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 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series
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2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series NY: Rangers/Devils/Islanders

Yankee Stadium game a day to remember

Brian Hunter - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Henrik Lundqvist plays his home games at Madison Square Garden, so he knows what it's like to ply his trade in front of a packed house of raucous fans. And the New York Rangers goaltender has performed on the biggest of stages, at the NHL level in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and internationally for Sweden at the Olympics and the IIHF World Championships.

Lundqvist had even played an outdoor NHL game prior to Sunday, backstopping the Rangers to a 3-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

Still, there was no experience in his career that could compare to taking the ice at Yankee Stadium on Sunday before a sellout crowd of 50,105 fans and leading the Rangers to a 7-3 win against the New Jersey Devils in a 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game played on a crisp winter afternoon.

"Walking out to warm-ups and taking it all in, it was just a great feeling, exciting feeling and a proud moment too, walking out here in front of all the fans in such a special stadium," Lundqvist said.

After missing Classic, Zuccarello plays outdoor hero

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Following a breakout rookie season in 2010-11 when he had 23 points in 42 games, New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello had every reason to believe he'd be on the ice for the 2012 NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. But after totaling three points in 10 games to start the 2011-12 season, he was sent to the American Hockey League. By the time the Rangers suited up for their 3-2 outdoor win against the Philadelphia Flyers, Zuccarello was out of the Hartford lineup nursing an ankle injury.

It was a difficult season he hasn't forgotten, especially after playing the hero with two goals in the Rangers' 7-3 win against the New Jersey Devils at Yankee Stadium in a 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game Sunday.

"I was happy for the guys playing the [2012] Winter Classic. It's a good experience. So obviously it was a little disappointing not being able to play that. I wasn't good enough to play," Zuccarello said after scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals against New Jersey. "But [Sunday] was probably better playing in front of our own fans in New York, so I'm happy I could play with this group here and at this stadium."

Devils' Brodeur takes outdoor game loss in stride

Brian Hunter - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Martin Brodeur's 100th regular-season game against the New York Rangers had the potential to be one of the most special.

Thanks to a four-goal second period marked by numerous defensive breakdowns and unfortunate bounces in front of him, it turned out to be one to forget for the New Jersey Devils goaltender.

Brodeur allowed six goals total on 21 shots and was replaced by Cory Schneider to begin the third period as the Devils lost 7-3 to the Rangers before a sellout crowd of 50,105 in a 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium.

Jagr passes Lemieux on all-time assists list

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Making history seems to have become the norm for New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr.

He moved up another notch on the NHL all-time list Sunday during the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against the New York Rangers at Yankee Stadium. His two assists moved him past former teammate Mario Lemieux and into sole possession of 10th place on the League's all-time list with 1,035.

In the first period, Jagr carried the puck below the goal line in the Rangers' end, spun and found a trailing Patrik Elias for a goal from in close at 11:00 of the first period to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.

Later in the first, he grabbed a loose puck off a faceoff on the right side of the Rangers' zone and sent it back to Mark Fayne at the left point. Jagr got to the front of the net and outmuscled Kevin Klein to get a piece of Fayne's long shot. The puck bounced off the pads of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist but went right to Travis Zajac, who scored at 16:07 to give the Devils a 3-1 lead.

Stadium Series games let Rangers combine passions

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- For the New York Rangers, playing two games at Yankee Stadium as part of the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series offers a unique opportunity to play on one of sports' grandest stages. For the members of the Rangers who grew up loving baseball, it's a once-in-a-lifetime convergence of two passions.

"It's awesome. I'm a Yankees fan growing up. To get a chance to be out there in the stadium and look around, it's pretty cool," Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said. "I've come here and watched Yankees games as a fan. It's a little different playing hockey than baseball. We're going to have a lot more fans than we normally do at [Madison Square] Garden. It's going to be fun."

Not every Ranger grew up watching the Yankees like Callahan, but it was still a special moment to skate in the Bronx before their game Sunday against the New Jersey Devils. That was especially true for Rangers defenseman John Moore, who admits that growing up in suburban Chicago and rooting for the Cubs had its share of melancholy moments.

