Devils Win 12th Straight

Rangers goaltender Kirk McLean, right, deflects the puck away from Devils' Randy McKay. AP

This wasn't about the New Jersey Devils extending a couple of streaks against the New York Rangers. It was bigger than that.

Alexander Mogilny and Jason Arnott scored second-period goals 92 seconds apart, as the Devils stretched their franchise-record winning streak to 12 games and their unbeaten streak against the Rangers to 23 with a 4-0 victory Wednesday night.

"This was about pride," Devils center Bobby Holik said. "We fought very hard to play well coming off a tough road trip. People may say how easy it was, but it's still hard when you go two thirds of the way across the continent."

New Jersey, 15-0-8 against the Rangers since 1997, is just five shy of the NHL record 17 consecutive victories set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I think we can play even better than we are playing right now," Devils center John Madden said. "That's what we are striving for, to play the perfect game."

Martin Brodeur had to make only 11 saves in recording the 50th shutout of his eight-year career, ranking him fourth among active goaltenders. It was also his eighth this season, one shy of the league-lead shared by Dominik Hasek of Buffalo and Roman Cechmanek of Philadelphia.

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Game Summary

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  • "This is a big rivalry and it's fun to be part of it, even though we are so dominant," Brodeur said. "Today was a game that everybody was a litte scared of because we had so much on the line and these guys, not much. We came out and really played them well."

    Rangers coach Ron Low was annoyed with his team's effort against the Devils, who returned home on Tuesday from Calgary after wrapping up a five-game road trip.

    "If there was a time to end the streak, it was right now," Low said. "They traveled all day yesterday. I don't think there was a lot of competitiveness from our hockey club."

    Scott Stevens added his ninth goal of the season with the teams playing 4-on-4 late in the third period. Arnott added his second power-play goal of the night with 3:35 to play on a 5-on-3 advantage.

    The Rangers, who are set to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season, played this game like it was their postseason. They played a tight defensive game and got involved in a few good fights in looking for their first regular-season win against the Devils since a 3-0 decision on Jan. 12, 1997.

    The game ended with Sandy McCarthy and Devils captain Scott Stevens standing toe-to-toe at center ice throwing overhand bombs.

    The game turned midway through the second period when the Devils killed off a slashing penalty to Sergei Brylin.

    The Rangers' only chance with the extra man came on a bad-angle shot by Mark Messier just before the penalty ended.

    The puck wound around the sideboards to Brylin coming out of the penalty box, and he moved it to Scott Gomez. The second-year center found Mogilny in the Rangers zone and his wrist shot from straight on beat Kirk McLean, who seemed fooled at 13:44.

    Rangers defenseman Tomas Kloucek, who got the best of Colin White in a third-period fight, was sent off for elbowing less than a minute later. Arnott scored on a fluttering shot at 15:16.

    The Rangers never threatened after that, registering only five shots in the final two periods. They finished with a season-low 11 shots, which is also the fewest allowed by New Jersey this season.

    "You feel the frustration when you can't get any shots," Rangers defenseman Rich Pilon said. "You try to be patient and get a break. We just didn't have it tonight."

    The Devils' previous low was 13, set just two nights earlier in a 4-2 win over Calgary. The Rangers took 15 in a 6-1 loss to Dallas on New Year's Eve, their previous worst effort.

    "They didn't get much on me at all," said Brodeur, who said he was tested on only three shots in the game.

    Notes

  • Devils forward Turner Stevenson sprained his right ankle in the second period. X-rays were negative
  • Brylin got an assist in his 300th NHL game.
  • The Rangers were 0-for-3 on the power play, and are 0-for-18 against the Devils this season.
  • Brodeur has four career shutout against the Rangers...The Devils plan to start John Vanbiesbrouck on Friday against Vancouver.


    ©2001 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
    • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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