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Devils Downed 4-1: Lundqvist Shines as New Jersey Can't Find the Net

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 20: Matt Taormina #32 of the New Jersey Devils checks Marian Gaborik #10 of the New York Rangers at the Prudential Center on December 20, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  The Rangers defeated the Devils 4-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Nicholas SteblenkoContributor IIIDecember 20, 2011

Make no mistake, the final score is in no way indicative of how this game went.

Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves on 31 shots as he denied the New Jersey Devils' attempt at a fifth straight victory Tuesday night. Tonight was all about the goaltending, and King Henrik stoned the Devils from every angle.

The game was a typical meeting between the two rivals as there were fights within the first minute of the game.

From there, the tone was set and the two teams went at it, leaving nothing behind in a physical contest that saw the Rangers come out on top.

Marion Gaborik scored twice including an empty-netter at the end to put New York ahead for good.

New Jersey's Travis Zajac got the opening goal of the game, his first of the season and a welcome sight for the returning Devils center.

However, New Jersey's constant forecheck and pressure on the Rangers defense yielded no further results.

New York caught a couple bounces that led to goals by Artem Anisimov and Gaborik that put the Rangers ahead 2-1 in the third period.

Martin Brodeur started in net and left much to be desired as he gave up some soft plays around the crease. On the goal by Gaborik, the puck was shown to go under Brodeur's arm, an unlucky bounce for any goaltender, and trickle to a waiting Gaborik for the goal.

New Jersey should not be discouraged by the outcome of the game tonight as they continue later in the week against the Washington Capitals. Their aggressive forecheck and increase in shots has been the reason for their success over the past couple weeks.

A couple of bad bounces can change the pace of any game, and this one is an excellent example.

It's also an excellent example of what a great goaltender can do for a team in need.

New Jersey will look to bounce back and continue their hot streak against the Capitals this Friday night. Patrik Elias was out with an illness against the Rangers and would be a welcome addition back to the offense as he is the team's leading scorer.

Unfortunately, however, the Devils will have to do without their rookie defenseman, Adam Larsson, as he will be flying home to Sweden to attend his grandmother's funeral.

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