It was far from a perfect effort, but it got the New Jersey Devils even. Again.
Two nights after being blanked at Madison Square Garden, the Devils rebounded from a 2-1 deficit in Game 2 with two goals, both on deflections, to win by a 3-2 count and tie the Eastern Conference final at one win apiece. Game 3 will be played on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark.
It's the third series in a row in which the Devils have rebounded from an opening one-game deficit, and also the third time they've done it on the road.
New Jersey took a first-period lead on Wednesday on a power-play tally by Ilya Kovalchuk for their first goal of the series. But they fell behind in the second stanza on a power-play goal by Rangers defenseman Marc Staal and the go-ahead goal by newfound nemesis Chris Kreider.
Ryan Carter got the Devils even with just under two minutes left before the second intermission, when he redirected home a slapper by Bryce Salvador. David Clarkson then put the visitors ahead for good 2:31 into the third session when he got his stick on another shot from the point—this one a wrister from the right side by Adam Henrique—and tipped it past Henrik Lundqvist (24 saves) for what turned out to be the game-winner.
''We had to keep going to the net, and I think we were doing some good things,'' said Clarkson to the Associated Press afterwards. ''We've been playing some good hockey, and we've got to continue to do it. That is a big win for us.''
Martin Brodeur made 23 saves for the Devils in recording his 108th career NHL playoff win, while Salvador had two assists and four shots, and also blocked two Rangers shots. Steve Bernier and Zach Parise also picked up assists on the evening, while the New Jersey power play went 1-for-3 and the penalty kill finished 3-for-4.
Now it's on to Newark for Game 3 for the first-ever conference final contest at the Rock.