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Jagr and Staal score key goals to deny Brodeur's 500th NHL victory

NEWARK, N.J. - Jaromir Jagr a trio of rookies denied Martin Brodeur his 500th NHL victory.

Jagr scored a power-play goal in the second period, and the rest of the Rangers' offence against Brodeur in their 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night was provided by the young trio of Nigel Dawes, Brandon Dubinsky and defenceman Marc Staal.

"It's a great mix. It reminds me of teams we had here," said former Devils forward Scott Gomez, who had two assists. "They've answered the bell and the challenge and we expect it."

Gomez withstood the boos he heard every time he touched the puck in his first game back in New Jersey since leaving the Devils for the Rangers as a free agent this past summer.

He has a seven-game point streak, which has coincided with the turnaround of New York's season. The Rangers are 2-0 halfway through their four-game road trip and have won seven of eight while allowing just 11 goals.

Dawes got the Rangers even at 1-1 in the first period, Dubinsky gave them the lead in the second, and Staal pushed the advantage to 4-1 in the third.

"They are the future of our team," Rangers coach Tom Renney said. "They have to contribute. That's why they're here."

Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves to earn his first road win of the season (1-5-1), and should be back in goal Thursday when the Rangers face first-place Philadelphia. He was sharp following his first day off Saturday after playing the first 16 games.

He got the best of Brodeur.

"It feels good," Lundqvist said. "It's great for him to reach that, but not tonight. It was our win. We played a really good road game."

Now the Rangers (10-7-1) trail the Flyers by one point in the Atlantic Division.

Brodeur was 9-0-1 with a 1.18 goals-against average in the 10 previous home games against the Rangers, all at the Meadowlands.

"He had so many good games against us," Jagr said. "He loves to play against the Rangers. It's nice to get him back a little bit.

"I respect him so much. It's not easy to stay on top of your game for so many years."

After the teams traded goals in the opening two minutes, Dubinsky broke a 1-1 tie - off an assist from Jagr - with his second goal.

Jagr, who showed fine stickwork throughout, netted his fourth and first on the power play to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead with 33.4 seconds left in the middle period.

It was nearly his second of the night, but a video review six minutes earlier determined that Brodeur blocked Jagr's shot as his glove swept over the goal line.

Staal gave New York a 4-1 lead 4:13 into the third period with his first NHL goal, a rising shot from the left circle that beat Brodeur over the left shoulder.

That was enough to keep him stuck at 499 wins, second only to league record-holder Patrick Roy, who retired with 551. Brodeur, who made 20 saves, will have to wait until at least Friday to get the milestone victory when the Devils face the New York Islanders. New Jersey lost on Long Island last Saturday during Brodeur's first shot at 500, and the 35-year-old netminder sat out Monday at Pittsburgh.

"Right now we're a .500 team (7-9-2), win one, lose one. It's not fun," Brodeur said. "We had a great opportunity here with the Rangers in town to get over that hump. We just couldn't do it.

"I just want to win. There's an emphasis that everyone puts on (500 wins), not me. I don't prepare differently."

Jamie Langenbrunner scored twice in his first game following off-season surgery. He gave the Devils a 1-0 just 35 seconds in during his first shift after missing 17 games following sports hernia surgery.

"I had some spells where I was watching the play instead of being involved," Langenbrunner said. "That's to be expected when you're not used to the pace of the game. All in all, it was an all right start for me."

Dawes made it 1-1 at 1:25.

That was the only early excitement as the pre-game warmup was uneventful one day after Rangers forward Sean Avery was fined US$2,500 by the NHL for instigating two skirmishes last week - including one with the Devils - before the opening faceoff.

Langenbrunner netted his second goal at 7:29 of the third to cut the Devils' deficit to 4-2.

Lundqvist was otherwise stellar. He stopped a long shot by Sheldon Brookbank in the second period and Zach Parise's follow-up rebound in the crease. His best save came with 5:51 left when he denied Brian Gionta on a breakaway.

Notes: Devils D Paul Martin sustained an undisclosed lower body injury in the first period and didn't return. He will be re-evaluated Thursday. ... The Rangers killed all five power plays against, making them 36 of 38 over the last 10 games. ... It was the Devils' second sellout in six games at their new home arena, both losses. ... Dawes (five), Dubinsky (two) and Staal (one) have combined for eight goals in 63 NHL games.


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