NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 20: Marian Gaborik #10 of the New York Rangers scores at 4:45 of the third period against Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 20, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. The Rangers defeated the Devils 4-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Tuesday evening was the first time the Devils and Rangers met this season. It was quite the physical game with a few fights to start, but as the game settled down, so did the Blueshirts, as they took a good effort offensively, defensively and in goal to head to a 4-1 victory against their division rivals.
The Devils and Rangers met for the first time this season Tuesday evening. However, that did not stop the two from bringing out their best against each other. The Blueshirts happened to be better, though, using a solid third period to power ahead and beat New Jersey, 4-1.
Right after the opening faceoff, Mike Rupp and Cam Janssen proved no love was lost between the two division rivals despite it being this long to face each other. After Janssen won the 90-second bout, New Jersey got the first strike, as Travis Zajac scored his first goal of the year in his third game back from injury off of a series of rebounds.
With the 1-0 lead and after another fight not too long after, the Devils handled zone time and most of the offensive opportunities, holding the Rangers to just four shots while getting 11 through one period. The Rangers didn't waste much time in the second period, however, as they tied the game with Artem Anisimov's goal, sneaking up on Martin Brodeur's right side (no celebrations to condemn, this time).
While the Devils took the first period, the final period was all New York. The Blueshirts were able to get three goals from Marian Gaborik, who scored two and one empty netter, and Carl Hagelin, along with more opportunities driving the net. Also combined with a strong defensive performance and Henrik Lundqvist staying on his game to stop the Devils' efforts to rally, the Rangers were able to overcome five injuries to their defensive squad. The heroic effort by the Rangers kept New Jersey from extending their four-game winning streak and getting within one point of New York, who is tied for second with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Atlantic.