Tuesday December 20th, 2011 – Final Score: Rangers 4 – Devils 1
Well, I am one to gloat so here goes. Those of you who read my preview were gifted the foresight of my “first team to 4 wins it” prediction. Well the first team to 4 did win, and happily tonight it was the good guys.
New York was again powered by Marian Gaborik, who tallied two goals and an assist tonight to be the only player to challenge Henrik Lundqvist for player of the game honors. Lundqvist was brilliant tonight, again out-dueling Marty Brodeur and lowering his career 1.85 GAA against the Devils. His career record against Brodeur now stands at 21-5-5. Domination.
Artem Anisimov spared us the rifle reload after his goal to tie the score at 1-1 in the 2nd period on a nice feed by Derek Stepan. Early in the 3rd, Gaborik netted the eventual game winner on a scramble in front of the net, but the prettiest goal of the night was rookie Carl Hagelins’ short handed goal late in the 3rd that crushed any Devil momentum. Hagelin used his speed to break in on a 2 on 1 with Brian Boyle, wisely looking him off, before ripping a shot past Brodeur. It was nice to see the rookie show some confidence and not force a pass, the kids got some game.
New Jersey opened the scoring in the first on a Travis Zajac goal, but that was all Lundqvist would give the Devils in this one. The penalty filled 1st period that saw Mike Rupp and Cam Janssen drop the gloves, followed by Brandon Dubinsky and David Clarkson (no big shots landed in either bout) gave way to a faster, friendlier game that saw only matching minors in the 2nd period and a lone call on Ryan McDonagh in the 3rd. New York was able to get some good minutes out of defensive call ups Stu Bickel and Tim Erixon who replaced the injured Steve Eminger and Jeff Woywitka.
Video Highlights via NHL.com
The Rangers’ return home to MSG for Thursday’s game against the New York Islanders, the second game in a stretch of 4 against Atlantic division foes that should feature some physical and entertaining hockey. Let’s go Rangers!
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