New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils: Lundqvist King In 3-1 Win

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New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils: Lundqvist King In 3-1 Win

When Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur square off, both the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils can bet on low-scoring affairs.

But the Devils couldn't expect it to be this low scoring.

Lundqvist stopped a season-high 43 shots as the Rangers defeated the Devils, 3-1, Wednesday at the Prudential Center.

New Jersey's woeful offense, last in the league in goals scored, continue to struggle tonight. The Devils have scored one goal in each of their last six games, all losses.

Despite their offensive ineptitude, the Devils found themselves on the right side of a 1-0 lead at 6:31 of the first period. After stopping a flurry of shots, Travis Zajac swept a rebound past Lundqvist for his fifth goal of the season.

It was the first time in five games the Devils scored the first goal of a game.

The lead would be short lived. Brian Boyle scored 47 seconds later to tie the game, 1-1. Ruslan Fedetenko carried the puck into the Devils' zone and found Boyle in the left circle. The Rangers' center snapped a shot that hit the bottom of Martin Brodeur's glove and into the net for his 14th goal of the season.

Brodeur wasn't sure how Boyle's shot got past him.

"It wasn't that hard, but it was a quick shot," Brodeur told Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record. "He got it close to his skate and he just let it go and he caught me moving because he released it so quick and it just hit the bottom of my glove."

Devils coach Jacques Lemaire blamed the defense for the goal.

"To me, it's just a bad play there," Lemaire said to Gulitti. "I think the defenseman was out and we didn't put pressure on the puck carrier. That's a thing that you just can't do. The guy is 20-25 feet in front of the net, you've got to put pressure on him. You can't let him shoot and hope that he's going to miss the net."

A fluke goal put the Rangers ahead for good in the second period.

Michal Rozsival's third goal of the season at 13:22 put the Rangers ahead, 2-1. Rozsival snapped a shot from the right circle that looked to be wide. But the puck hit Devils' defenseman Andy Greene and snuck past Brodeur.

"I saw the play developing and it's kind of one of those things where I try to get into the shot lane and it just went off my glove and right in," Greene told Gulitti. "I'm pretty sure it was going wide. That's the way it goes."

Brodeur had no explanation for the goal.

"Par for the course for us this year," Brodeur said to Gulitti. "Just another bad bounce to beat us or to change the momentum of a game anyway. It's been like that all year."

Lundqvist and the Rangers killed three straight penalties in the third period to preserve the one-goal lead. Lundqvist got some help from the crossbar, as Jason Arnott rang a shot off the pipe with 2:18 left in regulation.

"I had to rush it," Arnott told Gulitti. "It just went off the crossbar. That's the way things are going right now."

Brandon Dubinsky added an empty-net goal with six seconds left to ice the victory.

Once again, the Devils were left searching for positives after a loss.

"I think that we played more intense definitely, more intense than we've been doing," Lemaire said to Gulitti. "We had a little down in the second period for six minutes there that we stopped a little bit because we had long shifts. When you do have long shifts, what do you do? You pace yourself. But besides that I thought the guys responded well. They played hard."

"I think we just wanted to play well, be competitive for a game," Zajac said to Gulitti. "I think the last couple of games we've been blown out and I think today for the most part we controlled the game. We made plays. We did a lot of good things. I don't know if it was because we were playing the Rangers, but our energy level was a lot better today."

The performance against the Devils is nothing new for Lundqvist. The Rangers goalie is 21-7-0-5 with a 1.81 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage against his cross-river rivals.

The Devils loss was their sixth straight and 11th in their last 12 games.

Game Notes

Dainius Zubrus, who rarely fights, took on Brian Boyle in the second period...Since the start of the 2007-08 season, the Devils have lost 20 of 28 meetings against the Rangers. They're 0-3-0 this season...The Rangers won for their fifth time in seven games...Vladimir Zharkov made his season debut for the Devils, replacing waived left-winger Brian Rolston.

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Rangers 3, Devils 1

Newark, NJ (Sports Network) – Henrik Lundqvist allowed just one goal on 44 shots to backstop the New York Rangers to a 3-1 victory over the struggling New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

Brandon Dubinsky had a goal and an assist for the Rangers, who have won five of their last seven games. Brian Boyle and Michal Rozsival also lit the lamp for the victors.

Travis Zajac tallied the lone goal for the Devils, who have lost six straight and 11 of their last 12 games. Jacques Lemaire was handed his third straight loss after taking over as the New Jersey head coach for the third time last week.

Martin Brodeur stopped 23-of-25 shots in the loss.

The Rangers took the lead for good at the 13:22 mark of the second period thanks to a lucky bounce on a delayed penalty.

Dubinsky handled the puck from behind the net and slipped it to Rozsival for a one-timer at the right circle. The shot appeared to be sailing well wide, however, it carmoed off New Jersey defenseman Andy Greene’s thigh and fluttered into the net.

Meanwhile, Lundqvist was solid between the pipes in the middle frame, withstanding a 20-shot barrage unscathed.

During the final period, New York killed off three penalties, including a Chris Drury holding call with less than four minutes left to play.

Brodeur was pulled late for an extra attacker, but Dubinsky added an empty- netter with six seconds left to ice the game for the Blueshirts.

The Devils drew first blood just 6 1/2 minutes into the game as they ripped off several shots on the Rangers’ net. Finally, Zajac collected the loose puck in the high slot and wristed it into the net.

Only 47 seconds later, Boyle answered back for the Rangers with his 14th goal of the season. Brandon Prust charged down the right boards to start the play and centered the puck to Ruslan Fedotenko, who dropped it off to Boyle. He then wristed a shot from the left circle that bounced just under Brodeur’s glove.

New York has won three in a row over New Jersey this season and five of its last six over New Jersey since this past February…Rangers forward Erik Christensen left the game in the second period with a knee injury and did not return…The Rangers improved to 13-6-0 on the road this year and the Devils slipped to 5-11-2 at The Rock…New Jersey has been outscored 27-6 during its six game slide and failed to score more than two goals for the 28th time in 36 games this season.

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New York Rangers At New Jersey Devils: A Tale Of Two Teams



It's been a strange year in the NHL so far, and when the Rangers play the Devils tonight at the Prudential Center they will be playing the worst team in the NHL. 

For the New Jersey Devils they will be looking to try and turn their season around. They have a new head coach, Brian Rolston is on waivers and their 5-1 loss to the Islanders secured their last place bid. They can't seem to find any offense, have rekindled the old school defensive system of the 90's and they will be looking to knock off their division rivals tonight. 

The Rangers, on the other hand, will be looking to dispatch a lesser opponent, and walk out of New Jersey with two points. Marian Gaborik is expected to play (he had a goal and an assist against the Islanders on Monday) as did rookie Derek Stepan.

Mats Zuccarello also recorded his first NHL point with an assist on Stepan's goal. Zuccarello will play again tonight on the very effective Zuccarello-Stepan-Gabroik line. Both Zuccarello and Stepan are past-first, but Stepan has shown an ability to put the puck in the back of the net as well. So it works well. 

Henrik Lundqvist had a solid game, despite giving up a soft goal to tie the game at one against the Islanders. Expect him to play tonight, although you should still expect Martin Biron to get a start at some point in the future. 

So its been a tale of two teams this year. It should be a good game, they usually are. 

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