Rangers drop season finale, look ahead to Playoff opener against New Jersey Devils

artemi panarin, new york rangers
Apr 13, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) talks to center Mika Zibanejad (93) during the third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs at MSG on Thursday night and now will turn their focus to a first-round series against the New Jersey Devils.

A loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night had no barring on where the New York Rangers would finish in the standings. The third-place Blueshirts had an eye on the scoreboard, watching both the New Jersey Devils and the Carolina Hurricanes, knowing they would be facing one of those teams on the road when the postseason begins.

Despite taking a 1-0 lead into the third period on a second-period goal by Kappo Kakko (his 18th of the year), the Rangers gave up three third-period goals. Artemi Panarin scored his 29th goal of the season a little over three minutes after the Maple Leafs had tied the game at one.

Toronto’s Noel Acciari netted the game-winner scoring a goal on his own rebound unassisted at 12:21 of the last stanza.

Filip Chytil appeared to have tied the game with 1.2 seconds remaining on the clock, but it was ruled to have been kicked in by the NHL, and the Rangers were handed their 22nd loss of the season.

Milestones

-The Blueshirts finished the regular season with a 47-22-13 record
for 107 points.

-Seven Rangers (Adam Fox, Barclay Goodrow, Kappo Kakko, Artemi Panarin, Vincent Trocheck, Jacob Trouba, and Mika Zibanejad) finish the season having played in all 82 games. It marks the third time since 1958-59 and the second since 2011-12 that the Blueshirts have had seven or more players play in every
regular season game.

-Panarin led the team in scoring with 92 points following his third-period goal.

-Zibanejad notched an assist to finish his campaign with a career-high 91 points. He had eight assists in his last five games and points in six-straight games (1G-8A).

First Round of Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Rangers now know who they will play in the first round Best of Seven series. The first two games will be at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, and will be played on Tuesday and Thursday.

The Rangers have an 18-16-0-0 record versus the Devils in the playoffs all-time. It has been 11 years since the two teams face each other in the postseason. The 2012 Eastern Conference Finals saw the Devils eliminate the Rangers four games to two.