NEW YORK — Carl Hagelin scored late in the first period and Henrik Lundqvist made the goal stand up as the New York Rangers snapped the New Jersey Devils' seven-game road winning streak with a 2-0 victory on Monday night.
After a relatively quiet NHL trade deadline day for both teams, the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers stretched their advantage to nine points over Boston and Pittsburgh.
Hagelin gave the Rangers a 1-0 edge with 3:01 left in the first period. Ryan Callahan added an empty-netter with 1:06 left, his career-best 25th goal — with an assist from Hagelin — to make it 2-0.
Lundqvist, who entered with the league's lowest goals-against average in February, dropped it even further by making 13 saves for his NHL-best eighth shutout of the season and the 43rd of his career. Lundqvist made a lunging glove snare with 2:26 left to rob Ilya Kovalchuk and secure his 30th win of the season.
It was the fewest shots allowed by the Rangers this season.
Martin Brodeur wasn't tested much, either, in a game played with an edge on both sides. He finished with 13 saves for New Jersey, which lost on the road for the first time since Jan. 10 at Calgary. The Devils' road run was the longest in the NHL this season, but they have dropped three in a row overall following a four-game winning streak.
New Jersey had won two of the three previous meetings this season, including a 1-0 victory in New York on Feb. 7.
Agitating Devils forward David Clarkson spent most of the night in the penalty box, serving 19 minutes — including a misconduct and a fighting major.
Despite being held to only four shots in the first period and none until more than seven minutes had elapsed, the Rangers grabbed the lead on rookie Hagelin's 11th goal. After the Devils failed to get the puck out of their zone, New York defenseman Dan Girardi sent it behind the net. Callahan shoveled a quick, short pass in front to Hagelin, who slammed a shot in at the left post.
It was a particularly physical period, with Rangers forward Ruslan Fedotenko skating off gingerly after being hit by an errant stick in a scrum along the boards. New Jersey's Eric Boulton shoved Rangers leading scorer Marian Gaborik before the faceoff following Hagelin's goal, but nothing more arose from the altercation.
The Devils, who also had four shots in the period, had the only power play in the first. Brodeur was also caught wandering out of his net a few times, but managed to get back into position before the Rangers could catch him. Lundqvist made the best stop of the period when he blocked Clarkson's backhanded try at the doorstep with just under eight minutes left, during New Jersey's power play.Comment on this story
NOTES: The Rangers acquired D John Scott from the Chicago Blackhawks for a fifth-round pick in this year's draft. He wasn't in the New York lineup. New Jersey didn't make any trades Monday before the deadline. ... The Devils began a stretch of seven of nine games against Atlantic Division rivals. They will face the Rangers once more in that span, take on the New York Islanders three times, and the Philadelphia Flyers twice. ... Clarkson entered with 97 penalty minutes this season. ... Hagelin, who had a goal in the Rangers' home win over Buffalo on Saturday, has scored in consecutive games for the first time. ... The Devils allowed only 16 shots in each of their previous two games.