Rapid Reaction: Rangers 3, Devils 2

March, 19, 2013
3/19/13
9:44
PM ET
NEWARK, N.J. -- What it means: The Rangers finally gave goaltender Henrik Lundqvist some offensive support, tallying three goals to top the Devils 3-2 for their second win in as many nights. The Devils were a resilient bunch, erasing leads twice in the first period to tie the game, but they couldn't match Rick Nash's second-period go-ahead goal to force the game into overtime. New Jersey may be in line for a big boost soon, however, as Martin Brodeur readies himself for his first post-injury start. Brodeur backed up Devils netminder Johan Hedberg Tuesday in his first game back since missing 12 with a pinched nerve, but may start against Carolina on Thursday.

Nash attack: Following up a couple of sensational stops on the other end, Rangers winger Rick Nash streaked down the right wing before sizzling a wrist shot past Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg at 7:25 to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead in the second period. Nash, reunited with top-earning linemates Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik for the second straight game, leads the team in scoring with 10 goals and 24 points. He has also recorded a point in 11 of his past 15 games.

Offensive outburst: Scoring as many goals in one period as they did during a three-game losing streak, the Rangers rattled off a pair of goals within a span of 5:11 in the opening frame Monday night. Defenseman Michael Del Zotto capitalized on Hedberg’s puck-handling miscue and batted one in for a short-handed goal to open scoring at 11:49. Carl Hagelin was at the left post to bury a puck bouncing off the boards for a 2-1 lead at 16:50.

All tied up: Twice during the first period, the Devils erased a one-goal deficit to tie the game. Travis Zajac tallied his first goal in 11 games with a power-play goal at 15:15 and Anton Volchenkov knotted the score at 2 with a deflected shot with 2:47 remaining in the period.

Man down: A Rangers fan’s worst nightmare came to fruition -- albeit briefly -- early in the second period when Lundqvist went down in the crease after being clipped in the mask. It actually appeared to be his own teammate, defenseman Dan Girardi, who made the contact, though Zajac was sent to the penalty box for an interference call that left Devils fans furious. Although Lundqvist appeared shaken up initially, he remained in the game with no issue.

Poni out: Alexei Ponikarovsky left the game with an undisclosed injury in the second period and did not return to the game.

Up next: Rangers versus Panthers, Thursday at 7 p.m.
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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