Devils Vs. Rangers, 2012 NHL Playoffs Game 3: New Jersey Controls Scoreless 1st Period

The first period is in the books at Prudential Center in Newark, and the New Jersey Devils controlled the action throughout the first 20 minutes of Game 3. The Devils tilted the ice in the first period, peppering Rangers' goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and creating a number of good scoring chances. The shots were 11 to 5 in favor of the Devils, but the scoreboard still reflects a 0-0 tie.

The Rangers were put on the defensive from the start, and it continued after Derek Stepan was whistled for hooking just over five minutes into the game. New York's penalty kill has been strong throughout the Playoffs, and they held the Devils to just one shot.

Ten minutes later, the Rangers went on the power play for the first time. Ilya Kovalchuk was sent to the box for a high-sticking penalty on Ryan McDonagh. Those two have been matched up against each other throughout the series, and Kovalchuk caught the Ranger defenseman up high as the two tussled along the boards. The Devils easily killed off the penalty, however, as the Rangers ten minute drought without a shot on goal persisted.

The Rangers put a little pressure on Martin Brodeur over the final two minutes after the power play. Carl Hagelin swooped behind the net and put a wrap-around shot on Brodeur for the first Ranger shot in 11 minutes. But despite the late chance, the first period was controlled by the Devils.

SB Nation New York will have coverage from both sides throughout the Eastern Conference Finals. For all news and information regarding the New York Rangers, please visit Blueshirt Banter. For updates and perspective on the New Jersey Devils, head on over to In Lou We Trust. For complete coverage of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.

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