x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Rookies to the rescue for Rangers

The new boys got the job done for the New York Rangers when they dropped in on their neighbours on Monday.

The Devils' Martin Brodeur thwarts a wraparound attempt by the Rangers' Aaron Voros.
The Devils' Martin Brodeur thwarts a wraparound attempt by the Rangers' Aaron Voros.

The new boys got the job done for the New York Rangers when they dropped in on their neighbours on Monday. The 25-year-old defenceman Matt Gilroy, in his debut season in the NHL, scored his first career goal to clinch the Rangers' 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils in Newark. Gilroy put a slap shot past the New Jersey goaltender, Martin Brodeur, at 17:50 in the second period to seal the Rangers' second consecutive win and hand the Devils their second successive defeat and worst start since 2001-2.

"It just gives you confidence," said the winger Chris Higgins, playing his second game with the Rangers after being traded from the Montreal Canadiens in the off-season. "It's pretty impressive when you see [Michael] Del Zotto and Gilroy score against Brodeur. That's special for them. We're going to need them as the season goes on." The Devils got off to a flying start with a goal from Rob Niedermayer in the second minute, but New York's 19-year-old first-year defender Del Zotto equalised after six minutes with his second goal in as many games.

Travis Zajac's snap shot at 10:52 put New Jersey up 2-1, before the Rangers' Ales Kotalik capped a lively opening period with a goal to tie the game four minutes before it ended. The New York netminder, Henrik Lundqvist, improved to 16-5-4 for his career against the Devils, making 25 stops to safeguard the win. Brodeur stopped 23, a game after joining Patrick Roy as the only goaltender to play 1,000 career matches. However, he is off to a poor start to the season, allowing eight goals in the Devils' first two games.

"We didn't come out ready," said the Rangers' captain, Chris Drury. "It was pretty obvious at the start of the game ... you're not always going to get away with bad starts like that." In other NHL action, the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 to start a season 2-0 for the first time, while their hosts slumped to 0-3. Kristian Huselius, Rostislav Klesla and Nikita Filatov all netted in the second period to put Columbus 4-1 ahead and in control.

"We had tons of chances, we were moving it, and we were getting some good shots off. It was really fun hockey for us," said the Blue Jackets' captain Rick Nash. "We got ourselves into a hole early," said the Vancouver goalie, Roberto Luongo. "It's tough come back in this league." * With agencies