Devils reprise winning role over Rangers

David Clarkson had two goals in the Devils' win over the Rangers. Credit: Getty Images
David Clarkson had two goals in the Devils’ win over the Rangers.
Credit: Getty Images

By Denis Gorman

The first chapter of the 2013 Hudson River Rumble picked up where the last chapter of the rivalry ended: a loss to the Devils at the Prudential Center.

The Rangers fell to 4-5-0 this season after being outclassed by the reigning Eastern Conference champions, 3-1, Tuesday night.

“We have some guys who are really playing hard and we have some guys who look scared,” Rangers head coach John Tortorella said. “I’ll tell you right now, I’m not waiting. We have some guys right now who are very tentative, very careful. We don’t play careful hockey.”

Adam Henrique and David Clarkson gave the Devils all the offense they would need in a 14:07 span of the first period. Henrique opened the scoring with an even-strength wrister from the slot past Henrik Lundqvist (19 saves) five minutes into the game. Clarkson scored the first of his two goals with 53 seconds left in the period.

“Two tough plays,” Lundqvist said of the first two goals. “[The Rangers] have to focus on our starts. [That was] not the start we were looking for. [The Rangers have to be] consistent. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what we’re looking for.”

Clarkson’s second of the game — and team-leading seventh of the season — came on the power play 2:53 into the third.

The Devils have won consecutive games and are 5-1-3.

As has been the case throughout the abbreviated season, the Rangers looked like a team still learning how to play with each other. More troubling was that Chris Kreider — who played for the first time since Jan. 23 — and AHL call-up J.T. Miller were the Rangers’ best players on the ice.

“They’re probably going to take some jobs,” Tortorella said. “We’re very happy with Kreider; I thought he played well. I thought Miller was hard on the puck, did some really good things. We’ll see where we go with the lineup.”

Only Kreider’s top shelf laser over Martin Brodeur (24 saves) 6:21 into the third kept the future Hall of Famer from notching his 121st career shutout. Nine of Brodeur’s NHL-record 120 shutouts have come against the Rangers.

Equally problematic has been the inability of the power play to provide any scoring punch. The Rangers entered the game 3-for-30 with the man advantage, and did not score on any of their five power plays Tuesday night.

“There’s a number of things [with the power play],” Brad Richards said. “[We are] out of sync [and] not reacting. Trying maybe to look for too much instead of just keeping it simple and getting shots. There’s a lot of different things when you’re not scoring on it.”

The Rangers only generated three shots on their power plays, with Marc Staal’s snap shot at 15:38 of the first being the most dangerous. However, Staal was not able to elevate the puck as it lay under Brodeur, who promptly froze it.

“Special teams let us down,” Tortorella said. “You need a goal on [the] power play at a certain time. It’s not so much percentages that you’re looking at right now. It’s getting a goal at a key time.”

Dan Girardi was scratched with an undisclosed injury. An organizational spokesperson wrote in a text message to Metro that Girardi was “just banged up” and “day-to-day.” One half of the Rangers’ top pair defense corps with Ryan McDonagh, Girardi had played in 82 games in four of his last five full seasons. He missed two games in the 2010-11 season.

“We missed him for sure,” McDonagh said. “He plays a ton of minutes, all the hard minutes. You can see from the goals they scored were ‘D’ zone plays. With that being said, we all know how to play as a team. Injuries are part of it, so we can’t use that as an excuse.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Movies

Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.