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Rangers Vs. Devils, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 5: New Jersey Jumps Out To 3-1 Lead After 1st Period

Trouble started early for the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils. A disciplined Devils team continued to use an aggressive forecheck to post a 3-1 lead after the first period of play.

The Devils struck early, scoring twice within the first five minutes of the game. Left alone in the front of the net, Stephen Gionta backhanded a shot past Henrik Lundqvist for the first goal, which happened just under the three-minute mark. Patrick Elias scored next. Camped out in front of the net, Elias deflected a shot that Adam Henrique fired from the blue line.

New Jersey scored again six minutes later when Travis Zajac fired a bullet from the top of the right circle that went inside the left crossbar. Bryce Salvador picked up an assist on the goal, which could be a good sign for the Devils who have yet to lose a playoff game when Salvador records a point.

The Rangers got on the board with a late goal. Brandon Prust, back in the lineup on Wednesday night, picked up a loose puck and fired it past Brodeur.

For more on the Rangers vs. Devils NHL Playoff series, make sure to check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream. Meanwhile, the SB Nation blogs Blueshirt Banter and In Lou We Trust has all your commentary and discussion on the Eastern Conference Final.