The New Jersey Devils are leaving New York City and heading back to the comfy confines of the Prudential Center with 1-1 series split after taking care of business in a 3-2 win in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Devils finally found a way to solve the New York Rangers suddenly impenetrable defense and put three pucks past Henrik Lundqvist. Scoring three goals against the Rangers is like Kryptonite to Superman, they are powerless against it.
New Jersey’s tri-fecta of goals was just the fifth time in 16 playoff games that the Rangers gave up more than two goals in a game. New York lost all five of those games.
Could beating the Rangers really be that simple? Just score three goals and you’re golden? It sounds good but it’s not quite that simple. In New York’s other 11 games they have held their opponent to one goal or less 6 times, including two shutouts. New York’s record in those six games? You guessed it, 6-0.
It does seems pretty clear, if the Devils are going to have success in this series and beyond they are going to have to maintain the three-goals a game average they have coming into the East Finals. Before being shutout in game 1, New Jersey had scored three or more goals in 10 of 12 playoff games and seven straight.
The Devils were excellent once again of the forecheck and they found ways to get traffic in front of Lundqvist. This type of hard work once again proved to be the foundation of the Devils overall success.
Of the three goals scored by Ilya Kovalchuk, Ryan Carter and David Clarkson, only Kovalchuk’s beat the Rangers goalie clean. Carter and Clarkson both went to the front of the net and each used quick hands to skillfully redirect the puck past Lundqvist. It seems pretty obvious that the Devils will have to live and die by the deflection.
Can they keep up the same torrid offensive pace against the Rangers? If they play like they did in most of game 2….they just might have a shot.
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