NEWARK -- New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur reminded forward David Clarkson before the season started that if he wanted to score 30 goals again he would have to ramp up his pace from a year ago, when he didn't hit the mark until he played in his 79th game.
Clarkson is listening. He's on pace for 37 goals.
Clarkson scored twice Tuesday night, giving him seven goals in nine games, to help the Devils to a 3-1 victory against New York Rangers at Prudential Center. Clarkson also had an assist on Adam Henrique's goal that opened the scoring five minutes into the game and Brodeur made 24 saves for his 47th career win over the Rangers.
Patrik Elias had assists on all three goals for his second three-point game of the season as the Devils improved to 5-1-3.
The Rangers, who fell to 4-5-0, got a third-period goal from rookie Chris Kreider, who was playing in his first game since Jan. 24. Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves, but was beaten by Henrique and Clarkson in the first period and then again by Clarkson during a power play early in the third.
Clarkson gave the Devils a 3-0 lead with his fourth power-play goal of the season 2:53 into the third period. Arron Asham was in the box for hooking Jacob Josefson during a 2-on-1 rush with Bobby Butler.
Kreider came back and scored less than four minutes later when he took a pass from Brad Richards in the left circle and beat Brodeur high to the stick side for his first goal of the season. It was his first regular-season goal, though he had five for the Rangers in last spring's playoffs.
Brodeur preserved the two-goal lead thanks to a sterling glove save on Carl Hagelin, who was stoned on his redirect attempt off a centering pass from Rick Nash with 7:28 left in the third.
The power play continued to be a problematic for the Rangers, who went 0-for-5 with only three shots on goal with the man-advantage. They got the three shots on goal in four failed power-play chances during the first period.
The Rangers are now 3-for-35 (8.6 percent) on the power play this season. They were tied for 28th in the NHL coming into the game.
However, defenseman Marc Staal was a dazzling Brodeur save away from scoring on the power play late in the first period.
With Devils defenseman Andy Greene in the penalty box serving a double minor for high-sticking Asham, Staal received a cross-slot pass from Kreider and tried to deposit the puck into the net, but Brodeur cut across the crease, stuck out his leg and got a piece of the shot before falling on top of it with 4:22 left.
Two minutes after Greene was released, Clarkson hammered a shot from the high slot past Lundqvist for his sixth goal of the season.
The Devils grabbed a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game when Henrique finished off a pretty passing sequence for his second goal of the season. Clarkson found Elias behind the net. Elias sent a diagonal pass up into the lower left circle for Henrique, who beat Lundqvist with a shot over his blocker.
Henrique beat the Rangers and sent the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final with the overtime-winner in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals last spring, but his goal Tuesday was his first point in six career regular-season games against New Jersey's cross-river rivals.
Clearly looking for some offensive jump, Rangers coach John Tortorella switched up his lines with just over three minutes left in the second period, moving Brad Richards away from Nash and Marian Gaborik.
Tortorella spent the rest of the night mixing and matching among a handful of forwards, including rookie J.T. Miller, who was making his NHL debut and had been centering the fourth line between Kreider and Darroll Powe. Tortorella used Miller on the wing when he moved him up in the lineup.
The Rangers were forced to play without defenseman Dan Girardi, who according to the team is "banged up" and considered day-to-day. Girardi had played in 120 straight games dating back to Feb. 1, 2011. He has missed only three games since he got to the NHL in 2007.
Girardi led the Rangers in ice time through the first eight games of the season, averaging 24:54 per game.
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