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Kovalchuk, Drury exchange early goals

by Dave Lozo / NHL.com
It started off pretty badly for the Rangers. They fell behind 1-0 after just 2:03 when Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 31st of the season. He ripped a wrister that looked like it deflected past Henrik Lundqvist, but the goal was credited to Kovalchuk.

The lively crowd at MSG turned angry. But Chris Drury, who hadn't scored a goal all season, responded with perhaps the biggest goal the Rangers have scored all season 1:11 later. He got behind the Devils defense and chipped a diving backhander past Martin Brodeur to bring life back to the Garden.

From there, the Rangers began throwing the body around. Matt Gilroy crushed Vladimir Zharkov behind the Rangers net, and Brian Boyle responded with a couple hits of his own in the Devils' end.

Halfway through the first period, it's 1-1.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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