Rangers Vs. Devils: Rangers Slip Ahead Of Devils In Hard Fought Game

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 27: (L-R) Dan Girardi #5, Ryan Callahan #24, Brad Richards #19 and Carl Hagelin #62 of the New York Rangers celebrate Callahan's empty net goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on February 27, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers came away with their second straight victory, with a 2-0 shutout over the New Jersey Devils. The score pretty tells how this game played out tonight. Between both teams, there was only a combined total of 28 shots, talk about a defensive game.

The fans started getting on Marty Brodeur very early as he misplayed a few pucks, that almost led to a couple Ranger goals. However, about halfway through the first period, Carl Hagelin was whistled down inference, which was a well deserved penalty. Had Hagelin not taken that penalty it would have allowed one of the Devils' to break in on Lundqvist.

After coming out of the box, Hagelin was very active and was using his speed a lot. It finally paid off as Hagelin banged home a rebound near the side of the net to make it 1-0. Ryan Callahan did some great work behind the net, which led to the puck eventually coming out in front of the net.

Follow after the jump for more.

Following the Hagelin goal, Eric Boulton got into a shoving match with Marian Gaborik on the face-off. John Tortorella and Mike Rupp didn't stand for that whatsoever. Mike Rupp wound up jumping over the boards to switch with Gaborik, but the officials wouldn't allow the late change.

So as soon as the puck dropped, Rupp was right back out there looking for Boulton. Unfortunately, as soon as Rupp took to the ice, Boulton headed straight for the Devils bench. How's that for being a tough guy?

The first period was only a prerequisite to what was coming in the second period. Just four minutes into the second, David Clarkson and Brandon Dubinsky were sharing some words in the corner, that escalated pretty quickly. It then ended up with Clarkson mouthing off to the referee, which earned him a 10-minute misconduct.

Finally, with just under five minutes remaining in the second period, Eric Boulton finally dropped the gloves, but not with Mike Rupp. His opponent would be Brandon Prust, who gave Boulton a run for his money, and both players landed some good punches. Prust appeared hurt after being separated from Boulton, but the Rangers stated that he is fine in the post-game.

After having words earlier in the period with Brandon Dubinsky, Mike Rupp was lined up next to Clarkson on the ensuing face-off. Mike Rupp was definitely getting under the skin of Clarkson, who slashed Rupp twice in the stick, and both would sit for two minutes.

If you thought Clarkson was done there, you're kidding yourself. After coming of out the box, he took an absolute run at Brandon Dubinsky, and even left his feet in the process. Dubinsky said enough was enough and dropped the gloves. Dubinsky certainly electrified the crowd with that fight, and also stopped Clarkson from running around. But, as the players were being escorted off of the ice, Clarkson began to have words with Henrik Lundqvist as well. When will this guy ever stop?

The third period didn't contain much action, other then the absolute robbery by Henrik Lundqvist on Ilya Kovalchuk. Ryan Callahan sealed the deal with an empty netter to put the Rangers up 2-0. It's worth noting that Ryan McDonagh played a solid, solid game tonight. He and Girardi shutdown Kovalchuk basically the entire night. Henrik Lundqvist came away with his league leading shutout, as well as his 30th win of the season. Lundqvist has now put up 30-plus wins in all seven seasons he has been with the Rangers.

The Rangers will be back in action on Thursday night to take on the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh.

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