In the first preseason action for both teams, the Rangers defeated the Devils 4-3 in overtime at The Rock. It was choppy play marred by the usual allotment of sloppy penalties. There were plenty of power plays throughout.
Nick Lappin got the scoring started off a nice pass in the slot where he beat Rangers starter Alexandar Georgiev. On the play, two Rangers got caught out of position. Lappin had a nice game tallying twice for the Devils.
Lias Andersson was one of the few bright spots in the period. His doggedness on the penalty kill led to two shorthanded chances, with the first stopped by Kinkaid. It was a solo effort from a hustling Andersson that resulted in a breakaway for a shorthanded goal. He stole the puck from Taylor Hall in the neutral zone and broke in on Kinkaid beating him high glove to tie the score.
However, the Devils came back on the same power play thanks to John Quenneville. Fighting for a roster spot, the former first round pick was able to take a feed from 2018 first round pick Ty Smith and snap a wrist shot through a Brian Boyle screen past Georgiev for a 2-1 lead.
Following a lethargic first period mostly in favor of the Newark hosts, the Rangers turned up the pressure in a better second. Eventually, the consistent forecheck resulted in some New Jersey penalties. On a Kevin Hayes clean face off win, Pavel Buchnevich one-timed the puck by Kinkaid to tie the score. H shot went off Kinkaid’s goal stick and in for a power play goal.
In the third, the teams traded goals from the game’s opening scorers. Both Lappin and Andersson each got their second of the night. Overtime was required.
After each side tried ending it early with classic veteran match ups that featured Hayes and Chris Kreider against Hall and Nico Hischier, it was on the next shift that it would be decided. Off sustained pressure, Jesper Fast stole the puck from Jesper Bratt. He then dropped for a changing Buchnevich, who made a perfect pass to a cutting Neal Pionk for the overtime winner.