Rangers Vs. Devils: Explosive Third Period Pushes Rangers Past Devils

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 20: Marian Gaborik #10 of the New York Rangers scores at 4:45 of the third period against Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 20, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. The Rangers defeated the Devils 4-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers took a very well earned 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils tonight and won their second straight game. Marian Gaborik had another two goal game and helped the Rangers take a very crucial divisional game over the Devils.

This game started off with a bang, as Mike Rupp and Cam Janssen dropped the gloves right off the puck drop. It was a pretty length fight with Rupp getting in some early jabs. Just a few minutes later, Brandon Dubinsky and David Clarkson dropped the mitts in the second scrap of the evening. It was another dancing match, but we finally got to see some real hockey following all of the scraps.

The Devils opened the scoring with a rebound goal coming from Travis Zajac. Henrik Lundqvist made a great initial save on the shot coming from Danius Zubrus, but was unable to locate the rebound to the side of him. The Rangers needed to rebound in the second period and they did just that.

Follow after the jump for more.

Late in the second period, Artem Anisimov tied the game up off of a great feed coming from Derek Stepan. Stepan's passing abilities were on display on this play once again, and got the puck over to Anisimov for the goal. The Rangers carried over the momentum into the third period, where Marian Gaborik notched the go-ahead goal for the Rangers.

Artem Anisimov made a great move to slip away from the Devils defenseman, and got the shot on net that fooled Martin Brodeur. The puck seemed to of hit the crossbar, and drop behind Brodeur where Gaborik was there waiting on the doorstep.

Just about halfway through the third period, Ryan McDonagh made a very undisciplined mistake, and threw the puck out of the zone. As a result, McDonagh was whistled down for closing his hand on the puck, which sent the Devils to the power play.

The Devils allowed nine shorthanded goals against this season, until Carl Hagelin made it ten. Ilya Kovalchuk mishandled the puck at the blue line, and Hagelin used his speed to break in on a 2-on-1. Hagelin snapped a quick shot under the glove of Brodeur, and gave the Rangers a very secure 3-1 lead late in the game. Marian Gaborik capped off the game with an empty net on a breakaway to put the nail in the coffin.

It's also worth mentioning that Marian Gaborik surpassed his 600th NHL point tonight, scoring two goals, and assisting on another. Also, this ties Gaborik for second in scoring, putting him behind league leading Steven Stamkos who has 20 goals.

Stu Bickel also recorded his first NHL point tonight, assisting on the shorthanded goal by Carl Hagelin. Henrik Lundqvist turned away 30 shots of 31 shots, and made some very key saves tonight for the Rangers. Even with four of the Rangers defensemen out, they are still finding ways to win, this team is great. Here are tonight's three stars of the game, along with the recipient of the Broadway Hat.

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