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Rangers score six straight in House That Jeter Built

Last updated: January 27. 2014 12:32AM - 1846 Views
By Ira Podell AP Sports Writer



New Jersey Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr (68) controls the puck as New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) defends in the third period of an outdoor hockey game at Yankee Stadium in New York, on Sunday. It was the first time a hockey game has been played in Yankee Stadium. The Rangers defeated the Devils 7-3.
New Jersey Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr (68) controls the puck as New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) defends in the third period of an outdoor hockey game at Yankee Stadium in New York, on Sunday. It was the first time a hockey game has been played in Yankee Stadium. The Rangers defeated the Devils 7-3.
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NEW YORK — Too much sun forced the boys of winter to wait to play at the ballpark in the Bronx.


Once clouds filled the skies over Yankee Stadium and snow began to fall — hockey weather for sure — Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers got the best of the New Jersey Devils.


Rick Nash scored for the fifth straight game during New York’s four-goal middle period, and the Rangers rallied for a 7-3 victory over the Devils on Sunday.


Sun reflecting off the ice delayed the start of the first hockey game at Yankee Stadium for about an hour. The wait was expected to be longer, so Lundqvist took a nap. Cloud cover took care of that problem more quickly than expected.


Suddenly the All-Star goalie was awakened and told warm-ups would take place in 30 minutes. He put on his pinstripe pads, but still looked groggy in the first period when New Jersey took a 3-1 lead.


“I was half asleep, mentally somewhere else, but then I regrouped and I am happy with how I finished,” Lundqvist said.


“I’m not going to lie, when they scored the third one, I had a bad feeling about it. My first thought was, ‘Am I going to be able to finish this game? Then you kind of regroup and tell yourself, ‘I need to stop the next shot. That’s it. There is no other way to do this.’”


Devils counterpart Martin Brodeur had no such luck. He allowed six goals on 21 shots and was replaced by Cory Schneider at the start of the third.


“You rely a lot on instinct, and poise, and I couldn’t close my glove, it was so cold,” said Brodeur, who along with Rangers coach Alain Vigneault criticized the chippy ice that required repairs.


New York got within one before the first intermission and then swarmed Brodeur.


Dominic Moore and Marc Staal had goals in the first for the Rangers, then Mats Zuccarello scored two straight to put New York ahead for the first time. Carl Hagelin and Nash found the net, too, behind the beleaguered Brodeur, who angrily swatted the puck away after one of the tallies.


“Most of their goals went in off our players, or a stick or skate, and that happens. It was just one of those nights,” Brodeur said.


Nash has seven goals in his streak and 18 this season.


Lundqvist settled down and made 19 saves. He hadn’t allowed more than two goals in his previous seven outings.


The Devils took care of that in the first.


Patrik Elias scored twice, Travis Zajac once and Jaromir Jagr had two assists in the first to excite the large number of New Jersey fans who made the trek to the Bronx for what was a Devils home game.


Jagr past former Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Mario Lemieux for 10th place on the NHL career assist list.


The temperature was 24.9 degrees when the game started at 1:41 p.m. in front of a sellout crowd of 50,105. The teams played through periods of snow.


Yankee Stadium’s second hockey game will take place on Wednesday night when the Rangers will again be the road team in a matchup with the New York Islanders.


Zuccarello tied it 3-3 at 2:48 of the second when he redirected in a pass from John Moore, and put New York in front at the end of a 3-on-1 rush with 7:16 left. Benoit Pouliot chipped the puck ahead at center ice to Derick Brassard, who sent a pass from the right side to Zuccarello for his 15th goal.


Hagelin made it 5-3 just 1:09 later when he flipped a shot from the right circle that appeared to hit Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky before getting through Brad Richards’ screen and by Brodeur.


The Devils netminder was again victimized by an odd-man attack that Nash finished with 28.5 seconds left in the middle frame. Brodeur was serenaded with derisive chants of “Mar-ty … Mar-ty” as Rangers fans in the stands made their voices heard.


He watched the rest of the game from the bench. Schneider, who made only four saves, gave up Derek Stepan’s penalty-shot goal with 9:54 remaining.


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