New York at New Jersey

Rangers fight back to down Devils in SO, improve playoff chances

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEWARK, N.J. -- The teetering-on-the-brink New York Rangers were on the verge of a pointless night and somehow found a way to steal a win from the New Jersey Devils.

New York's playoff prospects were already a long shot before they kicked off a six-game trip Wednesday night that will ultimately determine if they reach the postseason. The Rangers shook off three one-goal deficits -- the final one with 16.5 seconds remaining -- and then edged the Devils in the shootout for a 4-3 victory.

Eastern Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1z-Pittsburgh487233
2y-Montreal486326
3y-Washington485724
4x-Boston486224
5x-Toronto485726
6x-N.Y. Rangers485622
7x-Ottawa485621
8x-N.Y. Islanders485520
Eliminated
9o-Winnipeg485122
10o-Philadelphia484922
11o-New Jersey484817
12o-Buffalo484814
13o-Carolina484218
14o-Tampa Bay484017
15o-Florida483612
Complete Playoff Race

"We can't let up because of the situation we're in," Rangers coach John Tortorella said after New York's second win in two nights.

Chris Drury scored that final tying goal in the dying seconds of regulation and Erik Christensen had the only tally in the shootout -- beating Martin Brodeur on the first attempt in the tiebreaker.

"Chris Drury is known for scoring big goals. He delivered again," said Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner, Drury's teammate on the U.S. Olympic team. "He put himself in a good spot and the puck got there."

Henrik Lundqvist made Christensen's goal stand up with saves against Zach Parise, Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac. The Rangers, 10th in the Eastern Conference moved within three points of eighth-place Boston and five behind No. 7 Philadelphia.

"There is no sense of feeling the pressure here," Tortorella said. "You lose a couple of games with so few left, you're done. You have to just go out and play."

Langenbrunner and Elias both scored tiebreaking goals in the third for the Devils, who regained first place in the Atlantic Division over Pittsburgh based on a tiebreaker.

Drury, regarded as one of the NHL's most clutch players, tied it for a third time after he won a faceoff following a Rangers timeout. Christensen sent a blind, backhanded pass from the end boards in front to Drury, who slammed in his 12th goal of the season from the front edge of the crease.

"The big key is getting back behind the net," Drury said. "It was a heck of a play by Erik."

Langenbrunner put the Devils ahead for a third time when after a bad Rangers line change the New Jersey captain ripped a drive past Lundqvist with 7:23 left. Elias, who seconds earlier was stopped on a breakaway, made it 2-1 early in the period.

"Lundqvist made a big difference," Parise said. "We outplayed them, outchanced them. A lot of good things came out of it."

The Rangers got even at 2 when Artem Anisimov scored with 9:40 remaining. Brandon Dubinsky also scored for New York. Lundqvist made 35 saves.

Elias, stopped by Lundqvist during a short-handed breakaway in the second, took a crisp pass in the slot from David Clarkson and fired in a one-timer to give the Devils a 2-1 lead at 3:53.

New Jersey is tied in points with Pittsburgh, but is atop the division with one more win than the Penguins. The Devils, who also got a goal from Ilya Kovalchuk, have nine games remaining. Pittsburgh has eight left.

Brodeur made 28 saves for the Devils, who would have earned a playoff berth with a win.

"It's disappointing," Brodeur said. "We had the lead late in the game and blew it. It's something that's tough to digest, especially at this time of the year. These are the games that get you ready for the playoffs. We've got to be better than that."

Christensen won it in the shootout with a shot that hit the left post, struck the bar inside the net and then bounded out. The goal was confirmed by video replay.

"I didn't see it," Brodeur said. "It hit the post and I heard the other post and I felt it go on my back. I tried to make sure I didn't knock it in. The linesman knew right away that it went in."

The Rangers, outshot 8-4 in the opening 20 minutes, were fortunate to escape the period down only 1-0. New Jersey came out with lots of jump against New York, which earned a 5-0 win on Wednesday night over the rival Islanders, and grabbed the lead 5:31 in on Kovalchuk's 38th goal.

The Rangers played a much stronger second period, increasing their forechecking pressure in the New Jersey zone.

"We just wanted to get through the neutral zone a lot better," Drury said. "No matter how many times we talk about, they just trap you into trouble."

New York tied it on its first power-play chance.

Dubinsky took a return pass from defenseman Michael Del Zotto in the left circle and snapped a shot through traffic that beat Brodeur at 7:32 of the second. It was the Rangers' 10th power-play goal in 10 games.

Notes

  • Rangers RW Ryan Callahan limped off early in the second period after aggravating a left leg injury sustained Sunday at Boston. He returned for one brief shift, but then missed the rest of the game.
  • Elias has five points -- one goal, four assists -- in his past two games.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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As the only shootout scorer, Erik Christensen gives the Rangers two important points. (Getty Images)
As the only shootout scorer, Erik Christensen gives the Rangers two important points. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
NY Rangers  (33-32-9) «01201 (1)4
New Jersey (43-25-5)10200 (0)3
Three Stars
C. Drury
NYR


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
J. Langenbrunner
NJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
P. Elias
NJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:21Ilya Kovalchuk (38), Wrist Shot. Assist: Rolston
2ND PERIOD
07:32Power Play - Brandon Dubinsky (17), Wrist Shot. Assist: Del Zotto, Avery
3RD PERIOD
03:53Patrik Elias (14), Wrist Shot. Assist: Clarkson, Zubrus
09:40Artem Anisimov (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Prust, Shelley
12:37Jamie Langenbrunner (17), Slap Shot. Assist: Elias, Greene
19:43Chris Drury (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Christensen, Del Zotto
OT
None
2OT
 Erik Christensen (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:19Gilroy, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
06:55Shelley, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
06:55Peters, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
08:17Callahan, 2 min, Holding
09:01Shelley, 5 min, Fighting
09:01Peters, 5 min, Fighting
2ND PERIOD
06:00Rolston, 2 min, Interference
08:06Parise, 2 min, Holding the Stick
15:16Avery, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
04:40Mottau, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
OT
None
2OT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
New York414927
New Jersey9121132
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGASO SSO GA
Henrik Lundqvist 63:3535330
Martin Brodeur 65:0028331
Game Information
Attendance - 17625
Referees - Brad Meier, Wes McCauley
Linesmen - Scott Cherrey, Steve Miller
 
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