The New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-0 in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday afternoon. The game was played in Newark, NJ for the first time in this series. The Rangers as they did in the first two rounds split the first two games at home. They then won this pivotal game three like they did in the first two rounds. The Rangers will take the same result which was two Game Seven wins at home. If they do that they will be Eastern Conference Champions and play in the Stanley Cup Finals for the Stanley Cup. The Rangers of course would like to make it a little easier on themselves.
The story of this game was Henrik Lundqvist the Rangers all world goaltender. He faced 36 shots and stopped them all. The Rangers were being dominated in the first period and beginning of the second period. Rangers coach John Torterella called a timeout early in the second period and it worked. He rallied his troops and from that point on they played a good game. The Rangers were still tied at no score through two periods. In the third period they scored three goals. It was just like Game One which they also won 3-0 with three goals in the final period.
The Rangers in both of the wins got great goaltending as usual and they blocked a lot of shots. The blocked shots are their signature and they frustrate opponents. In this game though I think the Devils will be more frustrated by the ones they had, that were stopped. They had very good chances and Lundqvist was up to the challenge and stopped them all. There are games like that in the NHL where you can’t do anything but praise the goalie. Lundqvist may get in the heads of the Devils but he needs to come back with another strong game on Monday night in Game Four.
The Rangers failure in these playoffs has been to take a two game lead in any of the series. They will win the pivotal games but then lose the next games. In every Game Two and Game Four where they had a chance at a two game lead in the series they lost that game. In the second round they also lost Game Six which they could of won and closed out the series with a two game lead 4-2.
The Rangers could very easily win this series in five or six unlike the other two rounds. I find this series to be a little different because when the Rangers win, they win by a lot. The final score is a little misleading because the games have been tight through the first two periods and the Rangers win it in the final period. The other difference so far has been the Rangers being able to score on the power play. They have been terrible on that all year long until now. The Rangers have scored at least one power play goal in all three games. The two teams will play Game Four on Monday night and then return to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night for Game Five. Will the Rangers return home with a 3-1 series lead and the chance to close it out?? We will have to wait and see but so far the Rangers haven’t made anything easy on themselves.