NEW YORK -- Twice the New York Rangers came back to tie the game, but a two-goal effort from gritty winger Ryan Carter and a go-ahead goal from Dainius Zubrus late in the third gave the New Jersey Devils their second straight win against the Blueshirts this season. Coming off a pair of shutout performances, veteran goaltender Martin Brodeur was terrific in leading the way for the Devils and snapping the Rangers’ three-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory at Madison Square Garden. The Devils penalty-killing unit was also superb in stopping all five Rangers power-play opportunities, including one critical chance in the third period.
What it means: The Rangers dropped back to .500 while the Devils climbed back within a point of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Two for 20: Snapping an 18-game goalless drought dating back to last season, rugged fourth-liner Ryan Carter notched not one, but two goals in the first 40 minutes of play to give the Devils a 2-1 lead heading into intermission. The Rangers had a quick answer for his first goal in the second period, scoring just 18 seconds later, but Carter’s hustle allowed him to beat out speedster Carl Hagelin to the puck late in the second to give the Devils a one-goal advantage with 46.1 seconds left in the frame. Defenseman Adam Larsson, who turned 21 years old Tuesday, made the pass that sprung Carter for his sharp-angle backhander.
Showing some spunk: Move over, Sean Avery. Mats Zuccarello is trying to become the Rangers' latest pest. The diminutive Norwegian forward seemed to rattle Brodeur’s cage with an extra stick shove in the crease that prompted the veteran netminder to take a swipe at Zuccarello. Zuccarello ended up in a headlock, then the penalty box for a roughing minor. It wasn’t just Zuccarello’s antagonism that won him points Tuesday; he picked up an assist on Marc Staal's first period marker and set a key screen on Dan Girardi’s game-tying goal with 6:42 left in regulation.
Scary moment: The Rangers already experienced a glimpse into the abyss when they were without goaltender Henrik Lundqvist for two games earlier this season, so it’s no surprise there were some tense moments at the Garden during the third period when the former Vezina Trophy winner appeared to be in pain. Though trainer Jim Ramsay was summoned onto the ice, Lundqvist remained in the game and appeared to be OK okay when smothering Jaromir Jagr's breakaway attempt minutes later.
Depleted D: The Devils played with only five defensemen for much of the night, after veteran blue-liner Anton Volchenkov was forced from the game during the first period with what the team called a “lower-body injury.” Things got worse for their back end as the night progressed. Fellow blue-liner Eric Gelinas left the game late in the third after getting hit in the face with a puck.