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Miller, Lundqvist power Rangers

Minus McDonagh, defense comes through against Devils

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

Miller goes five-hole to pad lead

NJD@NYR: Miller beats Schneider for a 2-0 lead

2/8/16: J.T. Miller fires the feed from Derick Brassard through the legs of Cory Schneider, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the 3rd

  • 01:10 •

NEW YORK -- It's no surprise to the New York Rangers that they've put together a string of wins and a sustained run of success in the past three weeks. That's typically what happens when they play fast, aggressive on the forecheck, and get strong goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist.

It happened again at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

The Rangers got goals from forward J.T. Miller and defenseman Kevin Klein and 27 saves from Lundqvist in a 2-1 win against the New Jersey Devils. They have won three games in a row and seven of their past 10.

Video: NJD@NYR: Lundqvist stones Tootoo, Gionta's rebound

"Definitely more consistent," defenseman Marc Staal said. "We've been inconsistent at times in games and that's going to happen, but for the most part we've been much better in our end and that's translated into having a good forecheck. We're taking steps in the right direction."

Miller's goal at 4:37 of the third period, his ninth in the past 10 games and 17th of the season, wound up being the game-winner because Devils center Travis Zajac scored a shorthanded goal at 17:43 of the third period to cut the deficit in half to 2-1.

Lundqvist improved to 34-15-7 in 56 career appearances against the Devils. He got his 365th NHL win, tying him with Martin Brodeur for the most wins during a players first 11 NHL seasons.

New York (30-18-5) played without defenseman Ryan McDonagh (concussion) and forward Rick Nash (bone bruise in leg). There is no timetable for the return of either player.

Video: NJD@NYR: Klein beats Schneider to open the scoring

"Those are two big holes and we got some guys stepping up their game, playing well," Staal said. "That's the sign of a good team so it's nice to see."

Devils goalie Cory Schneider made 35 saves, including 17 in a scoreless first period. Zajac's goal came off of Adam Henrique's saucer pass over Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi.

The Devils (26-21-7) have lost three in a row (0-1-2) since winning five of six from Jan. 16-Feb. 2.

Devils coach John Hynes said a poor start on Monday doomed them, not because they trailed -- the game was scoreless after the first period despite a 17-9 advantage in shots on goal for the Rangers -- but because they were chasing the entire time and couldn't catch up.

Video: NJD@NYR: Schneider robs Stepan on early breakaway

"Our execution with the puck was not good early in the game," Hynes said. "Whether it was turnovers at the offensive blue line, turnovers through the neutral zone, you're playing against a team that is very good off the rush and we fed that. We fed their strength. They're a good team so they built off of that and continued to do it. I thought at times we were our worst enemy."

The Devils did not have a power play, which Hynes said was proof of how they played.

"You gotta work hard to get power plays," Hynes said. "I think when you don't get a power play it's indicative of how hard your team played."

Miller's goal came off of a wrist shot from between the circles that found a hole between Schneider's legs. Derick Brassard and Jesper Fast had the assists. Brassard has nine points in the past four games. Fast has six assists in the past seven games and 13 for the season.

Video: NJD@NYR: Lundqvist keeps the shutout intact

Miller said he was surprised the puck went in, particularly because he never looks for the five-hole.

"Honestly I'm just trying to get it to the net there, and that just goes back to, I guess when they're going in they're going in," Miller said. "It was pretty lucky."

Klein scored his fourth of the season on a one-timer from the left circle off a circle-to-circle pass from Mats Zuccarello, who created the play by creating a turnover in the offensive zone.

"That's why he's my favorite player," Klein said of Zuccarello. "You know [Zuccarello] is going to find you. I tried to get lost behind the net and as soon as I saw him make that turn, I just set up because he makes those plays. He put it right in my wheelhouse. He's a great player."

Video: NJD@NYR: Zajac's shorthanded goal cuts lead to one

Zajac scored his shorthanded goal off a 2-on-1 with center Adam Henrique, who delivered a saucer pass over Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi onto Zajac's tape for a one-timer.

It was another indication of how the Rangers' power play has been struggling. It went 0-for-5 with a shorthanded goal against on Monday and is 2-for-49 in the past 17 games, although the Rangers are 10-6-1 in those games.

"It's a bummer that with two minutes to go we give up a shorthanded goal like that, but I thought we played a pretty darn good game for the most part," Miller said. "I think we've been playing the right way for some time now, and it's starting to really come together in all three ends of the rink."

Video: Miller, Lundqvist lead Rangers past Devils

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