Rapid Reaction: Devils 4, Rangers 3 (SO)
January, 31, 2012
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
What it means: After tying the game on a lucky bounce with less than a minute to play in regulation, the Devils won in a 4-3 shootout. In a battle between the two Martys, Martin Brodeur prevailed, stopping all three Rangers faced to boost the Devils past their Atlantic Division rivals in the first game back following the All-Star break. Ilya Kovalchuk tallied the lone goal in the shootout, beating Martin Biron five-hole in the first round.
Last-minute wonder: The recipient of a fortuitous bounce off the boards, feisty winger David Clarkson buried a shot to tie the game at 3 with 47. 6 seconds to play. Clarkson's late-game goal was his 17th of the season, which matches his career-high set during the 2008-09 season.
Right back at ya: Thirty-six seconds after Kovalchuk ignited the home crowd in Newark with his game-tying goal in the third, Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto gave New York a 3-2 lead with his wrist shot from the right circle that beat Brodeur at 16:01.
Boyle breaks through: The Rangers' Brian Boyle snapped a 1-1 draw 2:37 into the third period with his fourth goal of the season. With Brodeur on his back in the crease, the hulking center wrangled a blocked shot and capitalized on a gaping net for his second goal in 29 games.
Key kick: Just minutes after the crowd at Prudential Center was chanting his name following a terrific flurry of close-range saves with less than three minutes remaining in the first, Brodeur gave up the game's first goal to Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman. Brodeur stopped Marian Gaborik's wrister on an odd-man rush but kicked the puck right to Stralman for his second goal of the season with less than 33 seconds left in the period.
Sharpshooter: Devils captain Zach Parise tied the game at 1, sniping a sharp-angle goal off his own rebound at 8:20 of the second period. Parise's 16th goal of the season was his first in six games.
Third time's the charm: After making two clutch saves on Kovalchuk early in the third -- including a tremendous stop with his right pad to rob Kovalchuk on a short-handed breakaway less than a minute into play -- Biron surrendered a game-tying goal to the Russian sniper with less than five minutes to play.
Greene returns: Devils defenseman Andy Greene returned to the lineup after missing 22 straight with an injured left foot. The 29-year-old blue-liner played in his first game since Dec. 6, paired with Mark Fayne.
Up Next: Rangers at Sabres, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; Devils vs. Canadiens, 7 p.m. Thursday.