newjerseydevils.com (Nov. 14) – Back home to face their Hudson River rivals for the first time at Prudential Center, the Devils took an early lead before suffering a 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
Jaromir Jagr scored a goal and an assist, including the game winner, as Martin Brodeur was denied career win No. 500 for a second time.
Jamie Langenbrunner returned to the Devils' lineup after missing the first 17 games of the season with a groin injury, and tallied both New Jersey goals.
Langenbrunner converted on his first shot of the night, just 35 seconds into the game, giving the Devils an important 1-0 lead.
Skating the right side on a line with Travis Zajac and Zach Parise, Langenbrunner found himself all alone in front of Henrik Lundqvist to bury a Johnny Oduya rebound, top shelf.
The Devils (7-9-2) entered the night 6-1-1 when scoring first. But this lead didn't even last a Newark minute.
Nigel Dawes answered back for the Rangers just 50 seconds later to tie the game at 1-1, and New York went on to score the next three goals, taking a 4-1 lead before Langenbrunner's second came at 7:29 of the third.
Brandon Dubinsky broke a 1-1 tie at 1:01 of the second period, and Jagr's power-play tally with 34 seconds left in the middle frame put the Rangers ahead 3-1 after two.
Marc Staal was New York's other scorer, collecting his first career goal.
"You have to get focused," coach Brent Sutter said of his Devils group that has slipped to 0-2-1 against the Rangers this season. "At the end of the day, we didn't do enough here to win.
"We were unable to score on the power play and contribute. They were then able to score on the power play. I didn't think we really got going until eight or nine minutes into the third period. [Then] we were skating and putting pucks on net."
Brodeur (5-9-1) made 19 saves, and came up with two second-period gems to keep the Devils within a goal.
Trailing 2-1, Brodeur stopped Fedor Tyutin's redirection from the top of the crease with 10:45 remaining. Then, after a Sean Avery centering feed from the right corner spun back to Jagr on the near side with 7:20 remaining, Brodeur sprawled out along the goal line with his catching arm to block Jagr's attempt.
The Devils' struggles on the power play continued. The club finished 0-for-5 with the man advantage, managing five shots in nine minutes of power-play time. New Jersey now has scored three times in its last 50 power-play chances.
On the penalty kill the Devils went 4-for-5, and nearly closed to within a goal late in regulation.
With Patrik Elias in the box for interference, Brian Gionta intercepted a Dan Girardi pass in the defensive zone, and skated in on a breakaway from the Rangers' blue line. Gionta's wrist shot was turned away by Lundqvist, who made 22 saves.
New Jersey's next meeting with the Rangers is set for Dec. 9 at Madison Sqaure Garden.
After playing 7:39 of the first period, defenseman Paul Martin left the game and did not return... The Devils are 3-3-0 at Prudential Center.
FOOD DRIVE: FRIDAY, NOV. 16 vs. ISLANDERS Join the Devils for their annual Food Drive this Friday, Nov. 16, when the club hosts the Islanders at 7 p.m. All fans are asked to bring unopened cans or boxes of non-perishable food.
Every fan that makes a donation will be eligible to win autographed Devils memorabilia. This season's collection will benefit the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS The next promotional night at Prudential Center is set for Friday, Nov. 30, against Montréal, when all fans in attendance will receive a Devils souvenir puck featuring the Prudential Center Inaugural Season commemorative logo, courtesy of Dale and Thomas Popcorn.
ON THE FARM
The Lowell Devils, New Jersey's AHL affiliate, announced on Wednesday the signing of Erik Rasmussen to a professional tryout agreement.
Rasmussen, 30, returns for his fourth season within the Devils organization after spending the last three with New Jersey. He appeared in 207 contests with the Devils from 2003-04 to 2006-07, collecting 15 goals and 18 assists for 33 points.
The St. Louis Park, Minn., native will make his Lowell debut on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Tsongas Arena when the Devils host the Hartford Wolfpack at 7:05 p.m.