NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at NY Rangers
(Tuesday, December 20th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, NY Rangers 1
New York, NY (Sports Network) - John Madden had a goal and two assists, as the New Jersey Devils rallied to defeat the New York Rangers, 3-1, at Madison Square Garden.
Alexander Mogilny scored the eventual game-winning goal and Brian Gionta also lit the lamp for the Devils, who were playing their first game with general manager Lou Lamoriello behind the bench. Larry Robinson resigned as the team's head coach on Monday, citing a high level of stress. The Devils lost six of their last seven games before Robinson's departure.
After the game, Madden was asked if Lamoriello should stay on as head coach for the remainder of the season.
"At this point, yeah. I don't care if it's Santa Claus, we've got to get some wins. That's what it's all about," Madden said.
Brian Rafalski had a pair of assists in the win, and Martin Brodeur made 30 saves in net.
Steve Rucchin had the only goal for the Rangers, who have dropped three straight. Petr Prucha had a dazzling assist and Martin Rucinsky also had a helper, while netminder Kevin Weekes stopped 29 shots.
A great individual effort by Prucha helped stake the Rangers to a 1-0 lead late in the second stanza. Rucinsky started the sequence by gaining the blue line and launching a hard shot from the left side, forcing Brodeur to make a kick save. The puck leaked out to the right slot, where Prucha dove and whacked the disc with his outstretched stick back in front for Rucchin, who punched it in with 5:41 to play.
The Devils, however, responded with two third-period goals in a span of 16 seconds to claim the lead.
Gionta evened the score at the 14:19 mark, ending a flurry in front of the net with a backhander from the slot that flew above Weekes' left shoulder.
Seconds after the ensuing faceoff, the Devils used a little good fortune to take the lead. Madden charged into the zone and released a seemingly harmless shot from the point. The puck deflected off of a defender, though, and kicked cross-ice to Mogilny, who fired it into the wide open net.
Madden added an empty-net goal in the final seconds to secure the win.
"You can't win scoring one goal," said the Rangers' Jaromir Jagr, who was held without a point. "That's the bottom line."
Lamoriello will coach the Devils until he finds a permanent replacement...The Devils went 0-for-11 on the power play Tuesday, and now have just one goal in their last 40 chances and are two for their last 77...Brodeur has more wins against the Rangers than any other active goaltender.
12/20 23:33:09 ET