The Garden crowd got excited when they thought they’d witnessed the first NHL goal of Rangers rookie Vitali Kravtsov’s career. Kravtsov took a pass from Pavel Buchnevich and beat Devils goalie MacKenzie Blackwood between the legs at 10:07 to seemingly give the Rangers a 5-0 lead.
But Devils coach Lindy Ruff, the former Rangers assistant, challenged the play, alleging the Rangers were offside before the goal. After a short video review, the Rangers were indeed offside, and the goal was disallowed.
Kravtsov had another chance later in the game, when he broke in to the Devils’ zone with the puck in the closing minutes, but Blackwood blockered away his shot with 1:02 remaining.
Jones gets high praise
Defenseman Zac Jones, whom the Rangers signed to an entry level contract this week, just days after he won an NCAA championship with UMass, practiced with the team for the first time at Thursday’s morning skate. But Jones, 20, was not in the lineup against the Devils, and coach David Quinn didn’t know when he will get a chance to put him in.
“It’s hard, because you don’t have all these practices to kind of, evaluate him. And you want to put him in a situation where he’s going to have success,’’ Quinn said before the game. “Obviously, these games are very meaningful for us; we’re in a playoff battle. But you’ve got a guy (in Jones) who can really skate, he’s got a great hockey IQ, Just competes. There’s a lot to love about him, that’s why we like him in our organization.
“But, you know, this is the National Hockey League, and you don’t just take someone and drop him in the lineup. They’ve got to earn it, and they’ve got to give you a reason to put him in.
“If it seems to be the right move, and he gives us a chance to win hockey games, he’ll go in,’’ he said. “We certainly won’t hesitate for putting them in there If we think he can help us win.’’
There were no lineup changes from Tuesday night’s game, meaning Julien Gauthier, Phillip DiGiuseppe, Anthony Bitetto and Jones were the Rangers’ scratches.