The Rangers rattled off six consecutive goals after getting down 3-1 in the first period to go on and beat the Devils 7-3. Mats Zuccarello had two goals and Dominic Moore and Marc Staal each had a goal and an assist to lead the way.
Henrik Lundqvist started off a little shaky but held strong and stopped 19 shots. On the other side, Martin Brodeur was yanked after two periods giving up six goals in 21 shots. Cory Schneider allowed a penalty shot goal to Derek Stepan for the only blemish on his record.
A few things to discuss in the comments:
— It wasn’t a controversial choice to start Brodeur over Schneider in this game. For as well as Schneider has been playing this season, today’s result won’t do much to make Brodeur fans’ case for him to start more often.
— Rick Nash had a goal and it was his 11th goal in the past 11 games. He’s been playing great since being named to Team Canada.
— Lost in this blowout were how great both Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias played. Elias had two goals and Jagr had two assists. The Czechs might not be too shabby at the Olympics.
— Jagr passed former teammate Mario Lemieux on the NHL’s all-time assist list with his assist on Elias’ second goal. He has 1,035 helpers in his career and sits 10th in league history. He’s five assists behind Marcel Dionne in ninth and 14 behind Gordie Howe in eighth.
— We all like penalty shot goals, right? Here’s Stepan in the third period against Schneider:
— The Rangers hold on to second place in the Metropolitan Division with the win and keep the Devils off their heels for another day.
— The seven goals allowed were a season-high for the Devils. It’s the second time this season the Rangers have scored seven (Jan. 4 at Toronto).
The Montreal Canadiens have signed 39-year-old defenseman Mark Streit to a one-year contract worth a reported $700,000.
This will actually be Streit’s second stint with the Habs. He started his NHL career in Montreal, all the way back in 2005.
Streit split last season between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In the playoffs, he only appeared in three games for the Penguins, all of them in the Eastern Conference Final against Ottawa when Justin Schultz was hurt.
What the Streit signing means for Andrei Markov remains to be seen. Streit, like Markov, can run a power play, so it’s tempting to conclude that Streit is Markov’s replacement.
That being said, almost all of Streit’s contract could be buried in the AHL if necessary, so that conclusion may be premature. This could even be a move by GM Marc Bergevin to gain leverage and convince Markov to sign.
Markov, 38, remains an unrestricted free agent. The Canadiens want him back, but only at a certain price.
The New Jersey Devils have signed defenseman Mirco Mueller to a two-year contract extension with a cap hit of $850,000.
Mueller, a first-round draft pick of the Sharks in 2013, has only played 54 NHL games, scoring two goals with four assists. In June, after spending most of 2016-17 in the AHL, San Jose traded the 22-year-old to the Devils.
In New Jersey, Mueller should get a good chance to crack a rebuilding roster.
“Mirco is adding another piece to what we’re trying to build here,” Devils coach John Hynes said, per NJ.com. “He’s a young player, he can play with pace. He’s a very good skater. He’s got size, which is something we need on the back end. He makes a good first pass. He allows you to get out of your own zone because he can break out, he can end plays defensively, get possession, make the pass to be able to transition yourself out of defensive situations.”
The Devils have also re-signed goalie Scott Wedgewood and forward Joseph Blandisi.
The New York Rangers have locked up a key piece of their future, signing center Mika Zibanejad to a five-year deal with a cap hit of $5.35 million.
Zibanejad had an arbitration hearing scheduled for today, but that won’t be required anymore.
The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 23 assists in 56 games last season. It was his first year in New York after getting traded from Ottawa for Derick Brassard.
With Derek Stepan in Arizona now, Zibanejad is arguably the Rangers’ No. 1 center. Kevin Hayes is in that conversation as well, and perhaps Lias Andersson will be soon.
But getting Zibanejad signed long term was a top priority for GM Jeff Gorton this offseason. Hayes can become a restricted free agent next summer, but that’s a bridge to cross at a later date.
Related: Andersson to get ‘every opportunity’ to make Rangers next season
Matt Nieto won’t need his arbitration hearing on Monday.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Nieto has agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract with the Colorado Avalanche.
Nieto split last season between San Jose and Colorado, which claimed him off waivers in January.
In 43 games for the Avalanche, the 24-year-old forward scored seven goals with four assists.
Nieto was the only Colorado player on this summer’s arbitration list. However, the Avs still have a restricted free agent in Nikita Zadorov, who could be off to the KHL next season.