The New York Rangers used three third-period goals Monday to take Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against tri-state rival the New Jersey Devils, 3-0. Late Monday night, the SB Nation blog Blueshirt Banter wrote about the victory, and admitted the top-seeded Rangers were fortunate to escape the second period:
The Rangers struggled to get out of the second period, but were very, very lucky to escape the period without allowing a goal. Up until this point, Dan Girardi definitely didn't play his best hockey tonight, but made up for it just a minute into the third period.
The Devils blog In Lou We Trust had the same feelings about the second period:
What makes the result so frustrating was that the Devils did do well in the second period. They played about the same with the Rangers in the first period; out-shot by two but even in attempts. The Devils were able to get their forecheck going and take advantage of some tired-looking Ranger defenders. Yet, Lundqvist seemed to be everywhere and got a piece of everything that came his way.
In the end, Girardi's goal early in the the third period was enough to pull out the victory, as New York added two more goals, one being an empty netter. Game 2 will be played Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
For more commentary and discussion of the Rangers vs. Devils series, check out the SB Nation blogs Blueshirt Banter and In Lou We Trust. For more news and updates, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.