A game like the one played last night in the Garden is one that builds confidence. While it is frustrating to see the opposition climb out of the hole twice, the fact the Devils were able to prevail in regulation does nothing but build confidence for the team.
The Rangers look to be a very good team, I have to admit that. They skate fast, open up the ice and seem to get a lot of chances. They outshot NJ 35-28 and held a possession advantage all game. An injury early on to Anton Volchenkov didn’t help the Devils deal with the Rangers speed since they had to play with 5 D-men most of the night. Once the Rangers knotted the game at 2, it seemed like it would be a matter of time before they either put one in the net or took care of NJ in a shootout but thanks to a lucky bounce, the puck ended up on Zubrus’s stick and then in the back of the net.
The performance we got out of the Devils last night was a team performance and the win came because multiple guys stepped up when the Devils needed it most. Brodeur knew going into this game that he would need to be on his A game and he was. He did let in 2 goals but he came away with some great stops as well. Kreider in the 2nd period and Callahan from Richards on a 4 on 4 are two that stand out in my mind but there were plenty more.
I thought Jagr played an excellent game as well. He had a decent chance on a breakaway after coming out of the box but beyond that, I thought he saw the ice well, saw his teammates well and was able to get them the puck. He did help get the Zubrus goal going with a nice little hesitation and pass up to the streaking Zajac.
Ryan Carter also played well but he did score two goals so that kind of goes without saying. They weren’t great goals but they did the trick. He had a tremendous shot on Lundqvist in the 3rd that had Hat-Trick written all over but Lundqvist stopped it and seemed to pay a price for stopping it. Carter made a smart move towards the end of the game not to go for the empty-net hat-trick but rather to try and safely play the puck. Unfortunately it ended up in the bench.
Andy Greene had one heck of a night. It seemed like whenever a Devils defenseman was doing something spectacular, it was Andy Greene. He made a great move on Carter’s first goal to keep the puck in the zone and then made another great move with the puck to setup Carter. He was everywhere last night.
It was a great battle all night and a great team win. The Rangers threw everything they had at them and that was a lot. They responded quickly to the Devils first goal, made Brodeur work for the win and made the Devils penalty-kill unit work. It’s a win to feel good about this morning because the Devils were able withstand a team that kept coming at them. Plus, it was a win in Rangerstown!!