NEWARK, N.J. -- One bounce can change the fortunes of a hockey team. On Tuesday night, it turned a sure victory for the New York Rangers into one of their more frustrating losses of the season.
Devils defenseman Andy Greene launched a slap shot from center ice with goaltender Martin Brodeur on the bench for an extra attacker in the final minute. The puck rimmed around the glass and ricocheted to the slot, where it came to rest on the stick of a wide-open David Clarkson, who buried the tying goal for the Devils with 47.6 seconds remaining.
After a wild five-minute overtime, Ilya Kovalchuk scored the only goal in a shootout to send the Rangers to a 4-3 loss in front of a sell-out crowd at Prudential Center. A goal from Michael Del Zotto put the Rangers ahead 3-2 with 3:59, but one bounce marred a solid overall performance in New York's first game out of the All-Star break.
"Steve Yzerman told me when we started, before the first season, that this would be a long process -- there are a lot of things to do, depth to build, all kinds of things, so I wasn't in it for the short fix. I was in for the long run and understood the need for patience."
-- Guy Boucher