NEWARK, N.J. — Kyle Palmieri and Myles Wood scored in the second period, and the New Jersey Devils held off the New York Rangers 5-2 Thursday night to earn their first win of the season.
Blake Coleman, Nikita Gusev and P.K. Subban also scored and Matt Tennyson had two assists for the Devils, who came in 0-4-2. Mackenzie Blackwood finished with 29 saves.
Tony DeAngelo and Jesper Fast had goals for the Rangers, who had played just three games in the first 14 days of the season. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 33 shots.
This was the first matchup between New Jersey’s Jack Hughes and New York’s Kaapo Kakko, who were selected with the first two picks in this year’s draft. Hughes, centring the top line against the Rangers in place of Nico Hischier, came in without a point in six games, while Kakko had a goal in three games.
The Rangers finished 0 for 6 on the power play, while New Jersey was 1 for 6.
With the Devils leading 3-1 after two periods, Ryan Strome sent a pass in front to Fast from the left corner, and Fast poked it into the open net for his first at 2:22 of the third.
Hall nearly restored New Jersey’s two-goal lead at 7:08, but it was waved off because the officials said Hall pushed it in with his hand. Devils coach John Hynes challenged and the call stood, resulting in a delay-of-game penalty.
Moments after a Devils power play expired, Gusev intercepted Artemi Panarin’s pass intended for Fast coming out of the penalty box, skated in and beat Georgiev for his third with 7:39 remaining.
Subban added an empty-netter in the final minute for his first goal since joining the Devils in an off-season trade.
Georgiev had a great pad save on Wayne Simmonds in front less than 20 seconds into the second period to preserve a 1-1 tie
With the Rangers’ Brady Skjei off for interference, Palmieri got the puck off the faceoff, brought the puck into the right circle, pulled it back to get around defenceman Marc Staal and as Georgiev went down to cut off his angle, Palmieri fired it top shelf for his third at 2:18. It was New Jersey’s first power-play goal of the season after they failed on their first 20 chances, including two in the first period
Nearly seven minutes into the period, New Jersey’s Taylor Hall left his feet and, leading with his elbow, delivered a hard hit high on defenceman Adam Fox, who was down on the ice behind the Rangers’ net for several minutes. Hall received a double-minor for elbowing and roughing. Skjei, who went after Hall after the hit, was given a minor for roughing.
Wood put New Jersey up 3-1 as he deflected Tennyson’s shot from the right point past Georgiev from in front with 7:35 left. Hughes got an assist on the play, earning his first NHL point.
Pavel Zacha had a chance to extend the lead on a breakaway with New Jersey on a power play with 4:20 remaining in the middle period, but his backhand try was stopped by Georgiev.
The Rangers got on the scoreboard first for the fourth time in four games this season on DeAngelo’s backhander off a rebound.
Coleman tied it with 7:02 remaining in the first as he brought the puck up the right side and fired a shot from the right circle that hit Georgiev’s mask, rolled down his body and went between his legs and in.
New Jersey executive vice-president and assistant GM Jim Fitzgerald made his debut behind the bench as an assistant coach. … Hischier was out with an upper-body injury and is day to day. … The Devils also scratched D Connor Carrick and C Jesper Boqvist. … New Jersey improved to 7-1-1 in the last nine meetings at home against the Rangers. … The teams play three more times this season: Nov. 30 at Prudential Center, and Jan. 9 and March 7 at Madison Square Garden. … The Rangers scratched LW Brendan Lemieux. … The Rangers lost in regulation against the Devils for just the sixth time in the last 24 meetings, falling to 14-6-4.
Rangers: At Washington on Friday night to complete their first back-to-back of the season.
Devils: Host Vancouver on Saturday before a stretch of two games in 12 days.
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Vin A. Cherwoo, The Associated Press