A seven game winning streak has all of a sudden become a two game losing streak as the Rangers fell to the Devils tonight 3-2 at Madison Square Garden thanks to a couple of deflection goals for the Devils, and a strong performance by Martin Brodeur.
While the Rangers were finally able to overcome their middle period issues, playing by far their strongest second period of the season, it was that pesky first period that did them in tonight, as the Devils jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Zach Parise and Nicholas Bergfors.
The Rangers tied the game in the second when Ales Kotalik picked up his 4th goal of the season. The Blueshirts got on the board early in the period with a goal from Marian Gaborik. Gaborik's goal was his 7th of the season, with Prospal and Kotalik assisting. Kotalik's two point night gives him ten on the season.
Brodeur, who picked up his first regulation win at Madison Square Garden since 2006, was sharp all night, making 29 saves. Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves on 24 shots in the losing effort.
The Rangers did do a good job of staying out of the penalty box, only finding themselves shorthanded once in this game. The only other penalty was a fighting major to Sean Avery, who worked over Mike Mottau in the first period.
Two teams going in the opposite directions right now. The Rangers need to regroup for their game at Montreal Saturday night, and try and find a way to play sixty minutes of solid hockey.