Lundqvist Holds Devils Scoreless, Rangers Win 3-0
Entering the game with six games left in their season and holding a tenuous position as the 7 th seed in the Eastern Conference, the Rangers desperately needed a strong performance and a win on Monday night. That's exactly what they got, particularly from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who turned away all 38 New Jersey shots he faced.
The Rangers won 3-0, evening up the season series against the hated Devils in the process. They had won the first two contests and then saw New Jersey win three straight before this crucial meeting.
The Devils, who have their playoff spot locked up have been slumping as of late, despite Martin Brodeur being back in the lineup. But they lost Monday night not from a lack of effort, as they had many solid scoring opportunities.
All three of the game's goals came in the second period. Brandon Dubinsky floated a rebound over a sprawling Brodeur four and a half minutes into the stanza, his 11 th of the year. The Rangers took a lead they would not relinquish and the fans in Madison Square Garden erupted. Derisive chants of "Marty, Marty, Marty" would carry on for the remainder of the evening.
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About three minutes after Dubinsky's goal, Brodeur poked away a seemingly harmless rebound. However, the Rangers scooped it back up and Nik Antropov got the puck to defenseman Dan Girardi in front of the net. He sent home a well placed wrist shot through traffic and over the stick-side shoulder of Brodeur. It was his 4 th of the year, and the Rangers second of the night.
With five minutes left in the period the Rangers rushed through the neutral zone towards Brodeur. Two crisp cross ice passes buzzed between Devils defenders, first from Sean Avery to Scott Gomez and then from Gomez to a streaking Ryan Callahan who launched a shot for the third and final goal of the game. It was Callahan's 21 st of the year.
Although all of the scoring was over before the third period started, all of the action most certainly was not. With time ticking down in the game, Avery a hated face around New Jersey after his playoff antics last season, distracting Brodeur with an absurd dance, got into a scrum with David Clarkson.
Avery however held onto his stick the entire time, signaling he didn't want to fight and get called for a penalty. Despite this, Clarkson violently slammed him to the ice twice in succession. Avery still got called for a penalty, while Clarkson received a double minor and a 10 minute game misconduct.
The Rangers, now with five games left have a difficult road ahead of them, with games against the Bruins, Hurricanes and Canadiens followed by a home and home to close out the season against the Flyers.
By: Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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