It’s hard to argue with the results. Their 4-1 victory in Game 1 on the road was definitely just what the Rangers wanted. The problem is with the methods.
After a game filled with several lucky breaks and some really dangerous neutral zone and defensive zone giveaways, Jaromir Jagr called the 4-1 outcome “unfair” to the Devils. According to Josh Thomson over at Rangers Report, most of the Rangers felt they were outplayed by the Devils in all aspects of the game except goaltending. I would add that the Rangers were stellar on the penalty kill. The PP goal allowed can be excused because Straka broke his stick on the play and it turned into a 5-on-3.
At any rate, the prevailing thought is that Game 1 was something of an aberration. Nobody expects Brodeur to have another soft game, and everybody feels fortunate that the Devils couldn’t capitalize on any of the odd-man rushes they were able to generate off turnovers. The Rangers have a chance to take control of this series with a win tonight
Rangers keys to the game:
- Better puck control on the breakout and through the neutral zone
- Another solid game from Henrik Lundqvist
- Continuing the effective Penalty Killing