That feeling a Devils fan gets when New Jersey beats the New York Rangers can’t be explained – but it sure does feel awesome! I hope we are all feeling that right now because for the 4th straight time (including playoffs), the Devils have proven that they are the better team in the Hudson River Rivalry.
This game had a terrific opening. Maybe I’m saying that because a Devils-Rangers game is always interesting and is always 10000x better than a Devils-Islanders game. But one can probably tell that the opening was pretty exciting. Great saves from Marty early when the Rangers were buzzing. But the Devils responded with some great chances of their own. Henrik Lundqvist was beaten on one of those Devils chances by guess who…Adam Henrique! I thought that the power play New Jersey got right after Henrique’s goal would easily help give the Devils a 2-0 lead. Instead we witnessed the PSEG Power Outage. When the Devils started taking penalties, I started getting worried because I thought they were losing their momentum but after a big kill on the Rangers’ 4 minute power play, the Devils got their momentum back. David Clarkson doubled the lead to 2-0 very late in the period however, props to Stephen Gionta for racing to that puck before a potential icing. That play helped set up Clarkson’s goal. The second period featured the Rangers getting a lot of shots on net, some of which had the potential to beat Marty. But his veteran goaltending kept the Rangers off the score sheet. The Devils did bounce back with a few chances of their own but that second period was pretty status quo, in my opinion. The third period needed to go the Devils’ way if they wanted to win this match because I had a slight feeling that the Rangers were on their way to causing some serious problems. But Clarkson cashed in again on the power play just 3 minutes into the third period. I felt that sealed the deal but Chris Kreider scored a few minutes later for the Rangers. From that point, most of the offense went New York’s way but Marty was terrific. Clarkson had 2 chances to get a hat trick while Lundqvist was on the bench but he couldn’t control the puck on one chance and got tripped up by Michael Del Zotto on the second chance. Regardless, New Jersey held on for a 3-1 win and now has 13 points on the season. Patrik Elias was a huge component in the win, having 3 assists and making clutch plays when needed. They trail the Penguins by 1 point (Pittsburgh beat the Islanders 4-2 earlier). This was a very important game for the Devils and they made every bit out of it. Bring on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday! Puck is set to drop in Newark at 7 P.M. Let’s go Devils!