NHL Playoffs 2011: New York Rangers Beat New Jersey Devils, Now Wait on 'Canes

Mark RitterSenior Writer IApril 9, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Wojtek Wolski #86 of the New York Rangers scores at 1:52 of the second period against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on April 9, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Rangers are doing their part to keep their playoff hopes alive; they have defeated the New Jersey Devils by a score of 5-2 this afternoon.

New Jersey forward Nick Palmieri opened the scoring at 2:03 of the first period, putting the Rangers playoff hopes in jeopardy, if only briefly.

Rangers forward Chris Drury tied the game at one with a nice backhand goal at the 3:14 mark of the first before Ilya Kovalchuk put the Devils ahead 2-1 with just 42 seconds remaining.

Drury made an earlier than expected return. The Rangers fans have to be excited at his first goal of the season.

The Rangers fought back hard in the second, scoring three unanswered goals, starting with Wojtek Wolski scoring at the 1:52 mark, followed by rookie defenseman Ryan McDonagh snapping a shot past Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur at the 11:59 and finishing the second with a nice goal from Brandon Prust, who made it 4-2 for the Rangers after two periods.

Vinny Prospal put the final nail in the Devils’ coffin, registering his ninth of the season at ther 10:49 mark of the third period, which put the Rangers up 5-2.

The game ended with the Rangers crowd shouting “Let’s go Lightning”, which was in reference to tonight’s big match between the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Carolina Hurricanes are now two points behind the Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings but will have a chance to catch the Rangers if they should win in their matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:00PM tonight.

The Hurricanes will enter tonight’s match as one of the NHL’s hottest teams, going a sizzling 8-1-1 down the stretch.

The Lighting hold a 3-2 lead over the Canes through five games between them. The last time these two teams met Tampa beat the Hurricanes by a final score of 5-1.

Stay tuned for more updates and the ever changing NHL playoff picture.