NEW YORK — Ryan Strome had two goals, Chris Kreider and Jimmy Vesey each had a goal and an assist, and the New York Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Saturday.
Brady Skjei also scored. Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich each had two assists and Alexandar Georgiev made 19 saves for the Rangers.
Andy Greene and Kenny Agostino scored and Cory Schneider had 29 saves for the Devils.
Both teams sat key players with the league’s trade deadline two days away. The Devils traded defenceman Ben Lovejoy to Dallas for defenceman Connor Carrick and a third-round pick earlier in the day and also kept out forward Marcus Johansson.
The Rangers sat forwards Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes as well as defenceman Adam McQuaid.
Trailing 3-0 in the third period, the Devils scored when Agostino got his third of the season at 2:20. He took advantage of a turnover in the Rangers’ zone to score his first goal with the Devils.
The Rangers answered as defenceman Brady Skjei sent a one-timer past Schneider for his fourth of the season. The score withstood a video review for goalie interference.
The Devils rallied again as Greene took a pass from Kyle Palmieri and wristed it past Georgiev for his fourth of the season at 12:59.
Strome added an empty-netter in the final minute for his second of the game to clinch the win.
Early on, the Rangers dominated the matchup between the area rivals and playoff also-rans in the Eastern Conference. They opened the scoring with two goals early in the first period.
Vesey scored his 14th of the season off a scramble in front of the net at 4:48 just as a Devils penalty expired. A few minutes later and with a Devils power play about to end, Vladislav Namestnikov drew a tripping penalty on Drew Stafford to give the Rangers another man advantage. And they took advantage.
With the power play nearly over, Kreider sent a no-look pass to Strome, who scored his ninth of the season. Buchnevich assisted on both of the goals.
The Rangers kept up the pressure and made it 3-0. Kreider scored on another scramble in front of the Devils’ net for his 25th of the season. The Rangers outshot the Devils 15-4 in the period.
NOTES: Vesey’s goal ended Schneider’s shutout streak at more than 85 minutes. … Saturday’s trade gives the Devils nine picks in the 2019 draft, including five in the first three rounds. … Kreider has scored at least 25 goals in a season for the second time in his NHL career. His career high is 28 in the 2016-17 season. … Zibanejad has reached 60 points in a season for the first time in his NHL career. … The Rangers tied a single-period season-high with three goals in the first period.
Devils: host the Canadiens on Monday.
Rangers: face the defending Stanley Cup champion Capitals in D.C. on Sunday afternoon.
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Simmi Buttar, The Associated Press