The Time: 1:00 PM EDT
The Last Game: While Lundqvist was unstoppable in game 1, the Devils were able to beat him with a pair of re-directions in game two, with David Clarkson's re-direction being the game winner. John's recap of the game can be found here.
The Goal: It's possible to beat Lundqvist in two ways- going high glove side or redirecting pucks on net. Both of those require players to get shots on goal- which is exactly what the Devils are going to have to do this afternoon. After game 1's shotblock-stravaganza, the Devils were able to get shots on goal- in fact, four Devils were in double digits in terms of Fenwick (two more with +9 Fenwick). This is an encouraging sign- the Rangers can't block every shot they make. Hopefully, when the Devils get into the Lana. Lana... LANAAAAAAAAAAAAAA *chuckles* Ranger Zone, they can get pucks on net and create traffic.
For an opposition's perspective, check out Blueshirt Banter. More thoughts after the jump.
What I noticed about all three Devils goals Wednesday night was that the goal scorers had space- as in they weren't suffocated by Blueshirts. Ilya Kovalchuk's power play goal was an example, as he basically had a good look and was able to beat Lundqvist with a shot. Even with the re-directions, the Devils who re-directed those pucks in had space. David Clarkson was more or less standing in front of Lundqvist without a single Ranger trying to help their goalie. Ryan Carter had a Ranger close to him, but Travis Zajac was there as well. Opening up the game means that there's a lower chance that a Ranger can block a shot for Lundqvist. Puck movement will be key in that sense.
Shutting Down the Big Guns
Another reason the Devils won last night- they shut down the Rangers best offensive players and they did it in spectacular fashion- Marian Gaborik (-11 corsi, benched), Brad Richards (-13 corsi) and Carl Hagelin (-19 corsi!) were all ineffective at generating offense at even strength. The most important part about these three is that they're the Rangers best offensive players. If the Devils can stop those three again, winning becomes so much more easier.
- Home ice should help generate offense. Peter DeBoer will have the luxury of being able to keep Kovalchuk, Parise and Zajac away from McDonaugh, Girardi, Callahan and Kreider, who have been able to stop the Devils top guns from calling Kenny Loggins and taking a highway to the Ranger Zone. Without those guys dogging them, they can maybe get better chances and potentially score more.
- Discipline and Composure are going to be important tonight. The Rangers have been able to score on the powerplay, which is bad mainly because the Rangers powerplay isn't exactly as good as the Panthers or Flyers power play. Staying out of the penalty box and not retaliating to Ranger horseplay is going to be important in winning this game.
With that being said, what do you think is going to happen tomorrow afternoon? What do you think is going to be important for the Devils tomorrow. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading.