Game 2 – A loss would mean returning to the Rock down 0-2 and hearing nothing about how the Rangers had a stranglehold on the series. Thankfully we don’t have to hear it as the Devils found a way to win the game 3-2.
The Devils started the scoring on a power play goal by Ilya Kovalchuk. He had the time, the space and beat Lundqvist high to the glove side. You want to give Kovalchuk that shot, I’ll take those odds any day of the week. The Devils ended the first period with a very strong effort.
Marc Staal tied the game at 1 in the second and then Chris Kreider put the Rangers up 2-1 with a little over 8 minutes remaining in the second. The Devils then started to surge and put the pressure on the Rangers. After Gaborik failed to clear the puck, Salvador took a low shot which was deflected in by Ryan Carter for a 2-2 tie. I thought the Rangers owned the second period but the never say die Devils did a great job finding life.
In the third, the Devils team from the first returned. They went hard to the puck, won the battles and eventually Clarkson tipped home the game winner.
All in all great effort by the Devils tonight and the better team certainly won the game tonight.
A few more thoughts:
- Marty made some key saves at very key moments, He wasn’t extremely busy but he made saves when we needed them.
- The Devils did a better job tonight against the shot blocking.
- The Devils need to do a better job clearing out the players trying to screen Marty. Both Rangers goals came with guys in front on Marty.
- Kovalchuk had a great first period but then disappeared in the second and third. He had a huge hit in the first so you have to wonder if he tweaked something.
- The face-offs were much better for NJ tonight
- In Game 1, the Rangers controlled the physicality of the game but tonight it was NJ initiating that aspect. Who knew that would be a factor in getting a win!!
- There were a couple of weak calls on both sides tonight but I guess that just the way it goes this playoff season.
- I didn’t quite understand the review on the Prust wrap around try but when Elias put on into the side on Lundqvist, it wasn’t reviewed.
- The ice at MSG sucks, the penalty box door didn’t open for what seemed like 10 minutes. The most famous arena is a huge piece of crap.
- Tortorella benched one of the best scoring threats on the Rangers for the first half of the 3rd period for some reason. Not the time to make a statement to a player but I certainly appreciate it.
The series now shifts to NJ on Saturday afternoon. We won game 2, now let’s just take care of our home ice and put this series to bed!!