for this game

Clarkson lifts Devils over Rangers

Mar 7, 2012 - 5:40 AM
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - David Clarkson scored the game-winner early in the third period and the New Jersey Devils took a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers in an Atlantic Division battle.

Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias had a goal and an assist each while Ryan Carter also scored for the Devils, who had dropped five of six coming into the game. Martin Brodeur stopped 25 shots in the win.

"This was a big game for us because we weren't very sharp lately," said Kovalchuk. "We need these points right now and wins against teams as good as the Rangers are huge."

Derek Stepan scored the lone goal of the game for the Rangers, who had won four of five coming in. Henrik Lundqvist gave up three goals on 28 shots in the loss.

"We had way too many mistakes out there," said Lundqvist. "I think we kind of beat ourselves a little bit. But we just have to work through this and stick together. They made some good plays when we had some breakdowns."

The Devils sit in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference with 79 points while the Rangers are atop the conference with 91 points. New York is tied with the Blues for the overall lead in the NHL, but the Blueshirts have two games in hand over the Blues.

With the score tied in the third, the Devils took the lead. Clarkson brought the puck in up the middle and left a drop pass for Petr Sykora, who fired a shot on net that hit off the leg of Clarkson and snuck past Lundqvist 2:27 in.

Less than two minutes later, the Devils added a goal. A turnover was picked off by Kovalchuk in the neutral zone and he fired the puck to Jacob Josefson, who skated to the right circle before firing a pass to the slot that Carter one-timed home.

Elias scored with the net empty with 1:53 to play to seal the win.

The Devils wasted no time in taking a 1-0 lead as Kovalchuk scored 49 seconds in on a breakaway that saw him bang in his shot off the right post for his 26th of the year.

Brodeur made the lead hold up with nine saves in the first period, but the Rangers got on the board 6:56 into the second.

Carl Hagelin had the puck behind New Jersey's net and out-worked the defenders to center the puck with Stepan one-timing the shot home for his 15th of the season.

Game Notes

New Jersey hosts the Islanders on Thursday in the opener of a home-and-home set...The Rangers play in Ottawa on Thursday...The Devils have taken three of five from the Rangers this season. The two will meet in New Jersey on March 19.