New York Rangers 1, New Jersey Devils 4 (Series is TIED, 2-2)
Those Who Shined
1. Martin Brodeur, Goaltender, New Jersey Devils
In a series that had been controlled — for the most part — by the play of Henrik Lundqvist (already posted two shutouts in three games), Monday was a statement game for legend Martin Brodeur. With his Devils on the brink of a crushing 3-1 series deficit, he stepped up to save 28 of the 29 shots that he faced, even though his team was outshot in the final two periods. The performance gave him his 10th win of the postseason and lowered his goals against average to 1.98, which is nearly half a goal below his regular season average. It certainly helped that New Jersey’s offense did plenty of scoring to secure this victory, but make no mistake, this one was won primarily because of the man between the pipes. And, for those of you keeping track, Brodeur has now won 109 playoff games — not bad.
2. Zach Parise, Left Wing, New Jersey Devils
It’s no secret that Zach Parise is one of the most dynamic scorers in the NHL. His 69 regular season points ranked third on a dangerous New Jersey scoring attack. But, in the first three games of this series with the Rangers, Parise had been held to just one assist and a negative four rating while on the ice. That all changed Monday, as he notched an assist in the opening frame and then scored both Devils goals in the final period. This performance marked the first time in 2012 that he reached three points in a single playoff game. And, it obviously came at the right time because New Jersey has new life with the series headed back to Madison Square Garden. Overall, Parise is second on the team with 12 points — six goals, six assists — throughout the postseason.
3. Bryce Salvador, Defenseman, New Jersey Devils
When the Devils win, Bryce Salvador usually plays a huge part in the success. This was the case Monday night, as the defenseman recorded a goal and an assist in New Jersey’s game four victory. Keep in mind that this was already the third goal of the postseason for Salvador after he didn’t find the back of the net in the entirety of the regular season. And, if you think I’m joking about his performance deciding the outcome of Devils games, you’re wrong. Salvador has scored 10 points in games that his team has won, but is at zero in the games that they have lost. Somebody in that Prudential Center locker room better take note of these numbers; he could be the key to the success moving forward.