NEW YORK -- A pair of 41-year-olds played a major role in the New Jersey Devils
3-2 win over the New York Rangers
on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Goaltender Martin Brodeur
stopped 33 shots and right winger Jaromir Jagr
recorded an assist on the Devils game-winning goal in the third period for his team-leading 14th point of the season.
The two veterans are reunited this season after being selected in the same 1990 draft. Jagr was Pittsburgh's first choice and fifth overall, while Brodeur was New Jersey's first choice and 20th overall.
Brodeur, whose personal shutout streak of 191:12 came to an end, posted his third straight win and 48th career win against the Rangers.
"It's tough with Brodeur," said Rangers forward Brad Richards. "No matter what, he always breaks down your forecheck. It's inevitable that when you dump the puck he's out there like a third defenseman.
"We fired 35 shots on the net and a lot more away from it. They were not giving us the second and third chances."
The Devils (6-7-5) are 3-0-1 in their last four games. The Rangers (9-9-0) were 0-for-5 on the power play.
Right winger Dainius Zubrus scored off his own rebound in front of New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist
at 17:05 of the third period to snap a 2-2 tie with his backhand. Center Travis Zajac
took an outlet pass from Jagr in the Rangers zone and found Zubrus for the strike.
"To be honest, I wanted to ice the puck," explained Jagr on his long pass to Zajac. "Our guy (Zajac) just skated there and made it 2-on-1 and Zubi is known for his backhand."
Jagr was signed by the Devils as a free agent this summer to help replace the scoring punch of Ilya Kovalchuk, who abruptly retired from the NHL to play in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.
New York knotted the score at 2 on a goal from defenseman Dan Girardi at 13:18 of the third period. Girardi's low shot from the right point skimmed off the skate of Devils defenseman Adam Larsson
, who was tangled in front of the net with Rangers center Mats Zuccarello.
New Jersey center Ryan Carter ended a personal 18-game scoring drought going back to April 20 when he scored two second period goals. His backhand at 19:13 gave the Devils a 2-1 lead.
Carter out-skated Rangers forward Carl Hagelin to the loose puck across the blue line, sending his backhand shot through Lundqvist's five-hole at the goalmouth. Devils defensemen Adam Larsson and Peter Harrold were awarded the assists.
Carter provided the Devils with a 1-0 edge when he jammed the puck behind Lundqvist at 6:37 of the second period. Defenseman Andy Greene did a nice job of keeping the puck in the Rangers zone before finding Carter.
"Hockey is a funny game," admitted Carter. "You get great opportunities and they don't go in, then all of a sudden you throw a piece of junk at the net and it finds its way in."
The Rangers tied it at 1 just 18 seconds later when center Chris Kreider picked up the loose puck in front of the Rangers bench and sent a cross-ice pass to Zuccarello. The center skated behind the Devils net with the puck on his backhand and slid it to the left circle where an open Marc Staal blasted it by Brodeur for his second goal of the season.
The goal was the defenseman's 100th career point and fourth consecutive game that Zuccarello registered a point.
Jagr has shown his stamina and durability so far this season. The NHL's active leading scorer is among the Devils' forwards in ice time, averaging almost 18 minutes a night.
"He's playing well here," said Brodeur of Jagr. "I relate a lot to him. I can have conversations with him that I can't have with some of the younger players on this team.
"After losing Kovalchuk, we picked the right guy to help out the chemistry of the team. He's going to be even better as the year goes on."
NOTES: The Rangers and Devils have been separated by two goals or less in 16 of their last 23 meetings. ... Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist and Devils G Martin Brodeur faced each other for the 37th time in the regular season and the 51st time overall. ... The Rangers have scored at least four goals in four of their past five games after failing to get that many in the first 12 matches. ... Lundqvist is 5-3-0 with a 1.64 goal-against-average, .936 save percentage and two shutouts in his last eight games before Tuesday night. ... Devils RW Jaromir Jagr is the NHL's all-time leader with 17 career overtime goals. ... Rangers RW Ryan Callahan is sixth in the NHL in shooting percentage at 23.8 percent. ... Tuesday was the second of five meetings between the two Metropolitan Division rivals. ... Devils captain, LW Patrik Elias, missed his sixth straight game due to upper-body soreness. ... Devils D Anton Volchenkov left the ice in the first period with a lower body injury and didn't return.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Jaromir Jagr
- Martin Brodeur
- New York Rangers
- New Jersey Devils
- Henrik Lundqvist