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The Devils kept up the pressure the rest of the way, but got nowhere with an ineffective 0 for 5 power play. And as they skated off dejectedly toward their locker room, they could only look back and wonder how they came up empty with so many shots on Lundqvist.
"It’s not like we didn’t create anything," New Jersey’s Patrik Elias said. "They didn’t block everything, they didn’t outbattle us. It was a battle from both teams — hard."
N.Y. Rangers 3, New Jersey 0
N.Y. Rangers lead series 2-1
Phoenix at Los Angeles, 1 p.m., Ch. 5
Los Angeles leads series 3-0
New Jersey spent most of the game sticking it to the Rangers all over the ice. The Devils dominated and outshot the Rangers, 26-14, through the first two periods.
In the second period, New York’s Brandon Prust threw a hard right elbow into the back of Anton Volchenkov’s head that knocked the defenseman down in a heap. No penalty was called and the crowd howled in protest. DeBoer was furious at the non-call and was yelling on the bench as he looked up at the replay overhead. Volchenkov eventually got to his feet and later returned to the ice.
"Headhunting," DeBoer said, stealing Tortorella’s tone for an answer or two. "Plain and simple."
Lundqvist was at his best in the third, snaring Kovalchuk’s one-timer to turn away any attempt at a late Devils’ rally.
"He’s been the backbone of our team for a long time now," Girardi said. "He’s making huge saves."
The Devils pulled Brodeur with 2:33 left and that backfired only 10 seconds later when Callahan knocked in an easy look that bounced off the back boards. The three-goal cushion allowed the Rangers fans in attendance to boast a bit as their rivals struggled. "Let’s go Ran-gers" chants were prevalent, as were derogatory "Mar-ty" chants toward the Devils’ veteran netminder.
Brodeur shrugged off the chants.
"It’s momentum off the way we play that dictates how our crowd is going to be in our building, because there are a lot of Rangers fans coming over," Brodeur said. "They are the ones, I guess, with the money and they are sitting right beside us, too.
"It’s not new for us."
Losing at home, though, is. The Devils, after all, had won four straight postseason games at The Rock.
That streak is history. Thanks to the man the Rangers call "Hank."
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