Rangers up 2-1 as Lundqvist blanks Devils
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Henrik Lundqvist posted his third shutout of the playoffs thanks to 36 saves as he helped the New York Rangers take a 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday.
Lundqvist also notched a shutout in the first game of this series and New York now holds a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven set.
Game 4 is at the Prudential Center on Monday night in Newark.
Ryan Callahan had a goal and an assist while Dan Girardi and Chris Kreider also scored for the Rangers, who are in the conference finals for the first time since 1997.
"He is always there to make the saves for us," said Girardi. "We knew coming into the third that if we could have a big period we could steal a game on the road and that's all thanks to him (Lundqvist)."
Martin Brodeur gave up two goals on 21 shots in the loss for the Devils, who last made the conference finals in 2003 when they also won their last Stanley Cup.
"We didn't play that bad today, we did some good things," said New Jersey center Travis Zajac. "We just have to get Game 4 because we know it's going to be a long series. No one in this locker room thought it was going to be an easy series."
This game was scoreless until 3:19 into the third. On the power play, a left circle faceoff win by Brad Richards saw the puck slide back to the right. Girardi caught up to the disc and snapped a wrister past Brodeur for his third of the playoffs.
Just under two minutes later, it was a 2-0 game as a wrist shot at the left point by Ryan McDonagh was redirected past Brodeur by Kreider in front for his fifth of the playoffs.
Lundqvist, who made 10 saves in the third, kept the shutout going on a Devils power play when he used the glove to snap an Ilya Kovalchuk one-timer from the left circle with 11:16 to play.
"They had some good chances, but I thought the guys did a really good job of keeping most of the shots to the outside," said Lundqvist.
Peter Harrold snapped a shot off the crossbar with just over four minutes to play as New Jersey nearly spoiled the shutout.
New Jersey got Brodeur out of the net with under three minutes to play for the extra attacker, but Callahan put the puck into the empty net with 2:13 to play to seal the win.
Lundqvist turned away 11 shots in the first while Brodeur needed to make just five to keep the game scoreless.
In the second period, Brodeur made a couple of big stops as he stretched out to stop a Callahan rebound chance from the left side about four minutes in then stopped Richards on a 2-on-1 halfway through the frame.
Brodeur made nine saves in the second while Lundqvist stopped 15, including a wraparound attempt from Stephen Gionta with about 7 1/2 minutes to play in the frame.
Lundqvist has six shutouts in the playoffs over his career. He lowered his goals against to 1.57 in these playoffs and save percentage to .942...New York was 1-for-2 on the power play while New Jersey went 0-for-5...Girardi leads all defenseman in points in the playoffs with 11...New York has won four of the five all-time playoff series between these clubs, including a seven-game victory in the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, which saw the Rangers move on to win the Stanley Cup.
05/19 18:58:49 ET