With 20 minutes in the books on Saturday night, Madison Square Garden was buzzing once again and there was a lot on the table that Ranger fans could feel good about: Mika Zibanejad had scored yet again and the Garden was chanting his name. Igor Shesterkin was healthy and back, and the Garden was chanting his name, too. And with a chance to close more ground in the playoff chase, the Rangers were holding a lead against a bitter rival on a Saturday night on Broadway.
Inside the home dressing room, though, the Rangers saw trouble brewing.
"We didn't feel good at all after the first period," David Quinn said afterward. "It was nice to be up, don't get me wrong. But we didn't feel good at all about the way things were going in the first period even though we were winning."
Period 2 was barely a minute and a half old before the piper came for payment. Kyle Palmieri and an ex-Ranger, Freddy Claesson, each scored for New Jersey in the first 1:36 of the second period, and Travis Zajac and John Hayden added goals 25 seconds apart late in the frame, as the Devils rode a four-goal second to spoil the finale of the Rangers' four-game homestand, sending the Blueshirts to a 6-4 loss on Saturday night.