Lundqvist, Rangers shut out Devils
Brandon Dubinsky and defenceman Dan Girardi scored 2:04 apart during New York's three-goal second period, and Henrik Lundqvist earned his 20th NHL shutout to lift the Rangers to a 3-0 victory that sent the New Jersey Devils to a season-high fifth straight loss on Monday night.
Ryan Callahan added his 21st goal for the homeice Rangers, who bounced back from a disappointing 0-1-1 road trip and moved within a point of sixth-place Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
New York also stretched its lead to four points over Florida, which is below the post-season cutoff.
There was no drama between Rangers agitator Sean Avery and Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, longtime adversaries, but Avery did annoy David Clarkson enough in the third period to get the New Jersey enforcer off the ice.
The two were locked up in the Rangers zone, with Clarkson tugging on Avery, who chose not to drop the gloves.
Clarkson kept pulling until Avery fell to the ice face first.
Clarkson got a double penalty for roughing plus a misconduct, while Avery was given only two minutes for roughing.
Soon after, Avery flattened Johnny Oduya against the boards, drawing chants from the crowd of "Avery, Avery."
New Jersey received only two power plays, both in the third period.
The Devils have already clinched a playoff berth and still lead the Atlantic Division by six points over Philadelphia, but are in an 0-4-1 rut.
They have dropped six of seven (1-5-1) since Brodeur broke Patrick Roy's NHL record for career wins by a goalie.
New Jersey, which held a 38-37 shots advantage, is one point behind second-place Washington in the East.
Brodeur, who lost his fifth in a row, was sharp in the first period when the Rangers tied a season high with 20 shots.
New York managed only 12 in the second, but broke open the scoreless game.
Lundqvist, who made 19 saves in the second, matched Brodeur early and then outplayed him in earning his third shutout and 35th win of the season.
His best stops came in the second when he made a quick save with his left pad on Brian Rolston and then kicked out Bobby Holik's hard drive on the rebound.
Dubinsky started the scoring 4:35 into the second with his 11th goal and third in five games after going 23 without one.
Girardi's shot from the right point was stopped by Brodeur, but Dubinsky put in the rebound.
That started the taunting of Brodeur, who heard derisive chants of his name as the Rangers built and nursed their lead.
Girardi doubled the advantage at 6:39, firing in a shot after Nik Antropov kept the play alive and got the puck to him in the slot with a diving poke.
Callahan made it 3-0 with 4:54 left in the second, finishing a fine passing play by Avery and Scott Gomez.
He scored with a rising shot from the high slot, his 21st goal this season and fifth in seven games.