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Shanahan snaps Devils' winning streak, scoring in OT in Rangers' 1-0 win

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

NEW YORK - Martin Straka stood up to the puck, risking every inch of his five-foot-nine frame without the benefit of even a stick to defend him.

The first drive from Devils defenceman Karel Rachunek snapped Straka's stick. The second one caught him painfully on the ankle. Straka hurt so much he didn't even know where the third shot ricocheted off his body.

Any one of those could've turned into the goal that stretched New Jersey's winning streak to 10 and extended the New York Rangers' skid to four.

Not on this night.

Brendan Shanahan ripped a shot past Martin Brodeur 30 seconds into overtime, breaking a scoreless tie and sending the Rangers to a 1-0 victory Sunday.

"We have to look at the positives," Devils forward Patrik Elias said. "We had something special going. To get a point in 10 games in a row that's great. We've just got to let it go."

Straka, known more for his offence alongside teammate Jaromir Jagr, blocked three shots in that early second-period flurry when the Rangers were short-handed, and made goalie Henrik Lundqvist's job that much easier.

"That's what you have to do, you have to block shots," Straka said. "I didn't try to do anything. I just tried to line up with the guy."

Straka played just his eighth game after returning from a broken finger that kept him out for a month.

As much pain as he was in at the time, he felt better after the game. X-rays weren't necessary.

"The first one hurt. The other one I just went down and I was lucky enough that it hit me," Straka said. "I didn't break anything, that's the good thing."

The Rangers had been outscored 14-4 during the three-game losing streak, including a pair of home defeats this week in which Lundqvist uncharacteristically allowed four goals in each.

Steve Valiquette took a 4-2 loss at Atlanta on Friday when Lundqvist rested for only the third time in 29 games this season.

"I was thinking, 'Get pumped up for this game,' and it's not hard to get that feeling going out there to play against the Devils and play against Marty," Lundqvist said after his 12th NHL regular-season shutout - 82 fewer than Brodeur. "After the first period I felt like I was back."

Lundqvist made 17 saves, all in regulation, and lowered his goals-against average to 1.94. He moved back into a tie for the league lead in wins when Shanahan found the back of the net.

New York crisply moved the puck in the New Jersey zone, and Shanahan teed up a pass from Scott Gomez in the slot and put the Rangers' 29th shot past Brodeur. It was the only shot in the extra session.

Shanahan and Gomez were both first-round draft picks of the Devils, who are 0-4 this season against the Rangers - two losses coming after regulation.

"They always present a big challenge to us, especially with them being on a nine-game winning streak," Shanahan said. "We talked a little bit before the third period about not getting frustrated with the 0-0 tie."

New Jersey hadn't lost four straight to the Rangers since a six-game skid during New York's run to the Stanley Cup title in the 1993-94 season. The Devils will have to settle for matching the third-best winning streak in franchise history, falling four short of tying the team mark.

"We got two points out of the four games (against the Rangers)," Brodeur said. "When you play them, it's game by game. It's not really what this series is all about."

Lundqvist made his biggest save of the first period just after the opening faceoff. Zach Parise let go of a one-timer on New Jersey's initial rush at 13 seconds. He didn't face another shot until he forced John Madden to go wide on a breakaway during four-on-four play, and denied his backhanded attempt with 7:33 left in the period.

Parise got two more pucks on net in the final minute of the frame, recording three of the Devils' four shots.

"You wish that would change the face of the game if that one goes in, but it didn't," Parise said. "We didn't enough shots on net and we didn't test him enough."

Brodeur's top moment in the scoreless second period came with 1:46 remaining when he snared Petr Prucha's spin-o-rama backhander with a flash of his glove.

New Jersey outshot the Rangers 9-7 in the frame, but trailed 19-13 overall through 40 minutes.


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