Friday, April 11, 2008

Devils feeling the heat

The New York Ranges grabbed a two game lead and home ice advantage from the New Jersey Devils on Friday night, as two goals twenty three seconds apart in the third period turned the momentum around for good in game two.

In a pitched battle of tight checking, hard hitting and occassionally dirty play the Rangers - Devils rivalry remained as close as ever on Friday, the Rangers held off the Devils attack to persevere for the 2-1 victory and two game to none lead in the series which resumes Sunday at Madison Square Garden. Though judging by the Rangers success in the Devils lair this season, they may not want to go home.

There was no scoring in the first forty minutes of play as the two teams, played a check mate style of hockey, matching line for line and player for player, shutting down each other's attack before any kind of concentrated approach could yield a positive result.

There were lots of hard feelings on the ice to match the catcalls from the crowd, as the Devils crowd and the Ranger followers that travel across the Hudson once again exchanged those quaint New York/New Jersey niceties that might make a Tony Soprano blush.

On the ice it once again became a battle of goaltenders as the Devils Marty Brodeur and the Rangers Henrik Lundqvsit once again engaged in the Eastern Conference version of showdown. With Lundqvist besting his Metropolitan New York rival once more

Henrik Lundqvist once again proved to be a more than solid last line of defence as he stopped 26 of the 27 shots directed his way in game two, making for a two game total of 54 saves in 120 minutes of work. Lindquist has had the Devils number for at least the last ten games rarely giving up more than a goal a game, normally more than enough to ensure a Ranger victory.

Two games into the quarterfinals and that trend continues on.

CBC Sports-- Devils are down but not out
New York Times-- Rangers make themselves at home
New York Times-- Difference for Brodeur Is a Few Bad Bounces
New York Daily News-- Rangers take two from Devils
Newsday--Jagr shows he's still the Rangers' driving force
Asbury Park Press-- Lundqvist, Rangers take 2-0 series lead
Newark Star Ledger-- Devils Game 2 breakdown
Newark Star Ledger-- Lundqvist is always in the way
Newark Star Ledger-- Devils down in a hole
. Stats pack

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