Wednesday, February 06, 2013

N.J. Devils Take First Battle of the Hudson


Battle of the Hudson
Rangers  1
Look what the Devils did to the New York Rangers...again.  Martin Brodeur, Patrick Elias, and David Clarkson were most responsible for denying the Rangers a measure of revenge against the team which eliminated them from last season's Eastern Conference finals.
After allowing three third period goals against Pittsburgh, and getting the next game off, Martin Brodeur returned fresh to stop twenty four of twenty five shots and earn the 660th victory of his career.  Other than a Chris Kreider shot and score from point blank range, the NHL's all-time wins leader made a series of remarkable saves reminiscent of last years playoff effort that had the Rangers so frustrated.
Devils fans no doubt must be happy with the return of Adam Henrique.  He quite literally picked up where he left off against the Rangers - celebrating a goal.  In just his fourth game back, he opened up the scoring Tuesday night with a first period goal; his second of the season.  Patrick Elias picked up the primary assist.  It was the first of three assist the Devils all-time winger would accumulate Tuesday night which tied a career game high.  That raises his team leading total to eight for the season.
The second assist on Henrique's goal went to David Clarkson.  Just yesterday I made mention of Clarkson's quick start.  Coming into the game, he led the Devils with five goals and nine points.  After dispatching the Rangers, David Clarkson skated off the ice with seven goals and twelve points in just nine games.  The Devils need Clarkson to replicate his breakout 30-goal season he had last year.  For the moment, the Devils couldn't ask for more.
For the game, Devils forwards made a first period mess in front of Henrik Lundqvist that the Rangers goalie had a hard time cleaning up.  The Devils were 1 for 4 on the power play.  The Rangers were held scoreless in five opportunities.
The Devils win their fifth game, and gained their thirteenth point of the season.  Pittsburgh defeated the Islanders, and therefore the Devils could not gain ground on the Atlantic Division leader.

Meanwhile, the Blueshirts malady continues.  At The Rock in Newark, "Rangers Suck!" was the anthem of the night.  For starters, Dan Girardi was scratched from Tuesday's game.  He is suspected to have suffered an injury against Tampa.  Then to literally add insult to injury, the Rangers had four first period power play opportunities and came up empty each time.  Marian Gaborik led the Rangers with five shots on goal.


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