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2/6 -- Devils Game Recap

By: Brian Deakyne

Final Score: New York Rangers (26-26-7) 3, New Jersey Devils (36-19-2) 1

1st Period Analysis: With Patrik Elias making his return from a concussion that sidelined him nearly a month, it was he, Ilya Kovalchuk, and the New Jersey Devils who were in command early at Madison Square Garden. Kovalchuk drew an early penalty for New Jersey which was followed by an unsuccessful power play. It would work both ways however, as the Rangers would fail on a power play shortly after. In the second half of the period, the teams would alternate scoring chances and both teams would fail on power plays before the period would end with no score. Surprisingly, Kovalchuk did not come off the ice during either power play for New Jersey, but the Devils seemed out-of-rhythm. Martin Brodeur would stop all seven shots while Henrik Lundqvist turned away all ten Devils' shots.

2nd Period Analysis: It was evident early that the tightly called first period would carry over in the second. Not even two minutes in, the Devils were on the power play again, and soon, it would turn into a 5 on 3 advantage for New Jersey. Still, the Devils wouldn't be able to cash in and the New York Rangers, led by Ryan Callahan would soon be sparked. Shortly after the Devils' failed power plays, Marian Gaborik would tip-in his 35th goal of the season on the Rangers power play at 7:20--but New York wasn't finished. They would score twice more within two and a half minutes, first by Callahan, his 15th at 8:16; then Chris Drury at 9:59, his ninth of the season, putting the Rangers entirely in command. The play would open up for the remainder of the second period, although neither team would register a serious scoring chance, and the Rangers would end the period, leading 3-0.

3rd Period Analysis: The best way to describe the third period it The Garden: uneventful. With the score 3-0 heading in, the teams played conservative hockey, and New Jersey did their best to come back, and drew within two when Dainus Zubrus scored his fifth goal of the season at 11:11 of the period. Still, despite the Devils fight, with Brodeur pulled late in the game combined with a late Rangers penalty, the Devils had a 6 on 4 advantage--but would be unable to score as the Rangers would go on to win 3-1.

The Final Tally: In the end, this was the game a struggling Rangers team needed. Winning against a quality playoff-bound team--and at home--was key for the Rangers as they put the Devils away 3-1. New York would do a good job neutralizing Kovalchuk--the only noise he would make all night would be his scrap with the obviously-hated Ranger Sean Avery. Lundqvist looked very strong, stopping 41 of the 42 Devils' shots.

1 comment:

  1. Seems to me that the Rangers outplayed the devils from start to finish with Gaborik outplaying the new Devil Sniper Kovalchuk...