Brodeur made 30 saves in his 50th straight regular-season start against the Rangers, but he couldn’t deny Barnaby from getting the tying goal with only 1:49 left in the third period.
The Devils were without captain Scott Stevens for the fourth straight game, and the blown lead dropped the Stanley Cup champions to 3-5-3-1 in their last 12.
“We need other guys to step up,” Brodeur said. “We’re trying to stay real positive. We’re not going to get real down because we lost the lead.”
The Devils appeared to be on their way to another win over the Rangers after Sergei Brylin scored to snap a third-period tie. But Barnaby salvaged a rare point for New York against New Jersey.
“He almost froze Marty behind the net,” Barnaby said of Messier. “You know he’s going to make a great pass. He’s done it for 25 years.”
Brodeur has started every regular-season game against the Rangers since Dec. 26, 1993.
Before Game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference finals against New Jersey, Messier guaranteed the Rangers would even the series—and he made sure of it by scoring three goals, two against Brodeur.
Not much has gone right for the Rangers against their area rivals since New York won the Stanley Cup 10 years ago. New York is 1-21-13-1 versus New Jersey since Feb. 17, 1997.
“The Devils are a good team and they very rarely beat themselves,” Messier said. “We have to play start to finish to beat them.”
Mike Dunham made 30 stops for New York, outshot 2-0 in overtime.
Brylin put the Devils in front 3-2 at 4:05 of the third, just 3:37 after Rangers rookie Chad Wiseman scored his first NHL goal to tie it at 2.
Messier then made the pass to Barnaby, allowing the feisty forward to split two Devils defenders and beat Brodeur.
Brodeur gave up a long-distance goal to Anson Carter late in the first period, before Scott Niedermayer assisted on goals by Erik Rasmussen and Jay Pandolfo in the second to give New Jersey a 2-1 lead.
The Devils haven’t lost to the Rangers since falling in overtime on Oct. 17, 2001—going 6-0-5 in that span.
Niedermayer wore the captain’s ‘C’ in place of Stevens.
“I’m not just going to be able to step right in and be like I’ve been wearing it for a long time,” Niedermayer said. “We just have to all stick together and try to get this team playing well.”
Stevens had been fighting the flu, but has still felt run down since recovering from the illness. New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello said Stevens will be out another seven to 10 days because the defenseman might be feeling the effects of an unknown hit from earlier in the season.
Carter gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with 1:11 left in the first period. Jan Hlavac carried the puck into the Devils’ zone after Carter forced a turnover. Hlavac dropped a pass back to Carter, who slapped a shot from the blue line past Brodeur.
The Devils tied it and went ahead when Rasmussen and Pandolfo scored 3:08 apart. Pandolfo took a pass in front from John Madden, who had carried the puck the length of the ice, and beat Dunham.
Wiseman got the Rangers even just 42 seconds into the third when a pass trickled loosely off Barnaby’s stick. Wiseman found the puck in the slot and chipped a shot over Brodeur’s stick.
“The defense picked it up,” Wiseman said. “I just went around them and picked up the loose change.”
It was Wiseman’s first point in seven career NHL games.
But Brylin cleaned up a big rebound left by Dunham and put a backhander inover the goalie’s shoulder at 4:05.
Rasmussen went 16 games since his previous goal on Nov. 30. … Lamoriello brought a Stanley Cup ring to give to Rangers C Pascal Rheaume, who played on New Jersey’s championship team last season. … The Devils went 0-for-5 on the power play, including a two-man advantage that lasted 1:53 ofthe second period.