NEW YORK, NY - The Devils opened the scoring quickly on Wednesday night when Nico Hischier redirected a wrist shot from Sami Vatanen to put the Devils up 1-0 over the Rangers. The goal was assisted by Vatanen and Will Butcher and came just 53 seconds into the game.
Hischier thought the Devils did a good job of coming out and being the better team in the first period of the game to gain momentum.
"I think we really started well in the first period, the whole period we were the better team. The second period I think they got the momentum and the third we came out and battled hard and at the end, we earned the two points," said Hischier.
The Devils host the New York Rangers on Friday at Prudential Center. You can watch that game on NHL Network, MSG or MSG+. Puck drop is 7:08 p.m. ET.
Mikhail Maltsev added to the Devils lead with less than five seconds to go in the first period when he dekes Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev and scores from his knees. The late first-period goal was unassisted and gave the Devils a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.
Maltsev's goal was one for the highlight reel and goaltender Cory Schneider agreed."It was pretty spectacular. He's a petty big kid but he's got really soft hands, and as you saw the control and the balance on his knees. We haven't seen many goals like that here in recent years, even though it's preseason. I hope that one makes the rounds and gets the Devils on the highlights a little bit," said Schneider.
The Rangers cut the Devils lead by one when Artemi Panarin got one by Cory Schneider to make it a 2-1 game at 7:33 of the second period. Not long after, Nikita Gusev scored his first goal the preseason with a nice feed from Brandon Baddock at 10:10 of the second to give the Devils a 3-1 lead.
Gusev made his first preseason goal look easy, but Schneider said it was anything but.
"He's got a good mind for the game. He thinks the game and he's able to slow it down, play at his pace. He's a good skater, he's able to manipulate defenseman…he's able to find the lanes. That goal looks easy but it's not an easy play to finish," said Schneider.
That lead was cut short when New York's Michael Haley at 12:36. The two teams headed to the locker room with a 3-2 Devils lead after two periods.
Brett Seney opened the scoring for the Devils in the final frame of the game, rebounding on a scramble assisted by John Hayden and Will Butcher. Seney's goal made it a 4-2 game with 16:05 to go. The Rangers made it a one-goal game with ten minutes to go when Lias Andersson put one by Cormier. The Devils held the Rangers for the remaining of the game, leaving Madison Square Garden with a 4-3 win over New York.
Cory Schneider played two periods in Wednesday's game, saving 27 of 29 shots on goal. Devils goaltender Evan Cormier was in net for the third period, saving 12 of 13 shots on goal in the win.