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game recap

Devils hang on to give rival Rangers fifth loss

Kinkaid makes 29 saves in season debut, Butcher has two assists

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Keith Kinkaid made 29 saves in his season debut to help the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Adam Henrique, Miles Wood and Drew Stafford scored, and rookie defenseman Will Butcher had two assists for the Devils (4-1-0).

Stafford, who returned after missing the past three games because of a lower-body injury, took a pass from Butcher over the Rangers' blue line during a 4-on-3 power play and scored off a backhand at 1:00 of the third period for a 3-1 lead. 

 

WATCH: All Devils vs. Rangers highlights

 

"[Butcher] doesn't really surprise me anymore," Stafford said. "For him to be able to have the success he's had so far is something we hope he can ride as long as he can. It's huge for us."

Rick Nash and Kevin Shattenkirk scored, and Ondrej Pavelec made 16 saves for the Rangers (1-5-0), who have lost three straight games.

Video: NJD@NYR: Nash, Desharnais combine for pretty goal

"I've never had a start like this in my career so it's tough mentally," Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said. "By no means is this group going to quit, I know that for a fact. We need to [play] with a little more edge, a little more desperation."

Shattenkirk scored his second of the season past a screened Kinkaid with 56.8 seconds remaining in the third period with Pavelec pulled for the extra attacker to get the Rangers within 3-2.

Kinkaid was a big reason the game remained 0-0 after the first period, when the Rangers held a 14-3 advantage in shots. 

"We had to re-evaluate what type of team we were; what we were doing out there," Kinkaid said. "We needed to work hard, get on the forecheck and get to pucks. We got away from that but came back, worked hard the rest of the game.

"I felt good right off the bat and was seeing the puck well. It's easy to get up for this game because I grew up not liking [the Rangers]."

Wood scored his third goal in four games off a deflection in front to give the Devils a 2-1 lead 16:41 into the second.

 Video: NJD@NYR: Kinkaid robs Hayes after denying Shattenkirk

Devils coach John Hynes shuffled the lines to begin the second and got the spark he was looking for in the combination of Henrique centering Wood and Brian Gibbons. After a turnover in the offensive zone, Henrique scored to tie the game 1-1 at 10:21.

The Devils outshot the Rangers 12-3 in the second and Hynes played nine forwards in the third; Pavel Zacha (5:35 ice time), Marcus Johansson (4:48) and Jimmy Hayes (6:56) didn't have a shift.

"Sometimes there has to be a message and I thought the other guys that played had a great response," Devils captain Andy Greene said. "I know next time when we're in that situation it's not going to be those guys; they'll be ready to play."

Nash scored his first goal of the season 5:31 into the second to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. After taking a pass from David Desharnais in the slot, Nash escaped a check by defenseman John Moore and scored off a wrist shot just inside the left post.

 

Goal of the game

Gibbons forced a turnover in the Rangers end and sent a backhand pass to Henrique, who scored his second of the season.

Video: NJD@NYR: Henrique sends home wrist shot in close

 

Save of the game

Kinkaid made a point-blank save against Brady Skjei from the slot 3:12 into the game. 

Video: NJD@NYR: Kinkaid shuts down Skjei with great pad save

 
Highlight of the game

Butcher threaded the needle on a pass to Stafford skating into the right circle, and the veteran forward finished with his first goal for the Devils.

Video: NJD@NYR: Stafford backhands first goal with Devils

 

They said it

"If [Kinkaid] doesn't come up with a couple of saves in the first period, who knows? It could be 2-0 or 3-0 and we're chasing the game. [He] gave us that confidence to stick in the game and we had pushback and a response. It was much better [against the Rangers] than it has been." -- Devils defenseman Andy Greene

"There's no one we want to blame but ourselves. The coaches have been preparing us, going through our meetings and we know what's expected of us and we're simply not performing. We're not playing the way we need to play, every single one of us. We just have to keep our heads up, keep working hard, and find a way to get better results." -- Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh

 

Need to know

Butcher leads the Devils with eight points, all assists. He is the first player to have eight assists in his first five NHL games since forward Sergei Makarov (10) in 1989-90 for the Calgary Flames, and the first rookie defensema to do so. New Jersey had 20 blocked shots, including four by defenseman Ben Lovejoy. ... Rangers forward Jesper Fast made his season debut after missing the first five games because of left hip surgery he had on June 5. The Rangers committed 16 turnovers; the Devils had three.

 

What's next

Devils: Host the Tampa Bay Lighting on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Rangers: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, MSG, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Kinkaid, Devils hang on to defeat Rangers, 3-2

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