Marc Staal 2

Rangers Win 3-1 – Go Up 3-1

Two days after seeing the puck deflect into his own net off his skate, Marc Staal gained redemption, scoring the game winner to put the Rangers in a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Devils.

Staal appeared to carry no baggage from the Sunday loss, leading Jagr to joke after the game that the rookie defenseman didn’t know he scored Sunday, and probably didn’t know he scored last night.

The Rangers particularly seem to be getting inside the head of Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur. Brodeur was called for diving (along with Fredrik Sjostrom for goalie interference) during the second period, neither penalty perhaps justifiable, though the Devils defense could certainly have been called for interference.

Then while the Rangers were on the power play, Jaromir Jagr made contact with Brodeur, who obviously threw his arms in the air and then lay prone on the ice, pushing his mask off with his catching mitt to stop play. On the replay it was clear that Brodeur had embellished the play.

While the defense has been a bit of concern on home ice, it’s certainly been a positive to see more offense, particularly from the likes of Scott Gomez and Chris Drury, both of whom scored their first goals of the playoffs last night.

New Jersey are now on the brink of elimination, and the Rangers will have a chance to clinch the series in Newark Friday (7:30pm – MSG) and eliminate the Devils. Glen Sather visited the lockerroom after the game and reminded the team that the fourth win is the hardest to achieve.

The Devils will need a miracle to win the series from here, but the Rangers need to finish this series soon and finish healthy.

Jersey head coach Brent Sutter (aside from yet more disingenuous whining about the referee) still believes the Devils can come back in the series from the 1-3 deficit.

Perhaps the most humorously titled article of the day: Brodeur needs help. Something that few Rangers fans will likely disagree with.

Both he and Lundqvist have let in an unusual number of goals in the past two games (seven each), and both are still looking for some playoff magic.

Sean Avery remains in the news. His former Red Wing team mates are asked to weigh in on his behavior in game three with opinions ranging from the humorous to the serious. Newsday thinks he crossed the line, while the Winnipeg Sun thinks he’s a jerk.

The Hartford Wolf Pack got off to a winning start in their playoff series with the Portland Pirates. Pierre Parenteau scored twice, and Dane Byers added the insurance, while David LeNeveu stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced in the 3-1 win. Game two is tonight.

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