|NEW YORK - OCTOBER 24: Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers protects the net in the second period against the New Jersey Devils on October 24, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)|
Coming into the game everyone expected a goaltending battle because that is the history of this matchup over the past few seasons, and true to form both goalies played very well, with Henrik Lundqvist once again getting the best of Martin Brodeur. Henrik ended up with 27 saves on the night as the Rangers won their 3rd straight, but for the most part Henrik was untested until the 3rd where he made 11 saves on 12 shots. The biggest save of the night had to be on Jacob Josefson with 1:59 remaining, as he stoned him twice after a bad turnover by Michal Rozsival in the neutral zone.
The first period saw spirited play where the Rangers forecheck and cycle created chances, but they could not cash in because of some great saves by Brodeur and then some lack of finishing specifically Ryan Callahan all alone right in front while shorthanded. On the other side the defense was solid including a pair of two on one’s defensed by the blueshirts. The first was by Michael Del Zotto after Dan Girardi got caught pinching in and instead of shooting Kovalchuk tried to saucer a pass but MDZ broke up the play. Later in the period it was Staal on defense as the Devils again couldn’t pull the trigger on the shot; Staal initially blocked the pass and then the ensuing shot.
Rangers played an excellent second period in which their play was rewarded with a couple of goals. Michal Rozsival opened the scoring with a point shot that deflected off Andy Greene’s jersey and in high stick over Brodeur. Dubinsky with a beautiful play to shoot it directly at the stick of Ryan Callahan for the PPG at 12:25 of the 2nd period, Callahan’s first of the year.
The third period was clearly the weakest of the nine periods they have played the last 3 games. It was a combination of the Devils raising their game and the Rangers being much more lax in the overall output. The only goal that came for the Devils was on a beautiful pass from Dainius Zubrus with 5:52 left leaving Kovalchuk with a tap in. After a nervous build up to the finish Brandon Dubinsky got the empty net goal he earned with excellent play all night with 1.0 seconds left on the clock to seal the 3-1 victory.
- Dubinsky-Anisimov and Callahan continued their phenomenal early season play in all aspects of the game
- Good to see Cally finally get one after all those missed chances.
- Stepan had his quietest game of the year
- Fedetenko played a very good game tonight
- Frolov and Christensen are showing chemistry together
- Boogaard is useless when he doesn’t fight, and mostly useless even in games he does
- Staal with an excellent game tonight, shutting down Parise all night
- Girardi and Rozi both playing very well tonight other than get burned by a couple bad plays in neutral/offensive zone
- Gilroy and Eminger didn’t show up much tonight. Still think Sauer must be in there.
- Powerplay was much better tonight in the movement it had going 1 for 7