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Rangers unable to withstand the heat of the Devils in 4-1 loss

The New York Rangers (42-16-7) were seeing red in their 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils (37-24-5), as the Devils cranked-up the heat against the league-leading Blueshirts in Tuesday night hockey action. Pressure was the name of the game for New Jersey, and on this night it was not something the Rangers could counter.

New Jersey started the pressure early, scoring 49 seconds into the first period, as sniper Ilya Kovalchuk (26) put in a snap shot for the 1-0 lead. The rivalry between the two teams showed in the physical play, as two fights ensued.

The first fight cost the Rangers as center Brandon Dubinsky sustained a hand injury during his bout with Ryan Carter at the 3:03 mark. In the second bout the heavyweights dropped gloves as Blueshirts newcomer John Scott exchanged blows with Cam Janssen.

New York continued to show heart and grit, and maybe a glimmer of gaining two points against their Metropolitan-area rivals, when Derek Stephan (15) connected on a slap shot from Carl Hagelin (17) and Dan Girardi (19).

Stephan continues his scoring touch, as the center now has a four-game point streak (two goals, three assist), while also recording 14 points (five goals, eight assists) in the last 16 games. Hagelin also extended his point streak as the young winger now has eight points (four goals, four assists) in the last 10 games.

That glimmer of hope for the Blueshirts was quickly extinguished on two Devils goals in a 1:54 minute span, as David Clarkson (26) and Ryan Carter (3) combined to give New Jersey the 3-1 lead. Patrik Elias (22) iced the victory with an empty-net goal at the 18:07 mark.

Martin Brodeur and Henrik Lundqvist put on a display as always, but this time it was the Devils cager coming out on top with 25 saves. Lundqvist finished the night with 25 saves and a .893 save percentage.

The Rangers will end the road trip with back-to-back games against Ottawa and Chicago on Thursday and Friday. First-up it will be the Blueshirts and the Senators game, airing on the MSG network, with face-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Written on March 7, 2012

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