Rookie defensemen Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy both scored, and the New York Rangers broke out of early power-play woes in a 3-2 victory over the host New Jersey Devils last night.
After a season-opening loss at Pittsburgh, the Rangers have won two straight. Del Zotto and Ales Kotalik scored power-play goals in the first period, and Gilroy tallied at even strength in the second for New York, which erased two one-goal deficits. Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves.
The 19-year-old Del Zotto has scored in consecutive games.
Rob Niedermayer scored his first goal with the Devils, and Travis Zajac added a power-play score in the first, but the Devils dropped to 0-2. Both losses have come at home following the return of coach Jacques Lemaire.
David Clarkson assisted on both goals, and Martin Brodeur stopped 23 shots.
Gilroy, last season’s Hobey Baker Award winner out of Boston University, took a pass in the right circle and smacked a shot that beat Brodeur between the pads with 2:10 left in the second. Gilroy’s first NHL point gave the Rangers their first lead of the night.
New York carried the 3-2 lead into the third, something that seemed unlikely in the opening minutes.
The Devils had several scoring chances right away and took advantage just 1:10 in when Niedermayer took a short pass in the right circle from Jay Pandolfo and fired in a shot.
When Dainius Zubrus crashed into Lundqvist 14 seconds later, Rangers coach John Tortorella used his only timeout. With his players on the ice and hanging over the bench, Tortorella yelled at the club and punctuated his points by punching his open palm.
New York defenseman Michal Rozsival took an interference penalty seconds later, but the Rangers killed off the power play and gained momentum.
After failing on their first nine power-play chances in their opening two games, New York snapped out of its slump on Del Zotto’s goal. Vinny Prospal fired a shot from the right side that smacked hard off Brodeur and kicked out left. Del Zotto streaked in from the point and shot the puck into the vacated left side that Paul Martin had little chance to cover at 6:31.
Blue Jackets 5, Canucks 3 - Kristian Huselius, Rostislav Klesla, and Nikita Filatov scored over a 3:44 span early in the second period to chase Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo and lead visiting Columbus to the win.
Steve Mason made 40 saves as the Blue Jackets opened the season with consecutive wins for the first time in franchise history.