Rangers continue playoff momentum with win over Devils

 

The two-word mantra “still alive” was being espoused from all corners of the Rangers’ room Sunday afternoon.

“We are trying to climb in the standings,” captain Ryan Callahan said after the Rangers 4-1 win over the Devils Sunday afternoon at the Garden.

The Rangers are 24-17-5 this season, and have won three in a row. The Rangers have 52 points with three games remaining — all against teams who are out of the playoffs.

“We aren’t looking behind us,” Callahan said. “It’s another two points. Now we have to get more.”

Facing a hated rival who was playing the second game of a weekend back-to-back, and was the team that eliminated them from the Stanley Cup playoffs last May, the Rangers were focused on starting quickly.

They did just that.

Callahan pinballed Carl Hagelin’s behind-the-goal-line feed off of Martin Brodeur’s skate just 34 seconds into the match.

The Rangers are 16-2-1 this season when scoring first.

“We have been getting some bounces,” Callahan said. He later flipped in a power-play knuckler 5:13 into the third period that pushed the advantage to 4-0. “[We are] getting some chances. [Derek Stepan], Hags and I have been playing well together. It’s just a matter of converting when you have opportunities.”

Energized by the quick goal, the Rangers surged and led 2-0 at intermission. Stepan scored the other goal in the period with a redirection of a Ryan McDonagh pass. The Rangers had more shot attempts, 16-10, in the period.

Taylor Pyatt’s first goal since Feb. 26 increased the lead to 3-0 at 11:56 of the second period.

“We were just trying to be simple and use our forechecking strength,” McDonagh said. “Get in their zone and grind it out.”

The Rangers accomplished their goal, and in doing so drove the Devils to distraction.

For a team that needed to win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, the Devils spent much of the afternoon expressing frustration toward referees Chris Rooney and Francois St. Laurent.

Devils head coach Pete DeBoer was assessed a game misconduct with 15 seconds remaining and was ejected. A bench minor against the Devils for abuse of officials was assessed in the first, and Patrik Elias was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty early in the third.

“There was frustration,” DeBoer said. “It’s obviously not the way you want to go out. But that’s how it ends for us. We will have to regroup and move forward.”

The Devils will miss the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, and for only the fourth time in the last quarter century.

“It hasn’t sunk in,” DeBoer said. “I think you don’t want to think about it until it’s actually a reality. [There is] no other word than disappointment.”

To a man, the Rangers expressed no satisfaction in eliminating the Devils from the playoffs. Three hundred and thirty-one days earlier, at the Prudential Center, Adam Henrique’s tap-in 63 seconds into overtime sent the Devils to the Stanley Cup final while the Rangers began a summer overhaul that saw the organization eventually acquire Rick Nash.

“We weren’t worried about them or that,” Callahan said when asked about eliminating the Devils. “It’s all about us and it has been all year.”

“We weren’t thinking about last year,” McDonagh said. “This is a totally different [season] and we’re trying to fight for our lives.”

The Rangers went 1-for-6 in 9:15 worth of power-play time. The Devils did not convert on either of their two power plays.

Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves. Andrei Loktionov scored his eighth goal of the season with 6:30 remaining to keep the Devils from being shutout. Brodeur allowed all four goals on 22 shots.

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Local

New York-based Century 21 store coming to The…

The former Strawbridge & Clothier building will once again host a department store. City officials on Thursday announced New York-based Century 21 Department Stores will…

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

MLB

The return of Cole Hamels brings optimism

Cole Hamels’ quality start Wednesday was a nice change of pace from his recent season debuts.

MLB

Tony Gwynn Jr. a nice surprise for Phillies

Tony Gwynn Jr. has been a plus in every way for the Phillies.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

Food

Hai Street Kitchen opening in Rittenhouse May 22

Japanese cuisine will get a Chipotle-style twist at Hai Street Kitchen & Co., a new casual, quick-food restaurant opening near Rittenhouse Square on May 22.…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.