Rangers rally to no avail, Devils take Game 5
The New Jersey Devils tied the New York Rangers at two games apiece earlier this week. Game 5, the tiebreaking game of the series, was mostly in the Devils hands in the beginning, regardless of it being played inside Madison Square Garden. Going up 3-0 in the first period, the Devils were able to collect the rebounds in front of the net and burry pucks behind Henrik Lundqvist. Although the Devils only shot 16 shots on net, they were able to get a road win last night, 5-3.
Within the first 4:13 into this Game 5 situation, the Devils went up 2-0 with goals from Stephen Gionta and the veteran, Patrik Elias. As another five minutes flew by, Travis Zajac was able to put one in the back of the net, increasing the Devils lead to 3-0 in the first ten minutes of the game.
Before the first period was over however, the Rangers were able to tack on a goal of their own, scored by Brandon Prust, just under five minutes left in the first frame. Although this was a high scoring affair, the second period only consisted of one goal. Ryan Callahan was able to get a tip-in goal within the first 32 seconds of the second period.
Like Callahan's goal, the Rangers were able to score quickly when the third period started. Marian Gaborik scored off a wrist shot in the first 17 seconds into the final period of play. It took a while for the Devils to realize what had just happened, but to their credit, they dealt with this adversity quite well.
After playing very strong defense after the Rangers tied the game up at 3 apiece, the Devils were able to find another way to score. For his third goal of the playoffs, Ryan Carter was able to tack on the game winning goal with 4:24 left in the third period. Although the Rangers heavily outshot the Devils 28-17, the Devils were able to capitalize on the positioning of the Rangers goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist.
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Lundqvist had a horrible statistical game, only stopping 12 of 16 total shots faced from the Devils for a save percentage of .750. Statistically speaking, this was the worst game thus far in the postseason for Lundqvist. Both goaltenders did not perform outstanding, considering the Devils goaltender, Martin Brodeur did not even stop .900 of the shots faced(25 saves on 28 shots; .893SV%).
The story of the Game 5 had to of been the Rangers mounting a comeback for the majority of the game, answering the Devils first three goals with three goals of their own. Tying the game up at three, the Rangers got the tying goal in the first 17 seconds in the third period. Unfortunately for the Rangers fans, Carter's goal was able to give his team the lead, followed by Zach Parise scoring an empty net goal.
With the series relocating back to New Jersey, the Devils have the chance to eliminate their arch rival in front of a home crowd. The Devils are 5-2 thus far in the postseason when playing at home. The Rangers are 4-4 on the road thus far in the playoffs. If the Devils are able to capitalize on another poor performance by Lundqvist, expect the Devils to win Game 6, and the series.
A betting man would place his money on the Devils to win the series however, the Rangers have enough talent and good defenseman to be able to beat their arch rivals two games in a row. This series might go to a Game 7, but the hometown crowd and winning the last two games will definitely help the Devils in this situation.
By: Stephen London
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer