New Jersey Devils 5, New York Rangers 3 (NJ leads the series, 3-2)
Those Who Shined
1. New Jersey’s Offensive Attack
Sure, this is a very broad selection, but the whole club is pretty deserving following the last two offensive performances against a typically stingy New York defense. After Wednesday’s five goal explosion, the Devils became the first team in nearly two months to score more than three goals in consecutive games against the Rangers. Wednesday was particularly impressive, as New Jersey threw just 17 shots on net, but converted on nearly 30 percent of those snipes. These are numbers that are almost unheard of in the ridiculously successful 2011-2012 season for New York’s Henrik Lundqvist, so the Devils should take a lot of pride in where they are as a team at this point. But, the tough test isn’t over yet. New Jersey still has to get past the Rangers and then would face the equally as talented Jonathan Quick.
2. Martin Brodeur, Goaltender, New Jersey Devils
I give this spot to Martin Brodeur because in a night of struggles between the pipes, he did just enough to keep the Devils ahead. Overall, he sent away 25 of 28 shots, which is a fairly respectable final line given the amount of time that was spent in his defensive zone. New Jersey was outshot in every period and the Rangers had multiple attempts on the power play, but the 40-year-old was able to contain them for the majority of the final frame when the game was on the line. And, regardless of the fact that many variables go into winning a series, Brodeur has to feel pretty excellent about leading his team to a potential series clinching home game against one of the league’s top opposing netminders.
3. Marian Gaborik, Right Wing, New York Rangers
In a very difficult game five defeat, the Rangers did finally get some positive play from attacker Marian Gaborik. New York’s leading scorer (41 goals, 76 points in the regular season) had gone the first four games of the series without a point, but he broke that streak with an unassisted goal that tied the game in third period. The Rangers are not typically known for their scoring capabilities, so it would be of high importance if they could get this guy back on track. Gaborik has the potential to change the outcome of the game by himself when he is on a roll. We’ll see if it can carry over to game six from New Jersey.