newjerseydevils.com – To avoid falling into a deeper hole against the Rangers, the Devils will have to get pucks past goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
New Jersey looks to get back into its Eastern Conference quarterfinal against New York when the series resumes tonight at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m., MSG+, WFAN 660 AM).
The Devils have scored just two goals against the Rangers, who took a 2-0 series lead following Friday's 2-1 victory. For a second straight game, the teams were tied after 40 minutes before the Rangers decided it in the third.
Jaromir Jagr and Sean Avery scored 23 seconds apart to snap a scoreless tie and John Madden answered with the Devils' lone goal late in regulation. It continued an unfortunate trend that has seen New Jersey outscored 5-1 overall in the third period.
Part of the trouble has been beating Lundqvist. While the Rangers have been dangerous offensively in the final frame, Lundqvist has allowed just one goal on 24 third-period shots.
During the regular season, New Jersey produced nine goals in eight games against Lundqvist, who shut them out twice and allowed just one goal on three other occasions.
The Devils' second victory against Lundqvist this season would prevent a potential 0-3 deficit heading into Wednesday's Game 4.
"Obviously 'must win' gets thrown out there a lot," captain Jamie Langenbrunner said. "You don't want to go down 3-0. We understand what that means. We have to throw it all out there. We've been close in these games, but we have to find that little extra to put us over the top."
The challenge for the Devils will be to make the most of their chances. The power-play went 0-for-5 on Friday, including a four-minute man advantage after Zach Parise took a vicious crosscheck to the mouth from Christian Backman.
Parise lost two front teeth, but the Devils missed a prime opportunity to get on the scoreboard and are 1-for-9 on the power play in the series.
"We have to keep our heads up," Martin Brodeur said. "It's all about our work ethic and intensity. We were a lot tougher and we got in their faces a lot more. We had our opportunities on the power play and we created nothing.
"At the end of the day, that's what's been killing us."
Brodeur has stopped 52 of 57 shots in two games, though it hasn't been enough to make up for his club's offensive struggles. Paul Martin (1g-1a) and Patrik Elias (2a) are the only Devils to have produced more than a point in the series.
New Jersey has won only one series after trailing 2-0, rebounding against Boston in the 1994 Eastern Conference semifinals with four straight victories.
New York, meanwhile, has held a 2-0 edge in a seven-game series eight times since the 1967 expansion and advanced in all but one. Of those, three ended in sweeps.