Rangers 4, Devils 1

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 20, 2011
Marian Gaborik snapped a third-period tie with the first of his two goals and then sealed New York's win with an empty-netter as the Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on Tuesday night. Gaborik, who reached 600 NHL points with his first goal, also helped set up Artem Anisimov's second-period tally that tied the game 1-1. New York (20-9-4) won its second straight and broke the Devils' four-game winning streak in the first of six meetings between Atlantic Division rivals. Anisimov also had an assist, Carl Hagelin added a short-handed goal, and Derek Stepan chipped in two assists for the Rangers. Travis Zajac's first goal of the season gave the Devils a 1-0 lead in the first period. Zajac missed the first 30 games of the season following Achilles tendon surgery. New Jersey was without leading scorer Patrik Elias, who sat out because of an illness. Anisimov tied it with his seventh goal with 2:30 left in the second period and Gaborik broke the deadlock 4:45 into the third after Anisimov sent a backhanded shot off the post that trickled behind goalie Martin Brodeur. Gaborik alertly knocked the rebound past Brodeur. Hagelin made it 3-1 with 5:18 remaining, the fourth goal in 13 games for the rookie left wing. Gaborik closed the scoring with 3 seconds left, netting his 19th goal - one shy of the NHL lead. Henrik Lundqvist continued his mastery over New Jersey, winning for the 23rd time in 37 games with a 1.85 goals-against average. Lundqvist made 30 saves for his 13th win of the season. The heated rivals got going quickly. Just three seconds after the opening faceoff, Devils forward Cam Janssen fought former New Jersey forward Mike Rupp in an extended fight. Zajac's goal was his first since March 15 against Atlanta. He had played in a franchise-record 401 consecutive games before missing the start of this season. Hagelin scored the 10th short-handed goal of the season against the Devils. NOTES: Elias, who has 13 goals and 16 assists, also didn't skate on Monday because he was ill. ... Devils D Henrik Tallinder sat out a third straight game due to back spasms. ... Rangers F Sean Avery was again a healthy scratch. ... Devils rookie D Adam Larsson was expected to fly home to Sweden after the game due to the death of his grandmother. Larsson will miss Friday's home game against Washington, and Monday's game at Carolina.
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