The Rangers looked like a dead team for the first twenty minutes of last nights game versus their cross-river rival the NJ Devils. The crowd at the Rock was into it and rocking as the Devils had a 1-0 lead going into the first intermission. Even more so was the fact the Rangers played their worst period of the year, being out shot 13-5. The Devils completely dominated the first period.
But how quickly things change, as the Rangers were able to draw multiple penalties early in the second period and light the lamp three times to put the crowd to sleep; at least those fans who were wearing red. The many Ranger fans in attendence enjoyed the play.
Michael Rozsival finally decided to shoot from the point on the powerplay and blasted one through. And then the Captain Chris Drury lasered one to the back of the net. The big goal might have been the one from Lauri Korpikoski as the rookie finally tallied a goal this year and may now get the confidence he needs. Two goals were added by Nikolai Zherdev .
The Rangers showed good puck movement on the power play and some toughness too, as Colton Orr and Brandon Dubinksky stood up for their teammates and showed them they would no longer be pushed around.
The Devils, without Martin Brodeur, had to use Kevin Weekes and he was no match for King Henrik Lundqvist and his dominance in the rivalry. He is 13-1-1 in his most recent games against the Devils, including a dominating playoff series.
This could be a turning point in the season as the Rangers may have squashed their downturn before it turned into a huge panic. They looked like the team there were the first three weeks of the season (and this was without Scott Gomez.) When Gomez returns things could really start to click.