Rangers clinch playoff spot with win over Devils
New York beats New Jersey 4-2
Mats Zuccarello scored for the second time in as many games and All-Star defenseman Dan Girardi also tallied for the Rangers, who split the six-game season series (3-3-0) and pulled three points ahead of idle Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division.
The rivals didn't waste time renewing acquaintances as three fights erupted simultaneously three seconds into the contest. With New Jersey defenseman Bryce Salvador receiving a 10-minute misconduct for trying to pull Stu Bickell off a bloodied Ryan Carter, a total of 40 minutes of penalties were distributed.
After Patrik Elias trimmed the Rangers' lead to 2-1 at 5:03 of the second period with a sharp-angle shot, Zuccarello regained the two-goal advantage exactly 2 1/2 minutes later by cleaning up a loose puck on the doorstep for a power-play tally.
Veteran Petr Sykora brought the Devils back within one 3 1/2 minutes later after accepting a cross-slot feed and wiring a shot from the left faceoff circle past Lundqvist.
The Swedish netminder held the fort from there to hand New Jersey its third loss in four games.