for this game

Gomez, Callahan power Rangers past Devils

Apr 10, 2008 - 3:47 AM
By Daren Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Martin Brodeur was late in covering a loose puck, giving the New York Rangers the early advantage in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Scott Gomez set up three goals, including Ryan Callahan's go-ahead shorthanded tally in the third period, as the Rangers shut down the New Jersey Devils and rolled to a 4-1 triumph in the opener of their series.

Defenseman Paul Martin scored the lone goal for New Jersey, which hosts Game Two on Friday.

Signed by the Rangers last July after seven seasons with the Devils, Gomez recorded his seventh career three-point playoff performance.

"It's about adjustments," he said. "Against those guys, you've got to get lucky. You've got to get one bounce. That's what's always been great about over there. They know how to be patient. They know it's a 60-minute game. Tonight, we just got the last bounce."

The tiebreaking goal came with 12:37 left in the third period and one second to go on a holding-the-stick penalty on teammate Michal Rozsival. Gomez wristed a shot from the right side, with the rebound carrying across the crease.

As Brodeur struggled to cover it, Callahan swooped in from behind the net and put it past the three-time Vezina Trophy winner for a 2-1 edge.

"I was looking at Gomer, so I didn't know (Callahan) was around," Brodeur explained. "It's a simple play. You have to (cover) that. But that's just the way I play. I wanted to keep the play moving. I made a mistake and it cost us."

"At that point, you can't do that, especially at this time of year. That's the bottom line," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "You've got to take advantage of the power play; it has to help you, not hurt you."

It was Callahan's third career playoff goal and the Rangers' first shorthanded tally in the postseason since Game Four of the 1997 conference semifinals.

"He doesn't do that too often and I don't know what happened, to be honest with you," Callahan said. "I just saw the free puck there and I knocked it in."

Gomez capped his three-point night with 2:53 left, just about a minute after New York killed another power play. He closed down the left side and tried a centering pass that caromed off the skate of former teammate Sergei Brylin and right to Sean Avery, who stuffed it into a half-empty net for his second career playoff goal.

Nigel Dawes sealed the win with an empty-netter with five seconds remaining.

Brendan Shanahan, another former Devil, picked up a goal and an assist as the Rangers quickly claimed home-ice advantage in the best-of-seven series. They took seven of eight regular-season meetings from their cross-river rivals.

"We got a break," said New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 26 shots. "When you get a break in a game like this, you get some energy, absolutely. At the same time, it's tough for them. You feel like you worked so hard and it's a fluky goal."

Brodeur made 24 saves for New Jersey, which has lost the last three series in which it dropped Game One.

"I thought we found a way to lose a hockey game instead of winning one," Sutter said. "We did a lot of good things, but a couple of breakdowns and this is what happens. ... You have to find a way to prevail, not (surrender)."

The Rangers struck first, as they did in five of the eight regular-season matchups. Just 1:45 into the second period, Shanahan wristed a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle that appeared to get a piece of Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador and changed directions on Brodeur, who was screened by Gomez.

It was the 59th career playoff goal for Shanahan, who ranks fourth among active players.

New Jersey tied it on the power play 12 1/2 minutes later. Martin got a cross-ice pass from Patrik Elias in the right faceoff circle and waited for New York's Martin Straka - who had broken his stick - to pirouette past him before beating Lundqvist to the glove side with a wrister.

The Devils wasted a handful of excellent chances to grab the lead.

Moments after Martin's goal, Arron Asham's shot from a tight angle on the right side glanced off the crossbar. With 2:22 to go in the second period, Lundqvist extended his left pad to get a piece of Elias' point-blank wrister from the right side.

"I didn't get good wood on it," Elias said. "Maybe I (should have) taken a step back and waited a minute and took the shot I wanted to."

"I took my time and when I came over, he just saw a wide-open net and put it on the ice," Lundqvist said. "If you scramble or you're down too fast, he'll probably go upstairs. I had pretty good timing there. Yeah, it was a good save."

There were other opportunities for a New Jersey team that ranked 27th in the NHL in scoring during the season. Brian Gionta twice put point-blank shots over the net, Brylin broke in alone while shorthanded but dinged a wrister off the post and captain Jamie Langenbrunner failed to get good wood on a chance from the doorstep early in the third period.

"When you get quality opportunities, especially at this time of year, you have to bear down on them," Sutter said. "We hit some posts, hit the crossbar. We had two quality scoring chances where we just flat-out missed the net. You give yourself a zero percent chance of scoring if you don't hit the net."

Those missed opportunities proved costly as the Rangers pulled away late.








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 0 1 3 4
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NYR - BRENDAN SHANAHAN 1 (SCOTT GOMEZ, SEAN AVERY) 1:45
    NJD - (PP) PAUL MARTIN 1 (PATRIK ELIAS, ZACH PARISE) 14:14
    3RD PRD: NYR - (SH) RYAN CALLAHAN 1 (SCOTT GOMEZ, DAN GIRARDI) 7:23
    NYR - SEA

    Apr 9 9:28 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NY RANGERS 4
    NEW JERSEY 1
    3RD PRD: NYR - (EN) NIGEL DAWES 1 (BRENDAN SHANAHAN) 19:55

    Rangers 4, Devils 1  3rd - 0:05Apr 9 9:26 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NY RANGERS 3
    NEW JERSEY 1
    3RD PRD: NYR - SEAN AVERY 1 (SCOTT GOMEZ) 17:07

    Rangers 3, Devils 1  3rd - 2:53Apr 9 9:23 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NY RANGERS 2
    NEW JERSEY 1
    3RD PRD: NYR - (SH) RYAN CALLAHAN 1 (SCOTT GOMEZ, DAN GIRARDI) 7:23

    Rangers 2, Devils 1  3rd - 12:37Apr 9 9:07 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 0 1 1
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NYR - BRENDAN SHANAHAN 1 (SCOTT GOMEZ, SEAN AVERY) 1:45
    NJD - (PP) PAUL MARTIN 1 (PATRIK ELIAS, ZACH PARISE) 14:14
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----


    Apr 9 8:36 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NY RANGERS 1
    NEW JERSEY 1
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) PAUL MARTIN 1 (PATRIK ELIAS, ZACH PARISE) 14:14

    Rangers 1, Devils 1  2nd - 5:46Apr 9 8:27 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NY RANGERS 1
    NEW JERSEY 0
    2ND PRD: NYR - BRENDAN SHANAHAN 1 (SCOTT GOMEZ, SEAN AVERY) 1:45

    Rangers 1, Devils 0  2nd - 18:15Apr 9 8:05 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYR 8 8
    NJD 8 8
    GOALIES: NYR - HENRIK LUNDQVIST
    NJD - MARTIN BRODEUR

    Apr 9 7:44 PM
  • 5
    roots
    MDlifer90 Added 5 roots

    Rangers vs. DevilsApr 9 12:17 PM