The Rangers out worked the Devils for the first two periods and then held on for dear life in the third to earn a 3-1 victory courtesy of the boys from Newark. The homegrown line of Artem Anisimov, Ryan Callahan, and Brandon Dubinsky were for the third night in a row the Rangers most effective trio. After being snake-bitten since game one, Callahan finally notched a must deserved first goal of the year on the power play thanks to a great feed from Dubinsky. Dubinsky would later put the game on ice with an empty netter. Henrik Lundqvist continued his succes against Marty Brodeur and was stellar in goal. After a relatively quiet first two periods, Hank stood tall against the Devils relentless push in the third period and bailed out his 'mates who were caught flat footed for much of the period. The Rangers continued the trend of team defense and aggressive play which has led to their season high three game winning streak. John Tortorella seems to finally have the full attention of his players and for the first time in years the Rangers are slowly beginning to establish an identity. It's a sign of good things to come.
More after the jump.
- The Rangers special teams were solid as the penalty kill thwarted all four Devils opportunities. The power play was also effective with the exception of the opportunities in the third period. It was nice to see the power play get some good consistent movement and eventually capitalize on Callahan's eventual game winner. Another good sign is that the concept of shooting the puck has finally gotten through the thick skull of Michal Rozsival who for the past three years has still been looking to the pass the puck to Jaromir Jagr.
- Speaking of Rozsival, he followed up last nights strong performance with another good game. Was strong in his own end and made a number of good outlet passes. He was beat by Danius Zubrus in front on Ilya Kovalchuk's tally but credit is due where credit is due as Zubrus made a great between the legs pass on the play. His D partner Marc Staal also had a great game and at one point displayed his best Henrik Lundqvist impersonation blocking consecutive shots in the slot.
- The Rangers hung onto the win by the skin of their teeth and the good graces of the King. They didn't finish the game and were lucky that Hank was able to bail them out with a number of big saves. A better team would have at the very best tied the game and sent it to overtime. One bad period can erase two good periods and I'm sure Tortorella will address that in practice.
- The boys from Newark are a mess. Had it not been for
fatso's Marty standing on his head the game would have been a laugher by the time the third period rolled around. Sure, Ilya Kovalchuk's goal was a moral victory in the third but their defense was severely exploited by the Rangers fore-check. The Devils D panicked when they were pressed and consistently coughed the puck up. Even worse were Patrick Elias and Jason Arnott who looked like ghosts of their former selves. Johnny Mac is absolutely on the hot seat. Over/Under 10 more games?
- Sean Avery was once again given the shaft by the men in stripes. He was mauled by two Devils after crashing the net yet he was given a phantom high sticking call. The NHL is only embarrassing themselves with this consistent double standard. Luckily for the Rangers, the Devils power play couldn't capitalize on the ensuing power play.
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