NHL: Devils beat Rangers in OT, on to Cup Finals

By Tom Canavan

Associated Press

Published: Friday, May 25 2012 11:46 p.m. MDT

All the Rangers could do was bow their heads and then line up for the traditional handshake after losing to their cross-rival rivals in a series that was close.

"That's playoff hockey, and that's usually where you get an overtime goal," Rangers veteran Brandon Prust said. "Just whacking away in front of the net, getting rebounds."

Martin Brodeur, 40, kept the Devils alive in the third. He stopped a power-play shot by Brad Richards, made a save on Artem Anisimov between the circles and used his stick to deflect a pass from the boards by Carl Hagelin in the final minute just before it got to Marian Gaborik on the edge of the crease.

"You could tell he was in the zone. He led us," Parise said. "He made some big saves tonight."

Lundqvist's best stop in the third was on Dainius Zubrus on a shot from behind the circles.

Facing elimination and down 2-0 after 20 minutes, the Rangers found their game in the second period and tied the game at 2-all on goals by Fedotenko and Callahan in a roughly four-minute span.

Defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who assisted on both goals, made the big play to get New York back in the game. He collected the puck above the left circle, skated around the net and tried a wrap around. The shot didn't go on goal but it turned out to be a perfect pass to Fedotenko who a tap-in into an open net at 9:47.

Callahan, who had a New York goal go off his leg in the Devils' 5-3 win on Wednesday, tied the game at 13:41 when Dan Girardi's shot from the right point deflected off his leg into the open lower corner of the net. Callahan's sixth of the postseason was set up when Brandon Dubinsky won a faceoff in the left circle.

Carter, who scored the game winner in New York on Wednesday night after the Devils blew a 3-0 lead, put New Jersey ahead again at 10:05 of the opening period.

The play started with a bad pinch at the point by Rangers defenseman Marc Staal. Steve Bernier led a 3-on-1 and found Stephen Gionta coming down the middle for a solo chance against Lundqvist. The Rangers goaltender stopped the shot, but Carter swatted the rebound home for his fourth of the playoffs.

Kovalchuk's seventh goal of the postseason and fifth on the power play was a thing of beauty. All five Devils skaters touched the puck with tape-to-tape passes with Zubrus finding Kovalchuk alone low in the left circle for a shot that Lundqvist had little chance to stop.

The Devils — as is the tradition for many Cup finalists — did not touch the Prince of Wales Trophy that was presented at center ice. As the team skated off to their locker room, "Glory Days," the 1984 hit from New Jersey rocker Bruce Springsteen serenaded them.

The game was played on the 18-year anniversary of the Rangers' dramatic, 4-2, Game 6 victory over New Jersey at the Meadowlands, a victory that pushed that classic Eastern Conference final series to a Game 7 and eventually led New York to its first Stanley Cup in 54 years. That game, of course, was preceded by a guarantee from Rangers captain Mark Messier, who delivered three goals en route to the victory.

This time, though, there will be no Game 7.

Stanley Cup Finals

Kings vs. Devils

Games start at 6 p.m.

Game 1: Wednesday at N.J.

Game 2: June 2 at N.J.

Game 3: June 4 at L.A.

Game 4: June 6 at L.A.

Game 5: June 9 at N.J.

Game 6: June 11 at L.A.

Game 7: June 13 at N.J.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS