The New Jersey Devils dropped their third straight contest on Monday evening, falling to the Rangers by a score of 2-0. Both teams played strong defensively; however, a lack of shots on goal and the inability to capitalize on scoring chances plagued the Devils tonight. Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist won his 30th game of the season, extending the Rangers’ lead in the Eastern Conference standings.
Both teams played outstanding defense through the first fifteen minutes of hockey. Neither the Devils nor the Rangers could seem to get something going offensively and had difficulty putting pressure on one another. The first goal of the game was netted at 16:59 by Carl Hagelin of the New York Rangers. New Jersey suffered yet another defensive breakdown and Hagelin pushed the puck in between Brodeur’s right pad and the goal post for a 1-0 lead. At the end of the first period, both teams had a less-than-stunning four shots on goal.
Physical play picked up in the second period. Over forty penalty minutes were accumulated between the Rangers and Devils. David Clarkson took a 10 minute misconduct penalty in addition to a five minute fighting major and two minor penalties. Eric Boulton and Brandon Prust exchanged five minute majors for fighting. All of the chaos in the second period, however, yielded no actual results for either squad and New Jersey continued to trail by one at the end of period number two.
The Devils were unable to capitalize on several scoring opportunities in the third. Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding and robbed Ilya Kovalchuk on one of his best chances in the game. Kovalchuk broke loose to Lundqvist’s right and snapped a wrist shot from the circle; after a deflection in front, Lundqvist was able to glove the puck and freeze play. Ryan Callahan scored an empty netter with 1:06 to play to seal the deal as Lundqvist picked up his eighth shutout of the season.
The Devils look to rebound from an awful performance over the last three games on Thursday night when they take on the Bruins at 7 PM EST. After a few days of rest, hopefully, New Jersey is able to get something started. The Devils still sit at sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a total of 74 points. For all the latest on New Jersey’s hockey team, follow @RWTDblog, @DEVIN88MATTERA, and @RealScottRobb on twitter.