for this game

Devils win sixth straight, blank Rangers

Feb 19, 2011 - 6:31 AM
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Ilya Kovalchuk scored the lone goal of the game near the midway mark of the second period, as the red-hot New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Rangers, 1-0, at Prudential Center.

Johan Hedberg stopped 16 shots to record his second shutout of the season for the Devils, who hold a 14-1-2 record over their last 17 games. It was the 16th career shutout for Hedberg.

New Jersey has also won a season-high six straight games.

"I think this is as good a defensive effort as I've ever had in the NHL," Hedberg. "I can't remember a game where I had to make this little saves as I did tonight. It's just a tremendous job."

Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 27-of-28 shots for the Rangers, who had a brief two-game winning streak snapped. New York has dropped seven of nine.

"We did get some chances, but for the most part they defended pretty well," said Rangers defenseman Marc Staal. "We just need to find a way to get an ugly one, or just to bang one home and tie it up."

Kovalchuk broke a scoreless tie at the 8:18 mark of the second period. The Rangers were set up in the New Jersey zone, but Staal failed to keep the puck in at the right point. A speedy Kovalchuk gathered the puck at center ice and went in on a breakaway. Lundqvist, who stopped the first 17 shots he faced, failed to turn aside Kovalchuk's wrister.

The Rangers nearly tied the game just 21 seconds into the third. Ryan Callahan's shot on net hit off the post and trickled across the line. Hedberg fell back on the puck and covered it up before it crossed the line. Replay confirmed it wasn't a goal.

New York went on the power play at the 9:51 mark when Wojtek Wolski was high- sticked by Kovalchuk, but Hedberg held strong between the pipes.

The Rangers pulled Lundqvist late for the extra attacker, but New Jersey held on for the victory.

Game Notes

The Rangers lead the season series with the Devils, 3-2...New Jersey has won four straight on home ice...Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov returned to the lineup after serving a three-game suspension for elbowing Carolina's Zach Boychuk in the head on February 8...Volchenkov assisted on Kovalchuk's goal...Prior to the game, the Devils assigned goaltender Mike McKenna to Albany (AHL)...New York has lost four in a row on the road...The Rangers assigned forward Kris Newbury to Connecticut (AHL).