New Jersey Devils Blindside Rangers, Take Big First Period Lead

The Rangers may have felt as though this series was slipping past them in Game 4, when the Devils finally were able to break through with their relentless forecheck, but they were banking on the home crowd and a fresh start in Game 5 with the series tied 2-2.

Yet before they could blink, the Devils took over, scoring one goal two goals three goals in the time it took to write this sentence. (Actually, it was in the first 9:49 of the first period, but you get the point.) Stephen Gionta opened the scoring 2:43 into the game and less than two minutes later, this awful bounce of a goal probably sums up how the night's been going for New York.

It pinballed through traffic before bouncing off the skate of a Ranger defender and into the back of the net. An absolutely awful break, but on the scoresheet, it just looks like Patrik Elias' fourth goal of the playoffs. Travis Zajac's goal at the 9:49 mark of the period gave New Jersey a 3-0 lead, and while the Rangers have had their chances, they're clearly not getting the bounces thus far tonight.

John Tortorella joked on Tuesday that he'll need to pray to get his forwards to start producing offensively. Not so much of a joke anymore, is it?

Stick with our StoryStream for full coverage of Devils vs. Rangers Game 5. For all news and information regarding the New York Rangers, please visit Blueshirt Banter or check out SB Nation New York. 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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