Newark, N.J. - The New Jersey Devils were desperately looking for their first win of the season as they entered tonight’s showdown against the New York Rangers, and they found what they were searching for.
The Devils struck at 7:22 when Andrei Loktionov tapped in a rebound through the legs of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
The stadium erupted and heard the second attempt at the new goal song. Replacing Bon Jovi’s “This is our House” was “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. The crowd chanted the oh oh ohh’s and was a lot more accepting than on opening night.
Just over five minutes later, Adam Henrique flew down the left wing and ripped a slap shot over the right shoulder of Lundqvist. Henrique’s goal was just his second of the year, but hopefully it will give him more confidence. Both of his goal’s were when he played center rather than on the wing and will hopefully remain at the center spot.
The Devils even added a power play goal tonight! They went 1-4 on man-advantages and Michael Ryder scored the goal six-minutes into the second period. Rostislav Olesz screened Lundqvist and the slap shot when straight into the back of the net.
Dainius Zubrus gave the Devils one more insurance goal 14:32 into the second period.
The Devils dominated tonight’s game in every way. Although they sat back in their own zone to defend the lead, they were only three shots behind the Rangers, but won in every other category.
The Devils put a lot of pressure on the Rangers with more hits and more takeaways than their opponents, which are more important than most people think.
Cory Schneider was fantastic tonight, stopping all 22-shots his fifth career shutout, and continues to shutout the Rangers this season going back to the two periods he played in the preseason. Lundvist only stopped 15-of-19 for a .789 SV%, not good.
The whole team played very well tonight, including Marek Zidlicky who recorded two assists. That is probably the first time I have said he played well.
The Devils take the ice at their new divisional opponents the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets are off to a 2-5-0 start to the regular season after a very strong preseason.
The win moves the Devils into fifth-place in the division and one-point behind the Washington Capitals. Hopefully the win can give the Devils momentum moving forward to get a winning-streak together.
1st Star - Cory Schneider
2nd Star - Adam Henrique
3rd Star - Dainius Zubrus