NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 31: Ryan Callahan #24 of the New York Rangers hits Jacob Josefson #16 of the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 31, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The New York Rangers didn't have the greatest starts to this game, as the Devils were all over the Rangers in the first minute of the game. Just 49 seconds into the game, Ilya Kovalchuk found a hole and broke in all alone on Henrik Lundqvist. On the first shot of the game, the Devils took a very early 1-0 lead on a horrid defensive breakdown.
Just two minutes after the goal, Brandon Dubinsky dropped the gloves with Ryan Carter. It probably wasn't one of Dubinsky's better decisions as he got absolutely killed in the fight. Dubinsky skated right to the Rangers dressing room following the fight, and failed to return for the rest of the first period.
Follow after the jump for more.
After a lackluster first period from the Rangers, they came out with some legs in the second period. Just about seven minutes into the second, Derek Stepan put the Rangers on the board with a great slap shot to the top corner. Carl Hagelin was relentless in the corner, was able to dig out the puck, and throw it out from to Stepan, who was wide open.
From there on, the Rangers were all over the Devils until about the halfway mark of the period. The Devils were able to put on some great pressure, but Henrik Lundqvist and the defense were able to hold them off. With just under five minutes remaining, Marian Gaborik was called for slashing. However, after showing the replay, Gaborik never actually didn't slash the stick, but instead got all ice.
The Rangers got some help killing off the penalty as Henrik Lundqvist robbed Ilya Kovalchuk as he snagged he wrist shot with his glove. Ryan McDonagh was able to prevent Zach Parise from getting the rebound, and cleared the puck. The Rangers were able to fight off the late pressure by the Devils, and come out of the second period with a tie game.
The Rangers had a terrible start to the third period as they gave up two early goals to the Devils. David Clarkson gave the Devils a 2-1 lead as a long shot from Petr Sykora hit Clarkson's leg and handcuffed Henrik Lunqvist. Just about two minutes later, Jacob Josefson connected with Ryan Carter who flipped it over Lunqvist to give the Devils a 3-1 lead.
Dan Girardi made a terrible play and passed the puck over to the left side of the rink, right to Ilya Kovalchuk. Kovalchuk flipped it to Josefson to spring them on a 2-on-1. Everything was falling apart for the Rangers as Brandon Prust was called for roughing just a couple minutes after the Carter goal. It send the Devils to yet another power play, but the Rangers were able to kill it off.
The Rangers were given a huge opportunity in the third period as Marek Zidlicky tripped up Brandon Prust, and sent the Rangers to a power play. Derek Stepan had a golden opportunity as Brad Richards passed the puck into the crease. Stepan wasn't able to get a full stick on the puck, and it clanked off of the post.
The Devils were able to kill off the penalty to keep the Rangers off the board again. Stu Bickel would make a terrible decision and turned the puck over the David Clarkson. Henrik Lunqvist was three breathtaking saves to keep the puck out of the net. After the first shot, he came sliding over with his stick to deny Clarkson on the wrap around attempt, then threw up the glove to keep the puck out once again.
The Rangers were unable to generate any offense for the rest of the game, and would drop the game 4-1 to the Devils. The Devils finished it off with a empty net goal coming from Patrick Elias to seal the deal. The Rangers will be in Ottawa this Thursday night to take on the Ottawa Senators.