NEWARK, N.J. – The days when the New Jersey Devils dominated the New York Rangers are gone.
Chris Drury scored two goals and Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves as the Rangers beat the Devils for the fifth straight time, 3-1 on Friday night.
The Rangers have won all five meetings this season between the metropolitan area rivals and Lundqvist has been a major part of that success. He was in net for all five wins, allowing only five goals.
“It’s always fun to beat the New York-area teams,” Lundqvist said. “We have three more games against these guys and they have been good games. They are a good team but, so far this year, we have really played our best every time we play them.”
Lundqvist has two shutouts against New Jersey this season.
“He certainly played well,” Devils coach Brent Sutter said. “He made some big saves for them. I thought we did a lot of good things here tonight. Obviously, we didn’t score enough goals.”
Brandon Dubinsky also scored the Rangers who have won two straight – on the road on consecutive nights.
“We’ve been a lot more disciplined lately,” Drury said. “It’s down to the wire here. We need to get points and we need to get wins. We starting to build some momentum and we’re starting to see how we have to play. It’s defence first, and we’ll go from there.”
Zach Parise scored for the Devils who have only two wins in their last seven games with all five loses coming on home ice.
Dubinsky scored the only goal of the opening period four minutes in with a drive from top of the left circle.
The Rangers came close to adding a second goal with nine minutes remaining but Martin Brodeur denied Jaromir Jagr’s wrist shot.
The Devils’ best chance of the period came when Lundqvist stopped Patrik Elias just outside the Rangers crease with 2 1/2 minutes left.
New Jersey outshot New York 15-9 in the first period.
New York extended the lead to 2-0 as Drury connected for a power-play goal at 2:06 of the second period. The Rangers applied continuous pressure after Devils defenceman Colin White was whistled for slashing at 1:05.
Seconds after Nigel Dawes hit the post, Drury scored with the man advantage with a goal that banked off Brodeur’s leg. Scott Gomez, the former Devil, got the first assist for his 500th career point.
Parise cut the Rangers lead to 2-1 at 5:48 as a delayed penalty was about to be called on New York. Parise’s snared his own rebound and chipped the puck past Lundqvist.
New Jersey held a 14-11 edge in shots in the second period.
The Rangers shut down the Devils in the third, limiting them to five shots.
Lundqvist preserved the win, stopping a stuff attempt by Parise in the closing seconds. Drury closed out the scoring with a power-play goal into an empty net with 3.7 seconds remaining for his 500th career point.
Notes: Rangers LW Marcel Hossa missed a fourth straight game with a back injury while D Marek Malik missed the game after suffering a knee injury and facial cuts in New York’s 4-0 win over the Flyers in Philadelphia on Thursday. … The Devils had two healthy scratches: defencemen Andy Greene and Sheldon Brookbank. RW Jamie Langenbrunner returned after missing one game with flu-like symptoms. … Brodeur made his 10th straight start for the Devils. Lundqvist returned after getting a night off. Steve Valiquette was in goal Thursday night in Philadelphia in the Rangers 4-0 shutout of the Flyers. … Ryan Hollweg of the Rangers and Devils D Vitaly Vishnevski got roughing penalties for a pushing-and-shoving scrum at the end of the second period. … The crowd was 17,625, the Devils fifth sellout in the Prudential Center.