Devils Advance To Stanley Cup Finals With Win Over Rangers [VIDEO]
Posted by: Brian Sinkoff
Published on: May 26th, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Former Albany Devils forward Adam Henrique scored off a wild scramble in front at 1:03 into overtime and the New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 to advance to their first Stanley Cup finals since 2003.
New Jersey wins the series 4 games to 2.
The Devils will face the Los Angeles Kings for the Cup in a series that will start on Wednesday in New Jersey.
It’s a remarkable comeback for a team that missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 1996.
Henrique’s series winner came after Henrik Lundqvist stopped Ilya Kovalchuk twice and Alexei Ponikarovsky. The last shot lay in the crease and Henrique tapped it home.
Henrique, who is nominated for the Calder Trophy — given to the NHL’s top rookie — skated away from the crease and jumped against the end boards in the corner as his teammates jumped off the bench and mobbed him.
The six Rangers on the ice just stayed down in disbelief and frustration. This was very much like Game 5, which the Devils won 5-3. New York carried the play after the first period and had a 35-29 edge in shots.
But when it came time for a game-deciding play to be made, it was a Devil who made it.
Henrique, who scored the game winner in Game 7 of the Devils’ opening-round series against Florida, overcame injury to score this one. He seemed to take a stick from Brian Boyle in the groin area late in the third and had to leave the ice.
He felt no pain after the game winner.
All the Rangers could do was bow their heads and then line up for the traditional handshake after losing to their cross-river rivals in a series that was close.
Ageless Martin Brodeur, 40, kept the Devils alive in the third. He stopped a power-play shot by Brad Richards, made a save on Artem Anisimov between the circles and used his stick to deflect a pass from the boards by Carl Hagelin in the final minute just before it got to Marian Gaborik on the edge of the crease.
Ryan Carter and Kovalchuk also scored for the Devils, who blew a 2-0 first period lead.
Ruslan Fedotenko and Ryan Callahan tallied for top-seeded New York, which had a good flurry just before New Jersey scored.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Brian Sinkoff is a licensed Real Estate agent with Coldwell Banker Prime Properties. He’s been in media for nearly 20 years – most recently as host of “Sound-off with Sinkoff” which was on the ESPN Radio affiliate in Albany, NY. Sinkoff is also a frequent contributor for Time Warner Cable Sports television.