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Devils 3, Rangers 1

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NEWARK, N.J. -- David Clarkson had two goals and an assist, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 3-1 victory over their archrival New York Rangers Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.

Clarkson now has seven goals on the season. Patrik Elias added had three assists for the Devils (5-1-3). Adam Henrique, who eliminated the New York Rangers with a goal in overtime of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals last May, scored his second goal of the season.

Martin Brodeur stopped 24 shots to secure the fourth win of the season and the 660th win of his storied career.

Chris Kreider scored a goal for the Rangers (4-5-0). Henrik Lundqvist made18 saves in net for New York, but he was pulled from goal to give the Rangers an extra skater with two minutes left.

The Devils totally controlled play in the first period and came away with a 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes.

The Devils were first on the board exactly at the 5:00 mark, when Henrique made a great hustle play, sticking with the puck after receiving a pass from Elias. He fired a wrist shot past Lundqvist for his second goal of the season in just his fourth game, giving New Jersey the 1-0 lead. Elias and Clarkson were credited with assists on the goal.

The Devils also survived a major scare midway through the first period, when defenseman Andy Greene's stick caught Carl Hagelin above the eye, drawing a four-minute high-sticking penalty.

The Rangers' lone chance in the power play came when Marc Staal fired a bouncing puck that Brodeur managed to save, leaving Staal shaking his head in disbelief. New Jersey, the NHL's top penalty killing unit a year ago, killed off the four-minute double minor.

The Devils then increased the lead in the final minute, when an alert Clarkson secured the puck from Hagelin and fired it past Lundqvist with just 53 seconds remaining. It was Clarkson's sixth goal of the season, with Elias getting his second assist of the game.

The Rangers played with more of a sense of urgency in the second period, getting more of the scoring chances, but had nothing to show for it. The Rangers' best scoring chance came from rookie J.T. Miller, playing in his first NHL game. Miller's backhand attempt midway through the period seemed to handcuff Brodeur a little, but he slapped the shot aside, keeping the Rangers at bay.

Marian Gaborik, who started the period by sliding the puck across the crease behind Brodeur, almost sliced the lead in half with 1:54 left in the period with a wrist shot that Brodeur smothered.

The Devils took the 2-0 lead into the third period.

Jacob Josefson had a great scoring chance in the opening stages of the third period, but his breakaway chance was stopped by Lundqvist.

Clarkson got his second goal of the game on a power play goal came after Arron Asham was whistled for hooking.

The Rangers got on the board with 13 minutes left, when Kreider fired a slap shot past Brodeur and right under the crossbar. It was Kreider's first goal of the season. He missed the last five games with a bone chip in his ankle.

The Rangers had a golden opportunity with seven minutes left, when Rick Nash skated in, found a streaking Hagelin, but Brodeur made a patented butterfly save, his best of the game, to keep the score at 3-1.

NOTES: Devils defenseman Henrik Tallinder, who had been playing well of late and actually scored a goal in the Devils' 5-4 overtime loss to the Islanders last week, was a healthy scratch, as was rookie wing Stefan Matteau. Tallinder was surprised with DeBoer's decision to bench him, but he understood. ... The Devils announced that they would honor long-time goaltending coach Jacques Caron prior to their home game March 16 against the Montreal Canadiens. Caron is being rewarded for his 20-plus years of dedication to the franchise. ... Tuesday night was the first of four meetings this season between the two rivals, who met for the Eastern Conference championship last May. The Devils won that series, four games to two. ... The Rangers scratched defenseman Dan Girardi, who has been the workhorse of the team for the last three years. Girardi has an undisclosed injury "that required maintenance," according to a team release. ... Rangers coach Tortorella, who obviously has no love lost for the Devils and their head coach Peter DeBoer, didn't hype the first meeting between the two enemy rivals since last year's conference finals. "This is just another game for us and we're still trying to get consistent with our game," Tortorella said before the game. "I don't care who we're playing." ... The game marked the NHL debut for highly-touted Rangers rookie center J.T. Miller, who was the team's top draft pick in the 2011 NHL draft.
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