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Rangers—Playoffs: 2.07 goals per game, ranked 11th.
Rangers—Season: 2.71 goals per game, ranked 11th.
Devils—Playoffs: 3.00 goals per game, ranked T3rd.
Devils—Season: 2.63 goals per game, ranked 15th.
Ilya Kovalchuk, Travis Zajac and Zach Parise are all crucial to the Devils offense, but it’s Kovalchuk who has put on a performance worthy of the Conn Smythe Trophy.
After notching 83 points in the regular season, Kovalchuk has added 12 points in 11 playoff games. He is playing over 24 minutes a game, is a huge part of the power play and was instrumental in the Devils’ series win over the Flyers.
David Clarkson led the Devils with 138 penalty minutes in the regular season. What you may not know is that he also led the team in with seven game-winning goals. Clarkson has two goals, eight points and is a plus-six so far in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Calder Trophy nominee Adam Henrique has seven points in the playoffs, including the series winner in overtime of Game 7 versus the Florida Panthers.
The Rangers have won low-scoring games all season by playing tough defense and having Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes. However, the Rangers do possess the talent on offense to score, and it’s likely their goals-per-game average will increase in this series.
Brad Richards has six goals, five assists for 11 points in the playoffs and is averaging over 23 minutes of ice time per game. Marian Gaborik has four goals and six assists for 10 points, including the triple-overtime goal in Game 3 versus the Capitals.
The Rangers defense has also contributed offensively. Michael Del Zotto and Dan Girardi have combined to score three goals and 15 points in the playoffs.
The Devils need to continue to score as they have throughout the playoffs, while the Rangers need to step up offensively and score more than two goals a game.