Sunday’s Stadium Series matchup at Yankees Stadium was a spectacle. National TV, Broadway stars, 50,000+ people in the stands, and an hour delay’s delay in the bitter-cold weather due to icy glare highlighted this very important hockey game. It was a wonderful scene at Yankees Stadium, with Devils fans seemingly outnumbering (and outshouting) the Rangers fans at this designated Devils’ home game.
The Devils came out flying, and got off to a terrific start when Patrik Elias scored the first goal just five-and-a-half minutes into the game. Six minutes later the Devils broke a 1-all tie when Jaromir Jagr flew down the wing on a power play, forcing Henrik Lundqivst to come out of his net and setting up an easy pass and goal by Patrik Elias. From there it seemed as if everything was going the Devils way as they controlled the puck, forced Ranger turnovers, and kept the pressure on. Five minutes after his assist, the spritely-looking Jagr set up another goal — this time for Travis Zajac. Just like that it was 3-1 Devils… and then the snow came.
The sky and the Rangers both were unleashed. The Broadway Blueshirts went on to score six unanswered goals, eventually putting the game away with a final score of 7-3. Veteran goalie Martin Brodeur let up six of the Rangers’ goals, but he sure didn’t receive a lot of help in front of him. Anton Volchenkov’s -2 day seemed to catch the ire of fans on social media, with the vitriol flowing for his cross checking Daniel Carcillo into Brodeur, leading to the first Rangers’ goal of the game. The rest of the Devils defense seemed lost in the snow after the first period as well; the Rangers gained multiple odd man rushes and turned most of them into goals.
Brodeur, who was pulled after the second period, ultimately felt that he was done in by the ice, saying after the game that, “The ice was the worst I’ve ever played on.” However, Coach Pete DeBoer’s post-game interview wasn’t laying the blame on the ice. He just felt that the Rangers caught some momentum with a fluky goal and that the Devils, “Fell into the trap that this was going to be a 7-6 game, and we were going to have to get seven goals to win. We’re not that type of team. We start opening it up and trading chances like that and not a lot of good happens.”
History wasn’t made solely on the Rangers’ side. Jaromir Jagr’s two assists skated him past Mario Lemieux into 10th all time in the NHL with 1,034 assists. Sunday’s game was Jagr’s second straight game with two assists. He leads the Devils with 44 points this year.