Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

To Each His Own Eastern Conference Final: Devils vs. Rangers, Series Tied 1-1 It's Shot-Blocking Masters vs. Masters of Deflection, and Something Has Got to Give

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

To Each His Own Eastern Conference Final: Devils vs. Rangers, Series Tied 1-1 It's Shot-Blocking Masters vs. Masters of Deflection, and Something Has Got to Give

Article excerpt

NEWARK, N.J. --

For one game, at least, in the Eastern Conference final, the New Jersey Devils found a way to beat Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers.

After losing out in the Rangers' block party in Game 1, the Devils found a solution in Game 2. They forechecked, moved the puck, didn't give the New York defense time to set up, shot quickly and got traffic in front of the Rangers goaltender.

It wasn't anything novel. It was Hockey 101 and a better effort than in the opener of the best-of-7 series.

Now, it is the Rangers' turn to respond this afternoon as the series shifts to New Jersey for Game 3 at the Prudential Center.

"We know the Rangers are going to push," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said Friday. "We know they're going to come out and play a great hockey game tomorrow. It's on us to do the same thing. So, I expect it to be the best game of the series tomorrow from both ends."

Both teams returned to the ice Friday and, of course, continued to tweak their games.

"I think both teams are going to take their game to another level," DeBoer said.

At the least, the Devils need to prevent the Rangers from blocking shots again. New York blocked 26 in its 3-0 win in Game 1, but New Jersey did a better job Wednesday in getting rubber at Lundqvist while evening the series.

"They do a great job of blocking shots, but the reality of it is that we have to get two or three guys in front and then somehow get the puck through," said Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador, who had assists on New Jersey's final two goals Wednesday night in New York City, including the primary one on Ryan Carter's tying goal late in the second period.

"They [block shots] more than anyone. We have to maintain some sort of presence in front of the net. It doesn't have to be a great shot, but it has to get there. I tried to get it to the side of the goal, and Carter got to it. If we don't try, then nothing goes in. We have to get the pucks to the net to create second shots."

Devils center Travis Zajac, who was reunited with wingers Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk in Game 2, said New Jersey applied more pressure the second time around. …

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