From the desks of:
RAISE GRESCH WITH THE GREATS & ALL MOTHER LEEDS CHILDREN
Devils lead series 1-0
I - NJD 2; NYR 1
New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils: With blunted pitchforks...
The Devils are presently on the outside looking in. The standings say they are 9th in the conference, but tied at 55-points with (#8) Pittsburgh, and 31 games remaining after tonight. If you want some pain to go along with that suffering, well then the Devils trail the Metropolitan Division leading Washington Capitals by 19 points. That said, who doesn't...
Few teams, though, are playing better defense than the Devils. That said, despite a recent offensive outburst against the Flames and Senators, nearly the entire NHL is scoring at a higher rate than the Devils. They enter Tuesday's game with a -4 point differential. There's your season to date.
It's been a campaign best characterized in terms of peeks and valleys, as Newark had their most recent 4-game win streak snapped when the Penguins shut them out in Pittsburgh. The brief win streak, however, came after losing five of their first seven games of the new year.
At least the Devils still have Feb. 9 to look forward to. That's when the organization will retire, and raise Martin Brodeur's #30 jersey to the rafters, where it will join company with Ken Daneyko's #3 and Scott Stevens' #4 jerseys.
On Feb. 9th, they'll play against the Edmonton Oilers, but that comes a night after playing the Rangers, again, and will cap off a five game stretch in an eight day span. Just saying....
Entering tonight, the Devils have what the Rangers do not, which is a 20-goal scorer in winger Kyle Palmieri. With 24 assists, Michael Cammalleri is Newark's leading scorer with 38 points. In fact, he'll be the leading scorer among either team hitting the ice tonight.
If anyone, the Devils have Cory Schneider to thank for their standing. He ranks 7th in the NHL with a .929 Sv%, 4th with a 2.03 GAA, ranks 6th in wins (just one behind Henrik Lundqvist), and is 4th with four shutouts.
Look what Newark did to the Rangers.., again.
There's a point on that pitchfork after all... and they stuck it right to Tex's Rangers. Two points to be exact, which placed the Devils within one point of the Rangers for 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Pittsburgh Penguins won, however, and so the Devils #9 standing in the conference remained unchanged.
The Devils were out-shot by the Rangers 33-25, but Cory Schneider outlasted J.T. Miller and the Rangers with 31 saves. Henrik Lundqvist faced 25 shots, but surrendered three goals.
J.T. Miller scored twice for the Rangers. He opened the scoring in the 1st period. After Lee Stempniak's 15th goal (PP) of the season tied it in the 2nd period, J.T. Miller put the Blueshirts back in front within another two minutes of play.
Joseph Blandisi tied the game shortly thereafter, and another power play goal by David Schlemko midway through sent the Rangers home defeated.
There ya go.. The Devils were 2/2 on the power play, and the Rangers were 0/4 on the man advantage.
Oh yeah..! And Mike Cammalleri was a scratch to boot.
With no Dylan McIlrath on the ice, I also saw the Rangers get hit, and otherwise pushed around. Newark was clearly focused on throwing their bodies around, to which the Rangers never answered back. Kevin Hayes paid a heavy price late in the game and skated off the ice in pain.
As a cherry on top, Newark dominated face offs too.
an increasingly perturbed Rangers fan.