NHL Game Summary - New York at New Jersey
(Tuesday, March 30th)
Final Score: New Jersey 5, New York 0
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Scott Gomez and Erik Rasmussen each scored twice to lead New Jersey to a 5-0 rout of the New York Rangers at the Meadowlands.
Martin Brodeur stopped all 24 shots he faced for his 11th shutout of the season, a new career high as the Devils moved into a first-place tie in the Atlantic Division with Philadelphia. New Jersey, winners of three straight and four of its last five, owns the tiebreaker with three more wins despite the Flyers having a game in hand on the Devs.
"It's out of our control with what they [the Flyers] do," Rasmussen said. "We've got two games left, and our goal is to win them both."
Igor Larionov also found the back of the net while Patrik Elias continued on his torrid pace with two assists, giving him 12 points (3g, 9a) in the last six games.
The victory also gave New Jersey head coach Pat Burns 500 career wins, tying Toe Blake to become the ninth coach in NHL history to reach the benchmark.
"To be able to tie a guy like Toe Blake is something for me because I grew up in Montreal seeing him and Scotty Bowman, two of the greatest coaches in the history of the game as far as I'm concerned," said Burns.
Coming off a 38-save performance in a 3-1 win over Philly on Saturday, Stephen Valiquette looked shaky, allowing five goals on 31 shots for the Rangers, who have just one win in their last 10 games (1-6-0-3).
"I think Steve struggled, although our penalty kill did not give him a lot of help -- especially on the first couple of goals," said Rangers coach Tom Renney.
After a scoreless first period in which they outshot New York 11-7, the Devils netted three straight goals in the second to take a commanding lead.
Gomez got the Devils on the board with his 13th of the season, just 20 seconds into a man advantage. He skated across the blue line and fired a slap shot between the legs of Valiquette 6:40 into the second stanza.
New Jersey doubled its margin less than five minutes later when Rasmussen's slapper went off Valiquette's glove and in for his fifth marker of the season.
Gomez recorded his second of the night with 2:23 to go in the period on the power play. Positioned in the right circle, he simply wound up and ripped a slap shot past Valiquette's stick side, 44 ticks after Bobby Holik was whistled for interference.
The Rangers registered 10 shots in the frame, but were unsuccessful in getting anything behind Brodeur.
The Devils did not relent in the final period, adding two more goals for the final margin. Larionov scored at the 4:26 mark and Rasmussen notched his second of the contest off a pretty cross-ice feed by Jan Hrdina.
Gomez continued his dominance against the Rangers. He now has 11 goals and 16 assists in 26 career games against New York...Hrdina and Jamie Langenbrunner each assisted on both Rasmussen goals...The shutout for Brodeur was his 75th of his career... The Devils finished 4-1-1 against New York this season and are 9-1-5 in the last 15 matchups...The Rangers also have just two wins in their previous 21 trips to New Jersey (2-16-3)...Rangers captain Mark Messier missed his second straight game with an injured right elbow.
03/31 00:23:39 ET