NEWARK, N.J. - Michal Rozsival and Nikolai Zherdev scored during two-man advantages in New York's four-goal second period, and the Rangers routed the Martin Brodeur-less New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Wednesday night.
For only the third time in 101 meetings with the Devils over 15 years, the Rangers faced a goalie other than Brodeur and made the most of the opportunity.
Rozsival, Chris Drury, and Lauri Korpikoski - with his first NHL regular-season goal - scored against backup Kevin Weekes in a span of 2:08 to turn a one-goal deficit into a 3-1 lead before 10 minutes elapsed in the second. Zherdev added New York's second 5-on-3 goal of the period with 4:10 left to make it 4-1.
Zherdev added his second of the night 9:51 into the third against backup goalie Scott Clemmensen.
The Rangers, playing without injured top-line centre Scott Gomez, took over the game by firing 20 shots at Weekes in the second period. New York also had 20 shots in the second of its previous game, a 3-2 shootout loss to Edmonton on Monday night.
Weekes has the unenviable task of replacing Brodeur, the four-time Vezina Trophy-winning goalie, who is expected to be out about four months due to a torn biceps muscle in his left arm. Weekes, the winning goalie for the Rangers on Nov. 5, 2005 - the last time New York played the Devils without Brodeur - had allowed only nine goals in four games since Brodeur's injury on Nov. 1.
Not counting the game when Brodeur got hurt, the Devils are 1-4 without him. Clemmensen, who took the 3-1 loss to Edmonton on Sunday, started the third period. Weekes finished with 21 saves.
Things looked good early for the Devils, who took a 1-0 lead 7:04 in on Travis Zajac's second of the season. He got around goalie Henrik Lundqvist and put in a rebound of defenceman Mike Mottau's shot. Jamie Langenbrunner scored 4:19 into the third to make it 4-1.
The Devils paraded to the penalty box in the second period, swinging momentum to the Rangers. Mike Rupp and Bryce Salvador went off 31 seconds apart, leading to Rozsival's hard shot that hit the right post and caromed in off Weekes' right skate at 7:45.
Drury then ripped a drive from above the right circle that beat Weekes inside the far post at 9:24, and Korpikoski scored 29 seconds later. He ripped in a one-timer from one knee after he tapped his stick on the ice to call for the puck from linemate Dan Fritsche, who was on the goal-line.
Lundqvist, who robbed Dainius Zubrus from point-blank range with his pad while without his stick and New York trailing 1-0, finished with 29 saves. He has allowed fewer than three goals in 14 of 16 games this season.
Notes: Gomez sat out with a leg injury and is day to day. ... Devils RW Brian Gionta and D Salvador both returned after missing one game. ... The Rangers sent forward Patrick Rissmiller on a conditioning assignment to Hartford (AHL). ... Korpikoski scored his only other NHL goal in Game 5 of a playoff series versus Pittsburgh last season. ... Brodeur was 48-31-19 in his last 98 games against New York in the regular season and playoffs. ... Fritsche, Dan Girardi and Nigel Dawes all had two assists for the Rangers, who recorded 43 shots.