The first period was not their best as the Devils held the Blue Shirts to only 4 shots on goal. Ilya Kovalchuk scored early in the period giving the Devil the lead.
The second period was a much better performance for the Rangers as they had 14 shots on goal and Brandon Dubinsky scores his 17th goal of the season on the power play.
The third period was nerve racking. Michal Rozsival made a few mistakes handling the puck, and the Rangers continued to give the Devils top notch scoring chances and the Devils took advantage of it. 3:53 into the third Patrik Elias slaps one past Lundvist, a goal Hank should have had. Non the less the Devils take the lead again.
This game really belonged to the Rangers 4th line. Artem Anisimov, Jody Shelly and Brandon Prust who played more like a goal scorer then a tough guy and Sean Avery who rotated on that line with Shelly. This line played very aggressive and they were rewarded as Anisimov scored his 12th of the season and tying the game up again.
But the celebration did not last as just under 2 minutes later Jamie Langenbrunner slips one past Hank and again the Devils have the lead.
The Devils for the most part controlled the third period. They did not dominate it, but had far more better scoring chances then the Rangers. The physical play in the third was miminal and that was very surprising. considering this was a bitter rivalry game.
In what was the games goal of the night, Erik Christensen with 17 seconds left in the game, slides a pass between his legs and INBETWEEN THE Devils defensemans legs right to Chris Drury who slams it in past Marty. It was truly a beautiful move and play tying the game up yet again. Rangers get a point closer to the playoffs.
Over time was a scary one as the Devils had so many awesome scoring chances but Hank shut them down. Taking the game to the shoot out where non other then Erik Christensen Beats Marty on a sweet back hand shot giving the Rangers the win. A much needed 2 points.
Ollie Jokinen played only 8 minutes in this game. I must have missed something because I did not see what he did so bad that he only played 2 minutes in the third. I personally do not see what the big deal is about this guy. He plays a relaxed game, very rarely do you see him hustle. He does have a wicked slap shot and is very aware in the offensive zone on where all his line mates are at all times. I don’t know , maybe its just me, but I am not impressed with his play. I do like that fact that he is a player that is not afraid to check and at times plays an aggressive game. I can not put my finger on it but there is just something there I do not like. What do you think of Ollie?
Over all the Rangers played an ok game. It was not the hard hitting game one would expect against their number 1 rivals.
I have really given this some serious thought. The Rangers play a very good game when they play the top seeded teams, most games they have lost have been by one goal. Their inconsistency has been a problem all year as well as their defense which is probably the worst in the NHL.
If they play the Devils in the playoffs they have just as much of a chance to advance as the Devils do. It is a very good match up.
The Rangers have beaten the Capitals early in the season, but that was it. Although every game was a close one, Washington has to much fire power for the Rangers to handle with their defense being as bad as it is and the Rangers would not have a chance in hell to win a best out of seven against them.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have slapped the Rangers around all season. The Rangers have not been able to beat the Pens this season and if they face off in the playoffs nothing will change. The Stanley Cup Champs will crush any hopes the Blue shirts have.
If by chance the Rangers play the Sabres in Buffalo this would be a very good series. These 2 teams are both equally matched and the Rangers have a 50/50 chance of winning.
Ottawa has goalie issues and the last time these two team played each other, the Rangers slapped them around. Expect the same in the play offs.
As of right now these are the top four seeds in the conference and unfortunately the Rangers will face Washington if they make it. It will be a clean sweep, 4 games and out for the Rangers. This year belongs to the Caps who will win it all!