Article Written By: Martin Lee
The New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers played the very first hockey game ever at Yankee Stadium as part of the NHL stadium series. Unfortunately, the meeting of the Devils and Rangers was delayed for one hour and eight minutes because of too much sunlight.
New Jersey opened up the game with wrist shot goal by Patrick Elias in the first period, his 8th of the season. Dominic Moore tied the game at 1-1 in the first period for the Rangers, scoring his 4th goal of the season. Patrick Elias notched his 2nd goal of the period on a power play. That gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Travis Zajac added another goal for New Jersey giving them some breathing room with a two score lead, making it 3-1. Marc Stall cut the deficit to 3-2 after scoring his 3rd goal of the season for the Devils.
Mats Zuccarello made it a 3-3 tie for the Devils. Scoring with a tip in goal, making it his 14th goal on the season. Mats Zuccarello scored again to make it a 4-3 lead for New York in the 2nd period. The Rangers increased their lead to 5-3 with a goal by Carl Hagelin 2nd period, his 12th goal of the season. Rick Nash padded onto the lead in the 2nd period, giving the Rangers lead.
Derek Stepan topped off the score 7-3 Rangers, with a wrist shot on a penalty shot 3rd period. Henrik Lundqvist had 19 saves on 22 shots and got the win for the New York Rangers. Devils coach Peter DeBoer was forced to pull starter Martin Brodeur in favor of Cory Schneider to open the third period. After Brodeur allowed six goals on 21 shots in the first 40 minutes of the game. It marked the first time New Jersey made an in-game goalie switch this season. Brodeur was playing in his 100th regular-season game against the Rangers. Cory Schneider saved 4 out of 5 shots.
Mats Zuccarello had a few things to say about his experience playing at Yankee Stadium after the game, “I’ve never been here [Yankee Stadium] and baseball is not that big in Norway,” Zuccarello said. “But I’ve lived in the U.S. for quite a while now so I know it’s pretty special. It’s special for me too. Coming from Norway, and to be able to play at this rink and get the win too is pretty amazing. So we were happy about it.”
Henrik Lundqvist had a difficult time preparing for the game. “It was a tough start to the game,” Lundqvist said, “my preparation was not perfect. The start of the game was changed so I was asleep when they told me it was a warm-up in 30 minutes. I felt like I was not really in the right place mentally in the first period [allowing three goals on 10 shots; I was fighting it a little bit. I felt like I calmed down in the second and third period and played my game.”