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Devils Dominate From Start To Finish, Blank Blueshirts En Route To Round 2

Icon Sportswire. Getty Images.

I said it well before the playoffs were seeded - I wasn't "scared" of the Devils but their style of play throughout the regular season gave the Rangers fits. They'd be a problem. But if you told me Timo Meier would end up pointless, Hischier & Bratt goal-less (until his empty-netter tonight) and Akira Schmid would get the lion's share of starts I'd tell you New York advanced with ease. What I didn't expect, especially after a pair of 5-1 home L's to kick off the series, that these Devils would all of a sudden be able to switch from a run-and-gun squad to a lockdown squad. Yet that's what they did tonight and throughout all four victories. They shut the Blueshirts big guns down to the tune of 2 goals in their wins. The Rangers barely had a chance in any of them. Credit to them for answering the bell & getting the job done. They're only gonna get better.

As for tonight, the Devils dominated from the jump but the Rangers had ample opportunity to pull a classic Rangers win. They were getting caved in 5x5 but had Igor standing on his head & the benefit of lady luck making sure a couple pucks squeaked wide. While they couldn't manage a lick of danger at even strength the Blueshirts had three powerplay opportunities to cash in and take a first period lead they absolutely didn't deserve. They squandered every chance New Jersey gave them though and it just felt it was a matter of time before the Devils cashed in. The way they did typified the entire series. Adam Fox showed no urgency with the puck in his zone while waiting for their fourth powerplay to start - and that's his style. But what he didn't take into account was that Ondrej Palat wasn't just gonna sit back and get the PK set up. Nor did Kreider. He saw Fox standing still, attacked, and turned another shot for the Rangers to take the lead into what ended up the game-winner.

 

The Rangers never showed all-out effort. The Devils did. The Rangers looked to take a lot for granted. The Devils didn't. And that's why they're moving on. They flat out wanted it more and it was evident for the majority of the series. With a beat up Carolina on deck this young Jersey team has a great shot at making some serious postseason noise. The same path was there for the Blueshirts had they shown up tonight. 

They didn't.

I guess there's some quit in New York after all.