BRONX, N.Y. – The winter cold that settled on New York City created snow flurries that fell from an overcast sky much to the enjoyment of the 50,105 fans at Yankee Stadium during Sunday’s Stadium Series game. But the real flurries happened on the rink situated in the infield when the New York Rangers scored four times in the second period, including three goals in a 6:49 span, to beat the New Jersey Devils 7-3.
The matchup featured a pair of decorated goaltenders in Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur, but unlike previous outdoor games, the puck kept finding its way behind both of them. The ten goals tied an NHL record for most in an outdoor game, previously achieved by the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings during the 2009 Winter Classic.
It was New Jersey who got the quick start, building up a 3-1 lead in the first period, but the Rangers didn’t let them enjoy it very long. Only 52 seconds after the Devils went up by two goals, Marc Staal fired a shot from the side boards that squeaked through Brodeur's pads and into the net to make it a one-goal game.
The second period would be dominated by the Rangers and change the game for good.
Mats Zuccarello scored twice in a 9:56 span to put New York ahead for the first time in the game. It quickly fell apart even further for the Devils when Carl Hagelin picked up the puck behind New Jersey’s net and wheeled out to the face-off circle before whipping a shot that deflected off a body in front and past Brodeur.
The final blow came with 29 seconds left in the period when Anton Stralman leveled Andy Greene at the Rangers' blue line to force a turnover that developed into a 3-on-1 for New York. It ended with Rick Nash's 11th goal in his last 11 games:
Brodeur wouldn't see the third period and was replaced by Cory Schneider, who would allow New York's seventh and final goal on a penalty shot by Derek Stepan.
The Rangers had lost their first three meetings with New Jersey this season, but when the venue shifted to a bigger spectacle, they came up big. This was another positive outdoor game experience for New York after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 at Citizen Bank Park in the 2012 Winter Classic.
The Rangers also became the first NHL team to win two outdoor games. They'll get a chance to extend their winning streak to three when they face the New York Islanders Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
- - - - - - -