With only the Hudson River separating them, the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers make up one of the greatest rivalries of all time. The two Atlantic division teams met for the second time this season on March 19. The first meeting between the two started with the Devils taking an early lead in the first period and ending the game with a 3-1 win over the Blue Shirts. In this battle of the border, though, New York got the “W” after a back-and-forth 60 minutes.
This game, like most of the match-ups between these two teams, did not disappoint. The Rangers struck first with a shorthanded goal from Michael Del Zotto. Later in the first period, Travis Zajac tied it up with a power play goal, which led to a quick offensive flurry. Carl Hagelin scored at 16:50 to take the lead back for the Rangers, and 23 seconds later, Devils’ forward Anton Volchenkov took a slap shot to tie it at 2.
The second period was less offensive with only one goal: Rick Nash about halfway through the period to make it 3-2 Rangers. Nash’s goal held up to be the game-winner throughout a scoreless third period. This win put the Rangers ahead of the Devils for 8th place in the Eastern Conference. Now, there are four teams in the conference with 32 points.
Despite the Devil’s loss, there was one positive they can take away from the game. Their starting goalie, Martin Brodeur, dressed for the first time in twelve games. Since Brodeur’s injury, the Devils have gone 3-8-2 with Johan Hedberg as goalie. Compared to an 8-2-3 record with Brodeur, it is safe to say New Jersey is not the same team without their star net-minder. Fortunately for the Devils, Marty is expected to be back in net for this Thursday’s game against Carolina.