NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Dan Girardi #5 of the New York Rangers celebrates his third period goal with teammates Derek Stepan #21, Chris Kreider #20 and Marian Gaborik #10 of the New York Rangers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Devils Vs. Rangers, Game 1: New York Uses Strong Third Period To Grab 1-0 Series Lead

The Rangers used a great third period to hold off the Devils, grabbing a 3-0 Game 1 win and a 1-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Final.

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Devils Vs. Rangers: Despite Game 1 Victory, Rangers Must Make Adjustments

Even though the Rangers won the opening game of the Eastern Conference Final, the club needs to make adjustments going into Game 2.


Devils Vs. Rangers, Game 1: Ryan McDonagh Impressive In New York Win

Ryan McDonagh has turned heads with the New York Rangers, grabbing top-unit minutes alongside Dan Girardi for most of the season. McDonagh's strong play has been vital for the club all season long, especially in the early going when Marc Staal remained sidelined with a concussion, and his fine play has continued into the playoffs.

In Game 1 against the Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals, McDonagh was perhaps the most impressive Ranger on the ice. Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter explained:

McDonagh played like an absolute beast [Monday night]. He was a monster on the backcheck, and made a great play on Zach Parise to break up a partial breakaway. He had another play later in the second period, where he caught up to Ilya Kovalchuk on another partial break, and gave him no room to shoot. McDonagh is getting better, game by game, and he just continues to impress.

Stick with our StoryStream for full coverage of Devils vs. Rangers Game 1. For coverage from the New Jersey perspective, check in with Devils blog In Lou We Trust and for coverage from the New York perspective, check in with Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter.


Devils Vs. Rangers: Despite 3-0 Loss, New Jersey Must Stick With Game Plan

The New Jersey Devils have experienced their best stretch of postseason success in some time with a furious forechecking game and aggressive penalty kill, but that went by the wayside in Monday night's third period.


Devils Vs. Rangers, Game 1: New York's Shot Blocking Key To Victory

The Devils dominated the Rangers offensively for most of Monday night's Game 1, but in the end, Henrik Lundqvist wasn't forced to see all that many pucks thanks to a stifling New York defense that kept New Jersey to the outside. Defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi each had five blocks apiece, and in total the Rangers blocked 26 shots. That's compared to the 21 shots the Devils were able to get on goal.

Devils blog In Lou We Trust felt this was a key in their team's 3-0 Game 1 defeat.

What was remarkable was that every defenseman not named Michael Del Zotto got at least one block, and four had at least three each. For a team that was thought to be tired and definitely looked that (way) in the second period, they were more than willing to put themselves in harm's way. I suspect it's going to continue. The Devils need to adjust either by shooting much quicker to allow less time for the Rangers to get in their way, or to move the puck much faster to get away from Rangers pressing on them almost man-to-man.

Stick with our StoryStream for full coverage of Devils vs. Rangers Game 1. For coverage from the New Jersey perspective, check in with Devils blog In Lou We Trust and for coverage from the New York perspective, check in with Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter.


VIDEO: Chris Kreider Goal Gives Rangers 2-0 Lead

Martin Brodeur saved the Devils with a huge save at the 9:43 mark of the third. At the 12:00 mark, he gave up this goal on a Chris Kreider snap shot. It gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

It certainly looked like the fast release on the shot fooled Brodeur a bit, didn't it? The power-play goal came thanks to a pretty little dish from Artem Anisimov, but it's all just symbolic of how the Rangers have run over New Jersey in the third period. It all started with a seeing-eye point blast early in the period, and from there, it all snowballed into utter domination by New York.

Even a penalty minutes later on Kreider couldn't keep the Rangers down. They killed off the hooking minor with ease, generating the same number of shot attempts with a man down as the Devils did while a man up. Now, New Jersey needs two goals in about three and a half minutes. On Henrik Lundqvist.


Martin Brodeur Makes Unreal Third Period Save

The Rangers have taken over the third period since their early goal, and that Devils attack that persisted through the first two periods has yet to be seen late in this one. That's awful news for New Jersey as New York continues to pour on the pressure, but they at least have Martin Brodeur in their crease saving them with stops like this.


He's 40 years old, by the way. Did you guys know that?


VIDEO: Dan Girardi Blast Gives New York 1-0 Lead

The way this Game 1 has played out, it seemed like the Rangers were going to have to score one of these types of goals. They hadn't been able to establish much offensive zone time of their own, and with the Devils defense set up so well positionally, it was going to take something like a blast from the point with traffic in front of Martin Brodeur.

Yep. There ya go, Madison Square Garden. Dan Girardi's goal just 53 seconds into the third. Chris Kreider and Michael Del Zotto earned the assists. Derek Stepan probably earned one there too with the big time screen.

It's a rough break for the Devils after controlling much of the game offensively, and with the way the Rangers have kept most New Jersey chances to the perimeter with solid defensive positioning and a ton of shot blocks, the Devils are going to have to rely on a mistake from Henrik Lundqvist. That ... might not happen.


The Devils' Forecheck In Moving Picture Form

We've talked about the Devils' aggressive, successful forecheck quite a bit in Game 1. We can write all the words we want about it, but you'd much rather just see it in action, right? Here's just one example, but Adam Henrique makes this play happen with some great initial pressure on a puck race versus Anton Stralman.




Don Cherry Celebrates His Greek Heritage

Via Sean Leahy, here's a look at Don Cherry's get-up for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.


Had no idea the old coach had some Greek in him.


Ryan McDonagh: Pretty Good At This Defense Thing, Part II

First he stopped Zach Parise. Now, Ilya Kovalchuk. Ryan McDonagh could stop a speeding car with his backchecking skills. But hey, at least Kovalchuk got a shot off this time. Progress for the Devils.



Ryan McDonagh: Pretty Good At This Defense Thing

Zach Parise had a clear breakaway on the Rangers goal, but Ryan McDonagh came out of nowhere and chased him down, making a phenomenal defensive play to stop him before he ever reached the net. Sort of like how McDonagh came out of nowhere after joining the Rangers in early 2011, right? [Scott Gomez trade joke]



Wait, Is That Mark Messier?


Bald white dude with a Rangers jersey in really expensive seats with a C on the chest? Could've fooled me.

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