NEW YORK, N.Y. – Adam Henrique broke a tie with 51.7 seconds left, moments after New Jersey squandered its second two-goal lead of the night, and the Devils outlasted the New York Rangers 5-4 on Monday night in the preseason opener for both teams.
After Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast scored 2 1/2 minutes apart to get the Rangers even at 4 with 2:30 left, Henrique fired a shot past Cam Talbot.
Michael Ryder scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal late in the second period for New Jersey,
With a hockey who’s who on the scratched list for the Metropolitan Division rivals, Ryder made the biggest splash with a goal in the first period and another in the second.
Reid Boucher gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead just 59 seconds in, and Ryder doubled it 2:30 later as the Devils beat Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist with their first two shots. Eric Gelinas’ power-play goal made it 4-2 in the third.
Carl Hagelin and newcomer Ryan Malone scored first-period goals to get the Rangers even at 2. Malone’s came on a power play. J.T. Miller assisted on both tallies.
New Jersey took a 3-2 lead when Boucher made a crisp backhanded pass from the right circle into the middle to Ryder, who deftly pushed the puck between the pads of Talbot with 3:46 left in the second. Gelinas, who assisted on Ryder’s first goal, made it 4-2 during a 5-on-3 power play with 8:21 left.
Talbot had replaced Lundqvist with 10:31 remaining in the second, the same time Keith Kinkaid relieved Scott Clemmensen in the Devils net when it was 2-2.
While Lundqvist is the unquestioned starter for defending Eastern Conference champion New York, the Devils are in new territory as they look to replace longtime goalie Martin Brodeur, who is an unsigned free agent.
Cory Schneider is the odds-on favourite to have the job. Clemmensen is in his third stint with New Jersey.
Clemmensen stopped eight of the 10 shots he faced. Lundqvist made 11 consecutive saves after giving up goals on the first two shots he saw.
Kinkaid stopped 12 shots in the win. Talbot made 16 saves and took the loss.
Veterans such as former Rangers Jaromir Jagr and Scott Gomez sat out for New Jersey, while prominent players Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard took the night off for New York.
The other half of the Rangers roster is expected to be in action for the club’s next game at Chicago on Friday. Rangers forward Derek Stepan sat out because of a bruised foot sustained over the weekend during training camp.
New Jersey will open the regular season on Oct. 9 at Philadelphia. New York begins the same night at St. Louis.