Lundqvist, Rangers shut out Devils

Posted: May 20, 2012

In his latest playoff gem, Henrik Lundqvist had little time to do more than stop every breakaway or two-on-one New Jersey shot his way. When he took a moment to breathe, Lundqvist had all the confidence his New York Rangers would bail him out with a goal or two.

"You know sooner or later it's going to turn," he said. "It's going to turn in our favor."

Unlike those dozens of Devils shots, his feeling was right on the mark.

Lundqvist had 36 saves, and Dan Girardi, Chris Kreider, and Ryan Callahan scored third-period goals to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday in Newark, N.J..

Girardi and Kreider scored goals only 1 minute, 57 seconds apart early in the third to seize the momentum in a packed building with fans of both teams at a fever pitch, and give New York a two-games-to-one series lead. Indeed it was a quick span the Devils may long regret, especially after they dominated long stretches of Game 3.

"We played a real good hockey game," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "We lost. We got to find a way to score a goal."

The Rangers did, and they did so in a stretch that would compare to some of coach John Tortorella's short and not-so-sweet news conferences. But Tortorella abandoned his normally terse responses to praise his goalie after the win.

"He's a great competitor," Tortorella said, "as far as his preparation and as far as what he does for this hockey club."

Lundqvist was busy from the opening faceoff en route to his second shutout of the series and third in the postseason. Callahan iced it with an empty-netter.

Game 4 is Monday in New Jersey.

Not even playing on home ice, where they had won four straight, was enough to help New Jersey. The Rangers have won every Game 1, lost each Game 2, and rebounded to win Game 3 in every round this postseason. Each preceding series, of course, saw them win the all-important last one: Game 7.

Kreider, a rookie called up during Round 1 vs. Ottawa, has scored in every game of this series.

"I'd trade that for three wins," Kreider said. "I'm worried about the next one."

Lundqvist was fantastic as he showed again why he led the Rangers to an Eastern Conference-high 109 points. He stoned Adam Henrique on a nice backhander late in the second period to keep it scoreless entering the third, setting the stage for New York's late magic.

He also toyed with Ilya Kovalchuk all game and stopped him on a breakaway in the second. Kovalchuk, who scored in Game 2, couldn't get untracked and neither could the rest of the Devils.

- Associated Press

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