Conference Final shifts to the Rock for Game 3
Friday, 05.18.2012 / 4:39 PM
RANGERS at DEVILS
(Best-of-seven series tied 1-1)
NBC, CBC, RDS
The Devils return to Prudential Center for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Rangers; they've won four of five playoff games at home this spring, including their last three. The Devils evened the series with their cross-river rival on Wednesday with a 3-2 win at Madison Square Garden when David Clarkson
deflected a shot past Henrik Lundqvist 2:31 into the third period to snap a 2-2 tie. Devils goalie Martin Brodeur
earned his 108th playoff victory with 23 saves while Lundqvist took the loss for the Rangers despite 24 stops.
For the third straight playoff series, the Blueshirts are 1-1 after two games. The Rangers actually led 2-1 until late in the second period, when Marian Gaborik's turnover led to Ryan Carter
's tip-in from the left hash with 1:51 left in the period. Angered Rangers coach John Tortorella sat Gaborik for the opening 12 minutes of the final period before finally giving him a shift.
"It would have been big [to go into the third period up 2-1]," Gaborik told the media after the game. "I just have to do a better job there on the second goal. We had some momentum and they took over. I have to do a better job on the wall. It's a series. We just have to come back into their building and play better."
Gaborik has four goals, 10 points and a plus-3 rating in 16 playoff games for the Rangers this spring.
The Devils are 6-1 in playoff series in which they've split the first two games on the road, including 2-0 this spring. Expect coach Pete DeBoer to keep the lines he used in Game 2 when he placed left wing Zach Parise
back with center Travis Zajac
and right wing Ilya Kovalchuk
and had left wing Petr Sykora
back with center Patrik Elias
and right wing Dainius Zubrus
. That dropped Alexei Ponikarovsky
back to the third line, with center Adam Henrique
and right wing Clarkson.
During the regular season, the Devils won two of the three games against the Rangers in Newark, but one of the two victories came in a shootout; Lundqvist didn't play in that game.
"We have built some momentum," Brodeur said. "And now, we have to try to take that into our building and make our building a tough place to play."
Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky
had an assist in Game 2 and has a goal and five points in the last five games. He had two goals and eight points in 22 regular-season games after coming over from Minnesota.
The Rangers' Brandon Dubinsky (lower body) and Mats Zuccarello (broken wrist) remain out. … New Jersey's Jacob Josefson
(wrist) and Henrik Tallinder
(leg) are skating but remain out.
Rangers rookie left wing Chris Kreider scored a power-play goal on Wednesday to tie the NHL record for most playoff goals (four) and points (six) by a player who has never appeared in a regular-season game. … The Rangers' defense has scored 10 goals; no other team has more than five from its D.