October 18, 2019 / 2:07 AM / 25 days ago

Palmieri leads Devils past Rangers for first victory of season

EditorsNote: Tweaks head; tweaks lead for clarity, adds location in lead; other minor edits

Oct 17, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Blake Coleman (20) scores a goal on New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Palmieri scored on the power play and rookie Jack Hughes recorded his first NHL point as the New Jersey Devils picked up their first win of the season with a 5-2 victory Thursday over the New York Rangers in Newark, N.J.

The Devils became the last NHL team to win a game this season after starting 0-4-2, with a league-worst minus-16 goal differential entering Thursday. Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood made 29 saves in the victory.

Palmieri’s goal in the second period, his third of the season, gave the Devils their first power-play goal this season. They were 0-for-20 on the man advantage before the score and entered as one of two NHL teams without a power-play goal this season.

Hughes, the No. 1 overall selection in the most recent NHL draft, earned an assist on a goal by Miles Wood in the second period as the Devils took a 3-1 lead. Hughes did not have an assist or goal in any of his first six career games.

Hughes was not the only top draft selection in Thursday’s game. The Rangers’ Kaapo Kakko, the No. 2 overall selection, did not have a point in just over 16 minutes of ice time.

The Rangers jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 6:02 of the first period when Tony DeAngelo pounced on a loose puck in front of the Devils’ goal and flicked a shot over the left shoulder of Blackwood. It was DeAngelo’s first of the season.

The Devils tied the score 1-1 at 12:58 of the first period when Blake Coleman’s shot from the right circle found its way through Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev. It was Coleman’s third of the season.

Palmieri gave the Devils the lead for good at 2-1 on his power-play goal at 2:18 of the second period. Wood’s first of the season at 12:25 of the second period increased the lead to 3-1. Hughes’ assist came when he tipped Matt Tennyson’s centering pass toward Wood.

The Rangers got within a goal at 3-2 when Jesper Fast scored his first of the season at the 2:22 mark of the third period. But the Devils’ Nikita Gusev put the game away with his third of the season at the 12:21 mark of the final period.

P.K. Subban scored an empty-net goal with less than a minute to play, his first goal with the Devils.

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