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Rangers vs Devils - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Finals

Josefson set to return to Devils' lineup

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The mood around the New Jersey Devils was somber when Jacob Josefson was diagnosed with a fractured left wrist on April 3.

Josefson was just starting to come on after missing 37 games with a broken clavicle. He was just starting to become the player that his teammates and coaches expected him to be this season.

"I feel terrible for him," Devils goalie Johan Hedberg said that night after the Devils beat the Islanders 3-1. "He works so hard and deserves all the good things. It's not fair."

Josefson will get another chance to make it all OK again on Monday, only this time he'll be getting his chance on the big stage in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Rangers' Prust to have hearing Sunday


Brandon Prust
Left Wing - NYR
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 1
SOG: 17 | +/-: 1
New York Rangers forward Brandon Prust will have a hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety on Sunday morning after connecting with the head of Anton Volchenkov during a 3-0 win against the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday.

Volchenkov was carrying the puck along the boards and chipped it out of the zone when Prust landed an elbow to the back of Volchenkov's helmet in the second period. Volchenkov was down on the ice for almost a minute afterward, but was able to continue playing. No penalty was called on the play.

DeBoer accuses Rangers' Prust of headhunting Volchenkov

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- For Devils coach Peter DeBoer, there was no other way to interpret the hit to the head of defenseman Anton Volchenkov from Rangers forward Brandon Prust during the second period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday afternoon.

"Headhunting," DeBoer said. "Plain and simple."

Volchenkov was carrying the puck along the boards and chipped it out of the zone when Prust landed an elbow to the back of Volchenkov's helmet during New York's 3-0 win. Volchenkov, who was down on the ice for almost a minute afterward, discussed the hit with reporters in the Devils' locker room.

Rangers able to break through in third period

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- For the better part of the first 40 minutes in Game 3 Saturday, the Rangers couldn't figure out how to do what they talked about doing, what they know they need to do in order to beat the Devils.

To get to the Stanley Cup Final, they are going to have get the puck in deep, win the battles along the wall to keep it down low, and create chances by making plays from behind the goal line.

They call it simplifying their game, but executing that style against the aggressive forechecking Devils is not easy, especially when Martin Brodeur will jump at any chance to play the puck and swiftly get it out of the zone to start another attack.

However, finally -- and that is a word that needs to be stressed considering seven of the first eight periods of the Eastern Conference Finals had been played and pretty much dominated by the Devils -- the Rangers were able to attack and get the zone time they needed as soon as the third period started Saturday.

Kreider growing up right before Rangers' eyes

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- It's reaching the point where Chris Kreider's ability to score goals despite his lack of NHL experience should stop surprising people.

Chris Kreider
Left Wing - NYR
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 7
SOG: 22 | +/-: -2
Kreider, who joined the New York Rangers on the eve of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after leaving Boston College with one year of eligibility remaining, scored his fifth goal of the postseason in a 3-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Prudential Center on Saturday afternoon.

Only Brad Richards with six goals is outscoring Kreider among the Rangers, who now hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Kreider has literally grown up during the postseason -- he turned 21 years old April 30 -- and now holds the NHL record for most goals in the playoffs without ever having played in the regular season.

Lundqvist delivers another world-class performance

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Brad Richards could have signed with multiple teams as a free agent this summer. But the New York Rangers were the only team who could concretely state they had something -- or someone -- no one else could offer.

Henrik Lundqvist.

Henrik Lundqvist
Goalie - NYR
RECORD: 10-7-2
GAA: 1.57 | SVP: 0.942
Sure, the nine years, $60 million and the stability of an Original Six franchise was enticing, but Richards said Lundqvist was also on his list of reasons why he wanted to call New York home for the rest of his career.

"He's the best goalie in the world," Richards said following the Rangers' 3-0 win against the Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday afternoon at Prudential Center.

For the second time this series, Lundqvist withstood an all-out assault to earn a shutout. He made 36 saves, many difficult and spectacular, and allowed the Rangers time to find their legs later in the game. The score was tied 0-0 after two periods -- just as it was in Game 1 -- but Dan Girardi broke the scoreless tie with a power-play goal, Chris Kreider scored his fifth of the postseason less than two minutes later, and captain Ryan Callahan added an empty-net goal to seal it.

Backup goaltenders do their best to stay involved

Matthew Mankiewich - NHL.com Staff Writer

The job has often been compared to Vice President of the United States -- as in not very significant unless something happens to the big guy.

If you're a backup goalie in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, your chances of getting into a game are something close to a three-legged horse winning the Kentucky Derby -- and if you're backing up a superstar like Henrik Lundqvist or Martin Brodeur, make it a two-legged horse.

But like the guy who hangs around the White House a heartbeat away, the backup has to be ready to go into the action cold -- a moment that could be seamless on one extreme or a turning point in a series on the other. That's why during a practice day or a morning skate, Martin Biron and Johan Hedberg will stay out on the ice long after their teammates have returned to the locker room, running drills, taking shots from some of the playoff call-ups and other guys looking for extra ice time, making it as intense as possible.

Devils winning despite quiet playoffs from Elias

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- One might consider the odds of the New Jersey Devils winning a fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history rather slim without some offensive contribution from veteran forward Patrik Elias.

Still, the fact the Devils have performed so well in these playoffs, working as a five-man unit on the ice, has probably masked the fact Elias is struggling to get untracked offensively.

When asked if the opposition was doing anything differently against him, Elias responded, "No."

When asked if he was frustrated in any way or if it was something he just needed to battle through, he responded, "No and yes."

Roenick: Pressure mounting for Rangers

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

With the Rangers and Devils locked in a 1-1 tie in the Eastern Conference Finals, NHL.com reached out to NBC Sports analyst Jeremy Roenick to get his take on what each team has to do to get the advantage in Game 3 Saturday at Prudential Center (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).

"This is one of the bigger rivalries in all of hockey," Roenick said, "and the pressure on the Rangers is 10 times more than it was against Ottawa [in the first round] and 20 times more than it was against Washington [in the second round]."

The Rangers lost home-ice advantage by losing Game 2 on Wednesday. To get it back, Roenick said the onus is on the Rangers' star players to step up.

Power play has been saving grace for Rangers

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- With all things being equal, the New York Rangers are having a hard time scoring goals during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but their power play has quietly been their saving grace.

Of the four teams remaining in the playoffs, the Rangers are the worst at generating offense during 5-on-5 play. They are averaging 1.25 goals per game at 5-on-5, a steep drop from the regular season when they averaged 1.83 per game, which ranked 15th in the NHL.

Sure, the Rangers have used their stingy defense and Hart Trophy-nominated goaltender to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but their once inept power play has carried the offense in the postseason like it never did during the regular season.

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