We are finally starting to see what we expected from Kovalchuk. Maybe he need time to fit in or maybe it was just John Maclean but whatever it was, he’s starting to perform like we were hoping. In his first 40 games this season, he found the net 10 times and in his last 10 games, he already has half that total.
Kovalchuk has a nice shot that beat Lundqvist on the short side to opening the scoring. Marty did a great job in the first period keeping the Rangers off the board even though they led the period in shots.
In the second period, the Devils seem to put the foot on the gas. Zubrus took a nice pass from Tallinder and fired a shot at Lundqvist which snuck over the line to give the Devils a nice 2-0 lead. Rolston took a bomb of a one timer that found nothing but net and chased Lundqvist to the bench.
The Rangers were smart to pull Lundqvist as it created a little energy for them. Callahan found the back of the goal with a few minutes left to play in the 2nd to cut the lead to 3-1.
Then the Devils seemed to come apart in the third. The played a very undisciplined period where they found themselves sitting in the box 4 times, although Del Zotto helped them out at one point. Prospal cut the lead to 3-2 while the Rangers were on a PP and made this game very interesting. Give the Devils credit though, they hung in there as the Rangers really took a run at them in the third. Marty saw 15 shots in the third and the Rangers spent a lot of time in the Devils zone.
The Devils played poorly in the beginning of the season but the didn’t get breaks either. Breaks are starting to come the Devils way. For instance, the Rangers hit the post on the final shot of the game and if that had happened 3 months ago, that puck would have found its way into the net.
Devils continue to be one of the hottest teams in the NHL as they are 8-1-1 in their last 10 and have leapfrogged over the Islanders for 14th place in the Eastern Conference.
Just as a side note, can we stop asking Lemaire why he took this job in post game interviews and stop talking about the playoffs in post game interviews as well? Lemaire has answered a number of times why he came back and right now, the playoffs aren’t something to even worry about.