Last night, desperately in search of a win against their closest rival, the New Jersey Devils finally woke up! They’ve only won about 30 percent of their last 20 games, so they really needed this win.
Rob Niedermayer got the offense rolling with the first goal for the Devils. Not even a minute later, Vaclav Prospal scored for the New York Rangers, and toward the end of period one Bryce Salvador of the Devils scored as well.
Period two came along with even more back and forth scoring between the bridge and tunnel teams. The goals came from Erik Christensen of the Rangers, Zach Parise of the Devils, and Brandon Prust of the Rangers. Both Rangers goals tied the game; the latter made the score 3-3. Talk about exciting!
New Jersey Captain Jamie Langenbrunner took the lead for the Devils, and shortly after the captain’s goal, Brian Rolston scored to make the lead 5-3.
Rolston’s goal was the final one allowed by Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Though he was pulled from the game for the third time this season, this was Lundqvist’s first benching in 29 career games against the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils brought it home during the third period, with a final goal from Travis Zajac to end the game at 6-3. There is no doubt that the rivalry heated up on the ice last night and provided positive results for the New Jersey Devils. But where was that spark from the Rangers in the final period?
With the exception of last night’s game, this is not the type of performance that Devils' management and fans are looking for to lead the team to the playoffs and a hopeful Stanley Cup victory after 10 years of no championship. But are the Devils finally coming around after a minor slump to start 2010?
Though we didn’t see much last night from Ilya Kovalchuk, will we be seeing more in the future from this talented left wing? Will Langenbrunner and Parise continue to lead this team to a victorious season? Devils nation sure hopes so.