|NJD||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
|NYR||2||1||1||(0 - 0)||4|
|G: 2||Shots: 7|
|A: 0||Hits: 1|
|PTS: 2||PIM: 0|
|+/-: 2||TOI: 14:29|
|G: 1||Shots: 2|
|A: 1||Hits: 2|
|PTS: 2||PIM: 0|
|+/-: 2||TOI: 19:39|
|SA: 20||TOI: 60:00|
|GA: 0||EV: 12-12|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5-5|
|SV%: 1.000||SH: 3-3|
NEW YORK -- Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves for his second shutout of the season, and Rick Nash scored twice for the New York Rangers in a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
The Rangers still had to wait to find out who they will face in the first round of the playoffs, but they know it won't be the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins. The Rangers avoided finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference and will be either the No. 6 or 7 seed.
Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan both had a goal and assist in the first period against backup goalie Johan Hedberg, who gave Martin Brodeur a rare game off.
The loss marked the end of a disappointing season for the Devils (19-19-10), who missed the playoffs one year after advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.
Hedberg had to make a big stop early, stoning Callahan from the side of the net with a sprawling pad save just 35 seconds into the game. Stepan opened the scoring at 2:37 following a perfect feed by Callahan from behind the Devils net.
With his 18th of the season, Stepan, who leads the Rangers in assists, exceeded his goal total from last season, which he reached in 82 games.
Callahan's assist extended his point streak to seven games, matching his career high. The Rangers captain forced Hedberg to make another sprawling stop four minutes later as he raced down the left wing while killing a tripping penalty to Hagelin.
The Devils looked to clamp down on the Rangers' speed from that point on, holding New York without a shot for the next 11 minutes. That span included a tripping penalty to Ryan Carter in which the Rangers failed to mount much of an attack. Naturally it was Callahan and Stepan who helped the Rangers break out of their funk.
With Taylor Pyatt off for hooking, Callahan took a cross-ice pass from Stepan and beat Hedberg between the legs with 59 seconds remaining in the period. The goal was Callahan's second shorthanded tally of the season and gave the 28-year-old his fifth goal in five games.
Hedberg was able to keep the Devils in the game early in the second, making big pad saves off Nash and Mats Zuccarello in quick succession. Darroll Powe's hooking penalty gave the Devils an opportunity to answer back 5:52 into the period. But that Devils advantage was negated when Adam Henrique was whistled for holding 64 seconds later.
While New Jersey's puck possession improved in the second, the Devils struggled to create quality scoring chances against Lundqvist. That slower pace played perfectly into the Rangers hands, as Nash gave New York an insurmountable 3-0 lead when he beat Hedberg from the slot at 17:23 following a feed from behind the net by Brad Richards. Nash's team-leading 20th goal of the season set the stage for an uneventful final period of the Devils' season.
Nash scored his second of the game and 21st of the season 5:30 into the final period, finishing off a perfect passing sequence involving Derick Brassard and Zuccarello.
with Associated Press and NHL.com reports
|Derek Stepan (18) Slapshot - ASST: Ryan Callahan (15), John Moore (6)|
1 - 0 NYR
|SHG - Ryan Callahan (16) Wrist shot - ASST: Derek Stepan (26)|
2 - 0 NYR
|Rick Nash (20) Snap shot - ASST: Brad Richards (22)|
3 - 0 NYR
|Rick Nash (21) Wrist shot - ASST: Mats Zuccarello (5), Brad Richards (23)|
4 - 0 NYR
|Carl Hagelin Tripping against Adam Larsson|
|Ryan Carter Tripping against Ryan McDonagh|
|Taylor Pyatt Hooking against Ilya Kovalchuk|
|Darroll Powe Hooking against Stephen Gionta|
|Adam Henrique Holding against Ryan McDonagh|
|Travis Zajac Hooking against Anton Stralman|
|Ryan McDonagh Interference against Travis Zajac|
|Dainius Zubrus Cross checking against Steve Eminger|
|Andy Greene Delaying Game-Puck over glass against Kris Newbury|
|Peter Harrold Roughing against Carl Hagelin|
|SA: 21||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 17||EV: 15 - 18|
|PIM: 0||PP: 0 - 0|
|SV%: .810||SH: 2 - 3|
|SA: 20||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 20||EV: 12 - 12|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 5|
|SV%: 1.000||SH: 3 - 3|
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