John Moore scored his fifth goal of the season, when he took a shot from the left point that cleanly beat Buffalo netminder Robin Lehner. The goal came with just 5:05 to play in the second period, and was assisted on by Brian Gibbons. Moore described last season as a trying one for him. He was suspended early and had trouble getting into the Rangers’ lineup for most of the season, playing 38 games.
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After Moore’s goal, Carlson’s fourth at 7:01 of the second made it 3-1. Niskanen added his third goal of the season at 4:25 of the third. Backstrom added his eighth goal, an empty-netter, in the game’s final minute. Moore practiced with partner Kevin Klein on the third defensive pairing Friday, with depth defenseman Raphael Diaz skating again with regular scratch Justin Falk. Both are pretty good signs that Moore will jump right back into his regular spot.
“It doesn’t meet the league standard as far as a late hit,” Vigneault told reporters Wednesday morning in Montreal. “It was a hit that Johnny caught him a little high in the chest; player didn’t see it coming. It probably warrants the penalty that was given on the ice. Other than that, I don’t see what else it could warrant, but I’ve been surprised before.”
Moore was checked into the boards behind the Devils’ net by Wilson early in the first period of New Jersey’s 6-2 loss to Washington. Moore crumpled to the ice, medical staff rushed to his aid and teammates gathered around him. Moore, 26, has a career-high five goals to go along with eight assists this season. He also has played for the nhl wholesale jerseys Blue Jackets, Rangers and Coyotes during his NHL career.
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“I would say it’s quite a bit different in how it feels, in how it dangles, with regards to soreness,” Moore said after being placed on the disabled list. “The discomfort is similar. The severity has jumped from what I was feeling. It’s frustrating.” But the tactics are secondary. The Stanley Cup finals are all about heart and energy and emotion. And Moore can’t wait to take part.
Hanzal will play on the fourth line, Hitchcock said. The Stars didn’t run lines this morning, so it’s not clear who he’ll play with, but it could be with Jason Dickinson and Brett Ritchie. Gemel Smith skated late and appears to be a healthy scratch for tonight. Remi Elie, who missed the last game due to illness, is out for tonight although he did skate this morning.
Travis Zajac skated in the 800TH game of his NHL career, all with New Jersey. He scored New Jersey’s second goal of the game He also had the primary assist, his first of 2017-18, on John Moore’s goal, ending a 22 game assist drought. Moore notched NJD’s first goal of the night scored his sixth of 2017-18.
“Our job now is to get back into the mindset of playing as hard as we need to be able to play,” coach John Hynes said. “Not dip our toe in the water tonight. I think sometimes you have a good feel where it is. Guys had a pretty good focus today, they were going today. I think they’re excited to play. Now it’s just about making sure we have the work ethic we need to win.”
Buffalo managed to score on two of those three shots, however, allowing them to keep the deficit to one goal as the period came to its end. Josefson scored on a breakaway to begin the period, and after John Moore and Marcus Johansson scored back-to-back Devils goals, Eichel was able to score on a deflection to make the score 3-2 going into the second intermission.