Henrik Lundqvist took everything the Devils and their fans had in store for him Saturday -- the waves of shots, the confounding traffic, the insulting chants -- and he threw it back at them in a 3-0 Rangers win in Newark.
Lundqvist showed once again he is primed to fully assume the mantel as the top goalie in the New York area, outshining Devils legend Martin Brodeur for his second shutout in three games in the Eastern Conference final. Lundqvist's 36-save blanking gave the visiting Rangers a 2-1 series lead heading into Monday's Game 4 at the Prudential Center.
"It's a bit of our personality. I've always said that about Hank, that's a bit of who we are," coach John Tortorella said. "I think Henrik displays that, how he does compete.
"And he's a great competitor as far as his preparation and as far as what he does for this hockey club."
Including three wins in the 2008 Eastern Conference quarterfinals, the Rangers improved to 4-0 in postseason play at The Rock. Lundqvist heard chants of "Marty's better" throughout the scoreless first two periods.
But as usual, hundreds of Rangers fans were able to score tickets the games in the opposing building in this series.
"It means so much to me to win every game here, and it's so important to me and to the group," Lunddqvist said. "But on Monday, it's not going to mean anything. You have to start over and earn that respect again, and hopefully you say the same thing after that game."