Vigneault's 'friend' criticizes officials

NEW YORK -- Give Alain Vigneault credit for some ingenuity. The affable Rangers coach came up with an interesting, back-door way of criticizing officials Saturday night after the team's 4-3 overtime loss to New Jersey.

He did not come right out and say he disagreed with the ruling on the Devils' first goal -- when a puck bounced in off Cam Janssen's skate at 6:02 of the second period but was upheld after video review -- but he made it pretty clear just the same.

"I had a friend [who] once telling me that they make it up as they go along," Vigneault said, with a conspiratorial smile. "I'm not saying that but my friend was saying that."

The video review ruled that the puck crossed the goal line in "legal fashion" and that Janssen did not make a "distinct kicking motion" when the puck caromed off his skate as he barreled toward the net.

The goal sparked a Devils squad that rallied to score two more in regulation before edging their Hudson River rivals in overtime on Eric Gelinas' game-winning power-play marker.

"I thought it was a kick, but it doesn't matter," goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. "They got it."

Asked if it was becoming difficult to decipher what qualified as a "kicked" goal and what did not, Lundqvist said it was futile to belabor the point.

"There's no point of trying to think too much about it, because you can't really control it," he said. "But like I said, it felt like the heel went up after the puck went in and it looked like it was a kicking motion, but they made the call and we live with it."

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Captain Ryan Callahan, who was seen grimacing on the bench after being slashed on the hand by Gelinas in the second period, said he was fine after the game.

He also was in pain after being hit with Chris Kreider's shot on the Rangers' game-tying goal in the groin, though he remained in the game and played during the overtime period.

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The obvious candidate to draw into the lineup should Marc Staal be unavailable to play is Michael Del Zotto.

The 23-year-old blue-liner, who has struggled to maintain a consistent spot in the lineup, was scratched for the sixth time this season Saturday night.