It only took a few seconds, but it took a full 60-minute effort for the New York Rangers (45-20-7) to defeat the New Jersey Devils (41-27-5) to push their ticket to the NHL Playoffs by a finally tally of 4-2. Within seconds of the opening face-off these two Metropolitan area rivals showed how badly they wanted a spot in post-season play-as three fights were happening at the same time.
The physical rivalry between the squads, continued during the course of the night, with thunderous hits, there was also face-paced action on the score sheet, as it was the role players and secondary scoring that helped lead the Blueshirts to the win.
New York became the second team to earn a spot in the playoffs, joining the St. Louis Blues in the hunt for the Stanley Cup.
Tallying the game-winning goal was feel good story Mats Zuccarello, who had opened the eyes of many fans of the Blueshirts during the team’s playoff run last season. Zuccarello is hoping to make good of another chance in the NHL, as the winger has spent most of the season in the AHL.
Zuccarello netted a power play wrister at the 7:33 mark of the second period, for the third game-winning goal of this career. The Norwegian-born player has been clutch netting eight GWG’s for the Blueshirts.
New Jersey made it close throughout the night as old A-Line mates, Petr Sykora and Patrik Elias combined for the two Devils goals. In the end it was the fantastic foursome of Zuccarello, Brandon Dubinsky, Dan Girardi and Derek Stephan that helped the Blueshirts to the vital two points.
The Rangers will continue this homestand with a Wednesday night game against the Detroit Red Wings. The game between New York and Detroit will air on the NBC-Networks with face-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Written on March 20, 2012