Devils 3, Rangers 2, OT

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)—Brian Rafalski and the New Jersey Devils were disgusted with the way they played the first two periods against the New York Rangers.

They channeled that anger into a comeback capped by Rafalski’s winner at 3:17 of overtime that gave the Devils a 3-2 win on Saturday night.

“We were really ticked off,” Rafalski said. “We took it up ourselves to go out there and do something about it.”

Viktor Kozlov, who earlier had a goal, circled around the Rangers’ net to feed Rafalski for the winning shot from the left circle.

“He is so big and the new rules really help him,” Rafalski said of Kozlov. “He protects the puck so well and they can’t restrain him. I just had to move into position.”

Alexander Mogilny also scored for the Devils and Martin Brodeur made 33 saves.

Jason Ward and Martin Rucinsky scored for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves in his NHL debut.

“He’s a very levelheaded guy,” Rangers coach Tom Renney said of Lundqvist. “This won’t stick with him too long. He’ll be right back at it in the next practice”

Trailing 2-1 and outshot 26-8 entering the third period, the Devils tied the game as Mogilny started the rally with a power-play goal at 2:14 when his shot from the slot trickled past Lundqvist. The Devils, passive and penalty-prone in the first two periods, pressed the attack to outshoot the Rangers 17-6 in the third.

New York had taken the lead in the second period on Rucinsky’s power-play goal at 8:32.

In the first period, Ward gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with an unassisted goal at 4:57. Ward knocked the puck away from Brodeur behind the New Jersey net and scored before the Devils goalie could recover. A video replay confirmed that the puck crossed the goal before Brodeur swatted it away.

The Devils tied the score at 1 on their only shot of the period at 15:39. Kozlov got the goal with a deflection off Rafalski’s blueline shot. ^Notes: Lundqvist led the Swedish Elite league last season in wins (33) and goals against average (1.79). … D Maxim Kondratiev and RW Petr Prucha also made their season debuts for the Rangers as D Tom Poti and C Jamie Lundmark were scratched. … The game was delayed about five minutes midway through the second period when the arena lights dimmed due to a weather-related power surge.

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Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
B. Rafalski B. Rafalski
New Jersey Devils
Scored at 3:17 of OT


Goalie Team Shot Save
Henrik Lundqvist NYR 27 24
Martin Brodeur StL 35 33