Trade to Rangers puts Klein on outdoor stage

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Three days ago, Kevin Klein was packing his bags in anticipation of the Nashville Predators' four-game, seven-day road trip through Western Canada that started the following night against the Vancouver Canucks.

Then he got a phone call informing him he had been traded to the New York Rangers.

Three days later, after playing in the Rangers' 2-1 loss Thursday to the St. Louis Blues, Klein had his first full practice with the team, outdoors at Yankee Stadium.

In anticipation of two games in the Bronx as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, the 29-year-old defenseman was taking the sudden curveball in stride. It certainly wasn't how he saw his weekend shaping up.

"It's pretty amazing, from the facilities to the stadium. Oh man, it's a pretty cool experience," Klein said. "All of a sudden you're traded (for Michael Del Zotto) and I'm getting texts about an outdoor stadium game at Yankee Stadium. Back home I've got a few buddies that love the Yankees. They were all jacked up and texting me. It's the first time I got to visit the stadium."

Devils, Rangers covet points from outdoor game

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- The players and coaches for the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers had their time on the ice at Yankee Stadium on Saturday as they got ready for their 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC).

The day was full of fun and not a lot of hard work. Each team practiced for about an hour then spent an hour on the ice skating with family and friends.

As much as their on-ice work Saturday was about drills and fine-tuning systems, it was more of a test run for what the atmosphere was going to be like Sunday. Players figured out what clothing they needed to wear, what the sight lines were like, and whether they would need eye black or not, among other issues.

Dealing with those items Saturday were crucial because Sunday is about more than being part of the first ice hockey game at Yankee Stadium. The two points at stake in the Metropolitan Division standings are crucial for two teams fighting for spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Devils' Jagr appreciates Stadium Series setting

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Growing up in Czechoslovakia, New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr didn't know anything about Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio or the New York Yankees.

But after more than two decades of life in North America, Jagr certainly could appreciate what it meant to be dressing in the Yankees clubhouse Saturday prior to Devils practice at Yankee Stadium.

New Jersey plays the New York Rangers in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC).

"It's a very special place just to play here," Jagr said. "And I'm from Czech so baseball is not very popular. I can imagine for some guys who love baseball, [what it's like] just to be here."

Devils' Josefson returns to lineup for Stadium Series

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- New Jersey Devils left wing Jacob Josefson will be in the lineup for the first time in almost a month on Sunday against the New York Rangers in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC) at Yankee Stadium.

Josefson will fill in on the team's top line alongside center Travis Zajac and right wing Jaromir Jagr. The Devils re-assigned Joe Whitney to the team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Albany Devils, on Saturday to make room for the 22-year-old Swede. Whitney made his NHL debut with Zajac and Jagr on Friday in a victory against the Washington Capitals.

Josefson acknowledged he was informed of the decision prior to the team's arrival at Yankee Stadium.

"I've been working hard outside of the lineup, trying to get back and show them in practices and this is a good opportunity," Josefson said. "When you haven't played in a while it's the same situation as always, you want to prove yourself and I might as well make the best of it."

Devils choose Brodeur to start outdoor game

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Martin Brodeur will be the starting goalie for the New Jersey Devils against the New York Rangers on Sunday at Yankee Stadium in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

"It really was an easy decision from a right-thing-to-do perspective," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said Saturday. "He's done so much in his career with the Devils and also he's played some excellent hockey for us this year."

The Devils were given an opportunity to experience the elements Saturday afternoon during an hour-long practice at the Stadium. DeBoer guided his team through a controlled scrimmage then a few basic drills before players, coaches and team personnel had a chance to skate with their families.

DeBoer made the announcement about Brodeur at his post-practice press conference.

"The tough part was that Cory [Schneider] was on a little bit of a roll," DeBoer said. "He had been almost unbeatable the last five or six games, so that threw a little bit of a wrench into the thinking, but at the end of the day, this was the right thing to do, and both guys handled it professionally."

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Quote of the Day

After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.

— Bruins president Cam Neely on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal at Gillette Stadium on
Jan. 1, 2016