Rangers 3, Devils 0
A frustrating stretch continued Monday for the Devils, who came up short in a 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
After allowing 20 shots in the first period, New Jersey surrendered three goals in the second and could not solve New York netminder Henrik Lundqvist, who made 38 saves.
Brandon Dubinsky, Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan scored for the Rangers, who snapped a two-game losing skid with their first win in their last four meetings with the Devils.
New Jersey's winless streak reached a season-high five in a row with six games remaining in the regular season.
Head coach Brent Sutter said his team needs to turn things around, and quickly. Wednesday brings another important divisional matchup when they visit Pittsburgh.
"This shouldn't be happening," said Sutter, whose squad has clinched a playoff berth and holds a six-point lead over Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division. "It has nothing to do with anything outside of the fact that you just have to want it a little bit more than your opposition. It has nothing to do with systems, or anything like that. It's how motivated you are to want to have success."
, who registered 34 stops, has faced 127 shots in the last three games. New Jersey has not won since Brodeur recorded his 553rd career victory and 101st career shutout on March 20 (0-4-1).
"It's not fun," Brodeur said. "This is a time of year that you need to play well and win games to advance and feel good about yourselves. Right now that's not the case for us. We're starting to doubt how we're doing things out there. We have six games left and we have to find a way to get through this."
It was the seventh time the Devils have been blanked this season, and first time since Feb. 21. Sutter commented that the Devils ramped up their competitive level late in the game, but captain Jamie Langenbrunner
said the effort just wasn't enough.
"Five in a row is five in a row," Langenbrunner said. "Doesn't matter if you played well or played poorly, whether you scored a lot of goals or gave up a lot of goals. Five in a row in this League is unacceptable."
With the postseason approaching, the Devils are hungry to reignite their offense, which has produced six goals during the skid. They have scored two goals or less in six of its last seven games, and suffered losses in all six.
"To me, our play is not where it needs to be, and I don't have answers," Sutter said. "You try different things and you don't get a response. At some point in time they have to realize what the stakes are here."
Devils' leading scorer Zach Parise
shared his teammates' frustration.
"We just gave up too many shots, too many scoring chances, and they dictated the play," Parise said. "It's been very frustrating lately. We have to start scoring some goals to give ourselves a chance to win and we're not scoring right now."
Monday's loss was another setback for the Devils on the road. They have dropped five straight road contests and have three wins in their last 11 away from Prudential Center (3-7-1).
"I'm trying to stay positive," Sutter said. "At some point you have to recognize there are some issues here."
Dubinsky's 11th of the season opened the scoring 4:35 into the first period. Dubinsky was open at the left side of the net to flip a Girardi rebound over Brodeur to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
On 4-on-4 play two minutes later, Girardi notched his fourth from the slot to put New York ahead by a pair.
Callahan took a cross-ice feed from Scott Gomez and recorded his 21st on a wrister from the right circle for a 3-0 count at 15:06.
Monday's game was the 200th regular season meeting between the Devils and Rangers. ... New Jersey went 0-for-2 on the power play, and a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. ... The teams split the season series 3-3-0.
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