NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Alexei Ponikarovsky #12 and Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils celebrate a third period goal in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 16, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Devils Hold Off Rangers, Head Home With Series Even 1-1

David Clarkson scored the game-winner in the third period as the New Jersey Devils held off the New York Rangers, tying up the Eastern Conference finals at 1-1.

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21 Total Updates since May 16, 2012
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Patience Pays Off For Devils And Clarkson As Winger Flourishes

Signed by New Jersey as an undrafted free agent in 2005, David Clarkson took the long road to the NHL. Nearly seven years later, the rugged power forward is a big key to the club's chances to qualify for the Cup Final.


John Tortorella Knows Exactly What He's Doing

John Tortorella has been here before. He knows what he's doing every time he steps up to the microphone for a press conference, and he doesn't care what the media thinks about it.


Devils Vs. Rangers Game 2: Where In The World Was Marian Gaborik?

Despite trailing 3-2 in the dying minutes of game 2, the New York Rangers left one of their best offensive weapons on the bench. Why was Marian Gaborik kept off the ice, and is this a sign that John Tortorella was sending a message to his players?


Marian Gaborik Sighting!

No worries, New York. Marian Gaborik is here.

The Rangers star finally found his way onto the ice at the 11:02 mark of the third period. As of a New Jersey Devils timeout with five minutes remaining in the game, Gaborik has played two shifts in the third. Either way, though, with his team down a goal, John Tortorella is going to have to answer questions about keeping Gaborik off the ice after the game -- win or lose. That should be fun.


David Clarkson's Redirection Goal Gives New Jersey Devils 3-2 Lead

In Game 1, it was the New York Rangers that took an early third-period lead on a Dan Girardi goal. From that point, New York took over the game and waltzed to victory. Could it be reversed in Game 2? David Clarkson's redirection goal on an Adam Henrique point shot gave the Devils the 3-2 lead just 2:31 into the period.

It's not the same story following the goal, though. The Rangers turned up the gas after falling behind for the second time in the hockey game, and they've even begun to dictate the pace of the game a little bit, picking up at least three scoring chances and a power play opportunity after an ill-advised interference penalty against Steve Bernier.


A clean hit from Bernier, no doubt, but he delivered it a bit too soon in anticipation of Marc Staal getting to a loose puck. You have to actually let him get to that puck before you can hit him, man. The Devils killed the penalty but New York doesn't seem to be going down easily.


Ryan Carter Goal Ties Score, Gives Devils Boost Heading Into Third Period

What a huge, huge goal for the New Jersey Devils. It had seemed like the game was slipping away in the same way that Game 1 had slipped out of their grasp, but with less than two minutes to go in the second period of Game 2, their fourth line came up huge and tied the score at two goals apiece.

Ryan Carter did a great job to get his stick on the Bryce Salvador point shot, redirecting it back toward the Rangers goal and on Henrik Lundqvist. The New York goaltender got a piece of it, but it's possible that Travis Zajac may have disrupted his vision a bit, and after the puck hit him, it snuck its way into the back of the net.

Through two periods, the teams have each gone through spurts of extremely solid play in the game, but neither has really been able to take control. The Rangers can take a big series lead with a solid third period, and the Devils really need the win to avoid going into a deep hole heading into Game 3. Just as was the case in Game 1, whoever wins the third period will have a big edge heading into Saturday's game.


Chris Kreider's Power-Play Goal Gives Rangers 2-1 Lead

And just that quickly, the New York Rangers have the lead. Chris Kreider's power-play goal has the home team up 2-1 in a game that seemed early like it would be taken over by the New Jersey Devils. The goal was originally credited to Anton Stralman, but upon review was correctly changed to give the rookie his fourth goal of these playoffs.

In all, this may have been the worst penalty Travis Zajac has ever taken. (Maybe not, but it was certainly insulting.)

It was a tough penalty to take in the first place, an interference call while the Devils were pinned down in their own end. But after the call, Zajac had to stand and ponder the penalty as the Madison Square Garden maintenance crew tried for several minutes to open the penalty box door. Then, while resting in the box, Kreider gave his team the lead, capitalizing on Zajac's mistake.


