - 0 NJD
04:22
NYR
Brad Richards (1) Snap shot - ASST: Marian Gaborik (1), Wojtek Wolski (1)
1 - 1 Tie
05:43
NYR
Derek Stepan (1) Snap shot - ASST: Ruslan Fedotenko (1), Brendan Bell (1)
2 - 1 NYR
2nd Period
01:32
NYR
PPG - Marian Gaborik (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Ryan Callahan (1), Brad Richards (1)
3 - 1 NYR
07:26
NJD
Jacob Josefson (1) Snap shot - ASST: Ilya Kovalchuk (2)
3 - 2 NYR
16:45
NJD
PPG - Ilya Kovalchuk (1) Slapshot - ASST: Adam Larsson (2)
3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period
16:56
NYR
Brendan Bell (1) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
4 - 3 NYR
penalty summary
1st Period
00:38
NYR
Brian Boyle  Tripping  - 2 min against  Jacob Josefson
12:27
NJD
Anton Volchenkov  Interference  - 2 min against  Derek Stepan
2nd Period
01:10
NJD
Bryce Salvador  Interference  - 2 min against  Mike Rupp
06:40
NYR
Kris Newbury  Slashing  - 2 min against  Eric Boulton
07:03
NJD
Adam Larsson  Cross checking  - 2 min against  Carl Hagelin
14:46
NYR
Kris Newbury  Tripping  - 2 min against  Jacob Josefson
16:10
NYR
Tim Erixon  Hooking  - 2 min against  Mattias Tedenby
18:55
NYR
Pavel Valentenko  Holding  - 2 min against  Rod Pelley
3rd Period
02:17
NJD
Brad Mills  Interference  - 2 min against  Kris Newbury
06:32
NJD
Brad Mills  Interference  - 2 min against  Ryan Callahan
17:21
NJD
Eric Boulton  Fighting (maj)  - 5 min against  Mike Rupp
17:21
NYR
Mike Rupp  Fighting (maj)  - 5 min against  Eric Boulton
17:38
NJD
Nick Palmieri  Interference on goalkeeper  - 2 min against  Chad Johnson
18:05
NYR
Marian Gaborik  Interference  - 2 min against  Adam Henrique
goalie stats
Chad Johnson
SA: 10TOI: 20:00
GA: 0SV%: 1.000
Martin Biron
SA: 16TOI: 40:00
GA: 3SV%: .812
Martin Brodeur
SA: 31TOI: 57:57
GA: 4SV%: .871