The New Jersey Devils came away with a 3-1 win tonight which was backstopped by the stellar play of Martin Brodeur. Puck luck wasn't on the Rangers side, as they weren't able to get bounces at all.
The New York Rangers new lineup additions were spoiled by a 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils. Martin Brodeur played out his mind for the Devils, and robbed the Rangers on numerous scoring chances that would have likely resulted in goals.
Just five minutes into the first period, Adam Henrique was able to get the Devils on the board first with an off angle shot that found it's way over the left shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist. It was poor coverage in the defensive zone, as Henrique was left to pitch a tent with all of the room he had to the left of the hash marks. Speaking of which, the Rangers played very poorly tonight in their own end, and the absence of Dan Girardi was clearly felt in all ends of the rink. There was no urgency in front of Henrik Lundqvist, and the Devils were basically running all over the Rangers in their own end, all night long.
Nearing the end of the first period, David Clarkson would soon extend the Devils lead to 2-0 after Rick Nash lost the puck in his skates. Clarkson picked up the pick and slid it home. Not a goal you can really blame Lundqvist for either. The Rangers had eight minutes of power play time, and four of those coming on a double minor high sticking call. Expect for a few chances the Rangers had, the power play was once again a major problem for the Rangers tonight. They still have trouble gaining the zone, and they're don't double up the puck when someone gets jammed up along the boards. The two other forwards just kind of stand around and wait for the puck to come loose.
Anyway, the second period didn't generate much offense for either team, and the Rangers went into the third period down by a pair of goals. Like usual, following two terrible periods, the Rangers come out to play in the third period. J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider received a ton of ice time in the final frame as they were easily the two best forwards for the Rangers tonight. Speaking of J.T. Miller, that kid really impressed me quite a bit tonight. For a 19-year-old kid playing in his first NHL game, he looked really calm with the puck, and made the right plays all night long. If he keeps that up, there's no reason why he shouldn't remain up with the big club. I really liked the way he played tonight.
Chis Kreider also had a solid game tonight since returning from a bone chip in his ankle. He looked like 2012 Stanley Cup Playoff Chris Kreider. He looked like he got some of his wheels back with his ankle feeling better, and came away with the Rangers only goal of the game.The Devils would add another goal coming from David Clarkson once again, on the power play, to make it 3-0 Devils. Chris Kreider responded just four minutes later on absolutely ridiculous snap shot that flew over the blocker shoulder of Martin Brodeur. The puck went in and out so quick, no one knew what happened initially.
Overall, the Rangers didn't play a terrible game tonight. Brodeur was on a completely different level tonight, and robbed the Rangers on numerous attempts in front of his crease. The Rangers also didn't have much puck luck tonight, as the bounces didn't seem to go their way tonight as they did for the Devils. Not saying the Devils came away with a luck win, but the bounces really didn't help the Rangers case.
I thought Michael Del Zotto was absolutely terrible tonight. As some fans put it on Twitter, he basically looked drunk out there. He was forgetting the puck, making stupid passes, and just played terrible. Not a great showing from him tonight.
The Rangers will have an off day on Wednesday before they head back into Madison Square Garden for a tilt with the New York Islanders. Hopefully things go better for the Rangers against the Isles, because that came gave me a headache.