Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 2/1/12

 

 

The New Jersey Devils (27-19-3) remain in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race after a compelling overtime win over the rival New York Rangers (31-12-5).

New Jersey trailed 3-2 when David Clarkson scored his 17th goal of the season, tying the game with under a minute left in regulation.

When overtime wasn’t enough, Ilya Kovalchuk was the deciding factor in the shootout, scoring on the Devil’s first attempt against Ranger’s backup goaltender Martin Biron.

After a miss by Derek Stepan, Martin Brodeur would stone Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik to shut the door on the Rangers.

Kovalchuk also scored a power play goal during regulation, giving him 20 goals on the season.

Zach Parise (16) started the scoring for New Jersey, who after trailing 1-0, netted one on a pass from Dainius Zubrus.

Goals for the Rangers came via Anton Stralman (2), Brian Boyle (4), and Michael Del Zotto (6).

The 39-year-old Brodeur made 26 saves, securing his 15th victory this season, ranking him No. 21 in the NHL.

Despite sporting a -6 goal differential, New Jersey finds itself in playoff position, sitting at No. 7 in the Eastern Conference.

The Devils broke even during the month of January, posting a 6-6 record, including back-to-back 4-1 losses to the Boston Bruins (32-14-2) and the Philadelphia Flyers (29-14-6).

New Jersey will host the Montreal Canadians (19-22-9) on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. EST, in a game that the Devils should win.

After the Canadians, New Jersey will hit a rough patch in the schedule, as the combined records of its next five opponents are 140-41-33

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