It took an early Devils goal and a tirade-filled timeout less than two minutes into the game, but the Rangers brought it together to secure their second victory of the season.
While the veterans seemed a step behind, the play of their rookie defensemen Mike DelZotto and Matt Gilroy carried the team.
The Rangers tied the game on a power play goal by Del Zotto during a penalty to New Jersey's Pikkarainen
for hooking. DelZotto, who admitted during the preseason that he feels most comfortable on the power play, has found a way each game to create opportunities from the point, something that has lacked in recent years along the Rangers blueline.
However, a penalty to Brandon Dubinsky a few minutes later followed by a lapse in defensive zone coverage (something that is looking like an unfortunate trend) led to another Devils' goal, this time by Travis Zajac. The Rangers could not sustain any momentum.
Simply, all four lines looked disjointed, but again the Rangers would get help from their special teams. With Johnny Oduya off for roughing, the Rangers would again look for a spark from their young defense.
DelZotto fed a pass to Ales Kotalik on the point, where he played in Buffalo, who blasted a one-timer through Martin Brodeur.
The Rangers and Devils would leave the first period tied at 2.
The second period proved to be more of the back-and-forth style of play that most fans were expecting. While the Devils erred on the defensive side of the puck, the aggressive Rangers forced the Devils into taking offensive chances.
Both teams traded chances and penalties until late in the period when the Devils' Bergfors was called for diving. The Rangers mustered up some opportunities and carried the momentum for the latter part of the period.
Then Gilroy finished his own play. Starting in his own zone, Gilroy skated through the neutral zone, feeding a pass to Vinny Prospal and Marian Gaborik. Gaborik then slipped a past cross ice in the offensive zone to the charging Gilroy who took a low slapshot through the legs of a fumbling Brodeur.
The goal was the first of Gilroy's NHL career.
That proved to be all the Rangers would need as they finished the second period in the lead and were able to hold on throughout the third.
Discipline and being defensively conscious led the Rangers to victory after killing off an early penalty to Dan Girardi for boarding. The Devils' chances were limited and the Rangers maintained enough pressure not to allow for much setup time in their own end.
Despite a flurry in the waning minutes, the Rangers held on for their second victory of the season.
Henrik Lundqvist continued his strong play with 25 shots and improved his already impressive record against Brodeur.
Matt Gilroy and Mike DelZotto were the First and Second Stars followed by the Devils' Dave Clarkson.
More analysis tonight as the Rangers prepare for the Washington Capitals.
- Daniel Akeson
While on another power play, Del Zotto fed