If there’s one thing this series is proving, it’s that you can have a low scoring exciting game. This was the second straight game where no team eclipsed three goals, but it was a great game nonetheless. The Devils came out on top on three shots that Henrik Lundqvist had no chance on. One failed clearing attempt and one over zealous wrap around the boards, and the Rangers find themselves tied as opposed to up 2-0. The Devils weren’t going to roll over in this series.
1-0 Devils take the lead on the powerplay
This goal was a matter of missed positioning on the penalty kill. There were three Rangers in the corner, including Ryan Callahan. Cally got caught on the boards, forcing Derek Stepan to cover two point men. Ilya Kovalchuk was wide open for the pass from Marek Zidlicky, who Stepan bit on a bit too much. Kovi was able to walk the puck in, tee up, and shoot. Yes, this went high glove, but this was not a stoppable shot. When Kovi has time to tee it up from that distance, he scores 99 times out of 100.
1-1 Rangers tie it up on the powerplay
This goal begins with Travis Zajac breaking his stick. Marc Staal, Brad Richards, and Dan Girardi worked the puck along to attack the 5 on 3 up high masterfully. This, in essence, isolates Zajac on a three-on-one. Richards wound up feeding Staal at the top of the circle for a one timer that was blocked by Salvador. Unfortunately for the Devils, this one took a wild bounce off the boards, and banked in off an out of position Martin Brodeur. Brodeur was out of position because he didn’t see the puck ricochet off Salvador. Stepan was the man in front to cause that.
2-1 Rangers take the lead on the third powerplay goal of the game
This was essentially a broken play. Anton Stralman tried to pass to Artem Anismov along the near boards, but he passed it right back to Stralman. Dainius Zubrus winds up being the man to blame, as he abandons Stralman and allows him to walk the puck in to the top of the circle. With Chris Kreider in front screening Brodeur, Stralman wristed the puck. A good deflection over Brodeur by Kreider and the Rangers took the lead.
2-2 Devils fourth line ties it up
This goal is why Marian Gaborik was benched in the third period (in addition to just an all around bad game by Marian). Gabby couldn’t clear the puck, and it wound up on Steve Bernier’s stick. His shot got blocked by Michael Del Zotto, but goes right to Bryce Salvador. Salvador has a bit of time and rips a low, hard shot that Ryan Carter deflects. Hank has no chance.
3-2 Devils take the lead (updated)
Stu Bickel –with a rare third period shift– whipped the puck too far behind the net and out of MDZ’s reach. Zidlicky read the play perfectly and pinched, keeping the puck low. The puck got to Adam Henrique at the point, covering for Zidlicky after he pinched. His wrist shot is perfectly deflected by Clarkson. Clarkson was completely undefended in the slot because Cally released him. No chance for Hank again.
In the end, it’s a 1-1 series tie headed to New Jersey. It wouldn’t be the Rangers without the series being tied headed to Game Three. It’s now a best of five, as per usual.