NEW YORK (AP) -- Like so many Devils-Rangers games before, Martin Brodeur and
Mark Messier were in the thick of the action with the outcome in the balance.
Messier found Matthew Barnaby with a pass in the closing moments of
regulation, setting up the tying goal for the New York Rangers in a 3-3 draw
with the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Brodeur made 30 saves in his 50th straight regular-season start against the
Rangers, but he couldn't deny Barnaby from getting the tying goal with only
1:49 left in the third period.
The Devils were without captain Scott Stevens for the fourth straight game,
and the blown lead dropped the Stanley Cup champions to 3-5-3-1 in their last
"We need other guys to step up," Brodeur said. "We're trying to stay real
positive. We're not going to get real down because we lost the lead."
The Devils appeared to be on their way to another win over the Rangers after
Sergei Brylin scored to snap a third-period tie. But Barnaby salvaged a rare
point for New York against New Jersey.
"He almost froze Marty behind the net," Barnaby said of Messier. "You
know he's going to make a great pass. He's done it for 25 years."
Brodeur has started every regular-season game against the Rangers since Dec.
Before Game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference finals against New Jersey,
Messier guaranteed the Rangers would even the series -- and he made sure of it
by scoring three goals, two against Brodeur.
Not much has gone right for the Rangers against their area rivals since New
York won the Stanley Cup 10 years ago. New York is 1-21-13-1 versus New Jersey
since Feb. 17, 1997.
"The Devils are a good team and they very rarely beat themselves," Messier
said. "We have to play start to finish to beat them."
Mike Dunham made 30 stops for New York, outshot 2-0 in overtime.
Brylin put the Devils in front 3-2 at 4:05 of the third, just 3:37 after
Rangers rookie Chad Wiseman scored his first NHL goal to tie it at 2.
Messier then made the pass to Barnaby, allowing the feisty forward to split
two Devils defenders and beat Brodeur.
Brodeur gave up a long-distance goal to Anson Carter late in the first
period, before Scott Niedermayer assisted on goals by Erik Rasmussen and Jay
Pandolfo in the second to give New Jersey a 2-1 lead.
The Devils haven't lost to the Rangers since falling in overtime on Oct. 17,
2001 -- going 6-0-5 in that span.
Niedermayer wore the captain's 'C' in place of Stevens.
"I'm not just going to be able to step right in and be like I've been
wearing it for a long time," Niedermayer said. "We just have to all stick
together and try to get this team playing well."
Stevens had been fighting the flu, but has still felt run down since
recovering from the illness. New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello said
Stevens will be out another seven to 10 days because the defenseman might be
feeling the effects of an unknown hit from earlier in the season.
Carter gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with 1:11 left in the first period. Jan
Hlavac carried the puck into the Devils' zone after Carter forced a turnover.
Hlavac dropped a pass back to Carter, who slapped a shot from the blue line
The Devils tied it and went ahead when Rasmussen and Pandolfo scored 3:08
apart. Pandolfo took a pass in front from John Madden, who had carried the puck
the length of the ice, and beat Dunham.
Wiseman got the Rangers even just 42 seconds into the third when a pass
trickled loosely off Barnaby's stick. Wiseman found the puck in the slot and
chipped a shot over Brodeur's stick.
"The defense picked it up," Wiseman said. "I just went around them and
picked up the loose change."
It was Wiseman's first point in seven career NHL games.
But Brylin cleaned up a big rebound left by Dunham and put a backhander in
over the goalie's shoulder at 4:05.