Goalie Henrik Lundqvist and first line forward Sean Avery led the New York Rangers to a 3-0 win over Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils. It was the Rangers' 40th win this season and the fourth year in a row they have reached that mark.
The Rangers scored three goals in the second period.
Lundqvist is now 18-6-4 against Brodeur and the Rangers—with Avery in their lineup—have a 12-2-3 record in their last 17 games against the Devils.
Playing in his 13th game for the Rangers since re-joining the NHL this season, Avery got an assist, screened Brodeur, and avoided retaliation to chirping.
Avery defeated the devil on his shoulder and the Rangers defeated the Devils at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers starting line was Sean Avery, Scott Gomez, and Ryan Callahan. On their first shift, Avery took a hit and gave a hit. It was Avery's 13th game with the Rangers since rejoining the NHL.
Avery had a good scoring chance on the first power play of the game and then parked himself in front of the Devils' goaltender, Martin Brodeur, reminding everyone of the first round of the playoffs last season.
In Game 3 of that series, Avery waved his arms and stick in front of Brodeur's face as a screen and the NHL responded with Rule 75 for unsportsmanlike conduct, which has become known as the Avery Rule.
The last time Sean Avery and Martin Brodeur met on the ice, the Devils' goaltender refused to shake hands with the Rangers' agitator.
The first period ended without a goal but the Rangers outshot the Devils 20 to 10 and the Avery, Gomez, Callahan line had half the shots by the Rangers. Twenty shots in one period matched the Rangers season high.
The Rangers finally scored on their 25th shot at the five minute mark in the second period. Brandon Dubinsky scored and was assisted by Dan Girardi and Fredri Sjostrom.
Dan Girardi got the next one while the teams were playing four-on-four. Assists went to Nik Antropov and Chris Drury but the play was started by Marc Staal...Brodeur complained about the traffic on top of him in front of the New Jersey net.
With five minutes left in the period, Avery picked up puck in neutral zone, fired a pass to Gomez, took off for the net, Gomez hit Callahan with a pass and he got off a good shot to beat Brodeur with Avery screening, making it 3-0.
The Rangers fans chanted the Devils' goalie's name several times in the game.
There was a bit of a brawl half way through the third period. Avery got two minutes for roughing and David Clarkson got four minutes for roughing plus a 10-minute misconduct.
The Rangers went on the powerplay and that is what is known as The Avery Effect. Avery was tackled by Michael Rupp with seventeen seconds left in the game.
The Rangers were coming off a 4-3 defeat in Pittsburgh and a 5-4 shootout loss in Atlanta. They still sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference but now have 89 points, three ahead of eighth-place Montreal and five up on ninth-place Florida.
The Devils (47-25-4, 98 points) fell out of second place in the Eastern Conference standings during their five game losing streak. The Rangers (40-28-9, 89 points) are still in seventh place, just one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Under John Tortorella, the Rangers are a solid 9-5-2 and 8-4-1 with Avery, Antropov, and Morris added to the lineup.
The Rangers replaced Michael Sauer with Corey Potter, from the Hartford Wolf Pack, as Michal Rozsival is injured. Potter played twelve minutes without getting into trouble.
Next up: The Rangers face the Carolina Hurricane, who beat the Devils in their last game. After that, they play Boston, Montreal and Philadelphia, twice.
All those teams have winning records and are playoff bound.
The Devils play the streaking Pittsburgh Penguins, next, and then Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Toronto, Ottawa, and Carolina.