Devils Penalty Box Door Won't Open At Madison Square Garden

The door to the New Jersey Devils' penalty box at Madison Square Garden is stuck open. Travis Zajac has been waiting to take his seat in that box for several minutes after taking a pretty bad interference penalty.Doorstuck_1_medium

The door won't open, and Zajac originally took his seat in the Rangers' penalty box. But after a pretty long delay, they got the door open and Zajac took his proper seat.

Taking your best jokes in the comments.


Marc Staal's Shot Takes Funny Hop Off Glass, Beats Martin Brodeur To Tie Score, 1-1

Hear those "Maaaaarty! Maaaaarty!" chants at Madison Square Garden? Yep, they're warranted.

The Devils goaltender took himself out of position, and when a Marc Staal shot went high and off the glass behind Brodeur's goal, the bounce somehow found its way off the goaltender's pad and into the back of the net.


Maybe it's just an unlucky bounce, but Brodeur is certainly to blame a little bit for this one. He was simply way too far out of the goal to begin with, and when the puck took its funny hop, he couldn't get himself in the proper position to make the save.

Just as in Game 1, when the Rangers scored a goal with a shot from the point in the third period, they've started to get some energy going following their tally. Can the Devils survive the surge, or will New York carry it to a lead in the hockey game?


Ilya Kovalchuk Scores Devils' First Goal Of Series; NJ Leads, 1-0

And with that, the Devils are on the board. New Jersey's aggressive forecheck drew all five Rangers defenders toward one side of the ice, but they all forgot about Ilya Kovalchuk, the most dangerous player in red, black and white.


Whoops. It left an easy out for the Devils: Get the puck up top to No. 2, Marek Zidlicky, and then feed it across to Kovalchuk, who cut down low unhindered and blasted it up over the shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist for the Devils' first goal of the series.

The Devils have taken over the first period of Game 2, much like they did in the first 40 minutes of Game 1, but the big difference is that the Devils, you know, have a goal to show for it this time around. If they keep up this forecheck and this type of dominance in the offensive end of the ice, it's going to be tough for the Rangers to generate any offensive pressure of their own.


Rangers' Shot-Blocking Getting In Devils' Heads?

So Bruce Arthur of the National Post made a solid point regarding the Rangers crazy shot-blocking ability. People have complained incessantly in the 36 or so hours leading up to Game 2 about New York's shot-blocking strategy, saying it's making the game boring and uneventful. But there's no doubt that it works, and it might even be getting in the heads of the Devils a little bit.


I'm not sure how shot-blocking is boring in any way. Yeah, it leads to fewer goals; I guess we should just get rid of goalies, too. Or maybe teams should just figure out how to beat it, because the Rangers could very well win the Eastern Conference doing this.


Carl Hagelin Penalty Sends New Jersey To Power Play

On the NBC Sports Network broadcast, Eddie Olczyk called this Carl Hagelin penalty "just winning a physical battle." I mean, yeah, but aren't all physical penalties the result of a player "just winning a physical battle?"


Anyway, New Jersey's power play = not exactly successful, producing just one shot in the full two minutes. They've been able to get some solid zone time and some solid chances through the game so far, though, despite the poor power play attempt. They've definitely working the corners well ... hmm, sort of like they did in the first two periods in Game 1.


Devils Vs. Rangers Lineup: New Jersey Makes Line Changes, Adam Larsson May Sit Game 2

After losing Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals 3-0, the New Jersey Devils made a few lineup changes in preparation for Game 2.

New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer tweaked the line combinations for Game 2, according to a report from The Devils will go back to using the same combinations they used in the first round against Florida. That means, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk will be on the top line. The second line will consist of Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora and Dainius Zubrus while Adam Henrique will group with Alexei Ponikarovsky and David Clarkson on the third line.

There will also be some changes to the New Jersey defense. Peter Harrold, who hasn't played since Game 2 of the Devils' second-round series, will be back in the lineup against the Rangers. Harrold will replace rookie Adam Larsson and will be used on the Devils second power play unit. Larsson will shift to the extra defenseman and may not play in Game 2.

For more on this series, check in with SB Nation's Devils blog In Lou We Trust and for the New York perspective, Blueshirt Banter.

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