May 23, 2012, 10:46 PM EDT
The New York Rangers might go to bed tonight in a daze – but not just because of the go-to story about their playoff fatigue. After the Rangers sporadically chipped away at an early 3-0 lead, the New Jersey Devils’ capitalized on Ryan Carter‘s game-winning goal to win 5-3, taking a 3-2 series lead in the process.
Let’s start chatting.
- In a strange way, this might be one of – if not the – best performances by New York in this series. Can the Rangers bring this kind of effort for two more games?
- More on that general theme: will the Rangers finally fade in what they hope will be a third consecutive seven-game series? With all due respect to the Senators and Capitals, the Devils are a much tougher team to shake away.
- Speaking of which, are the Devils just flat-out better than the Rangers? They clearly dominated the Flyers and it seems like they’ve been physically superior to John Tortorella’s gang when it matters the most.
- Is Henrik Lundqvist worn out? He had a tough start that put the Rangers in a deep hole and then allowed a late tally that crushed New York’s rising spirits.
- Kudos to Zach Parise, who’s quietly buffing his playoff resume with empty-netters. That might earn him a few extra bucks this summer.
- Martin Brodeur pulled a Mike Smith by showing the hazards of puckhandling. How much more of a positive impact does he make with those skills?
- Is this it for the Rangers or will they come back against a Devils team that doesn’t seem to get proper credit?
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