It was not a wraparound that beat Martin Brodeur this time.
It was a slapshot.
"I want to be a difference-maker," said Dan Girardi, the beaten Broadway fedora resting atop his head a few minutes after his slapshot from the point gave the New York Rangers a lead they would not relinquish. The home team went on to a 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 1-0. Game 2 is Wednesday night at MSG.
Girardi finished with a goal and a secondary assist on Chris Kreider's power-play breakaway with eight minutes left in the game. In 25:11 of ice time, he was plus-two with seven shots, three hits and five blocked shots.
"Dan has made some really big plays," John Tortorella said. "Not just getting on the scoreboard, but big play offensively right on through the playoffs."
The Rangers won Game 1 in the third period after absorbing the best the Devils had in the second. Even t...