NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at NY Rangers
(Saturday, December 27th)
Final Score: New Jersey 4, NY Rangers 2
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Travis Zajac had a goal and two assists, as the New Jersey Devils topped the New York Rangers, 4-2, at Madison Square Garden.
Zach Parise and Patrik Elias each finished with a goal and an assist, while Brian Rolston also scored for New Jersey, which had been shut out in each of its last two games.
Scott Clemmensen made 31 saves for the Devils, who beat the Rangers at MSG for the first time since a shootout win on February 22, 2007 -- and for the first time in regulation since December 17, 2006.
"We played well right from the start, coming off two games where we didn't score," Clemmensen said. "Tonight was just what we needed, playing our rival in their building."
Nigel Dawes and Dmitri Kalinin each scored for New York, which has lost three in a row after winning three consecutive contests. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31-of-35 shots in the loss.
The Devils entered Saturday's contest having not posted a goal since a December 21 shootout win over Philadelphia, but quickly snapped their scoring drought. Rolston's blast from the blueline on the power play, coming 2:54 into the game, gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead and ended its scoreless streak at 159:18.
Then, just over a minute later while the Rangers had a man advantage, Zajac harassed a pair of New York players by the blue line, intercepting a short pass. He fired the puck to Elias, who skated in on Lundqvist alone and buried the disc in the net for a 2-0 Devils lead, at 4:14.
"It's extremely disappointing," Rangers center Chris Drury said. "In the first five minutes we give up a shorthanded goal like that. It's a tough one to swallow."
But the Rangers managed to score on the same power play, exactly one minute after Elias' goal. Dawes grabbed the puck in the slot off a deflected shot, and sent a backhander between Clemmensen's pads to make it a 2-1 contest.
The score stayed that way headed into the second period, though Zajac tipped in Elias' shot with 8:48 left in the middle frame to give New Jersey a two- goal lead again.
Clemmensen was stellar in the second period, stopping all 17 shots he saw.
The Rangers got back within a goal at the 8:59 mark of the third period on Kalinin's first goal of the season, but Parise helped seal the game for the Devils.
Jamie Langenbrunner had the puck behind the net and peeked around the left side, shooting a short pass out front. Parise was there to put a shot by Lundqvist with 7:02 remaining for a 4-2 lead, and New Jersey held on from there.
Each team was 1-for-4 on the power play...New Jersey had lost five in a row at MSG against the Rangers...The Devils play at St. Louis on Tuesday...The Rangers host the Islanders on Monday.
12/28 01:09:24 ET