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The New Jersey Devils plan on getting even with the New York Rangers, and only part of that involves rallying from a 3-1 deficit in their first-round Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series.
The Devils are sick and tired of seeing the Rangers running over Martin Brodeur.
New Jersey's goaltender was sent sprawling twice in Wednesday's night's 5-3 Rangers' victory, and the Devils have had enough.
They spent more time taking about running Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in Game 5 in New Jersey on Friday night than they did discussing the five bad plays that led to New York's goals, including the game-winner by rookie defenseman Marc Staal with 3:17 to play.
"They are getting away with it, we should be able to get away with it, too," veteran Devils forward Jay Pandolfo said. "That's the only thing you can do. It's out of your hands after that. Sure enough, they are going to hit Marty and if we retaliate, we'll probably get a penalty. It's tough, but it's been going on all series. We have to do the same to their goalie."
In the other NHL playoff games on Wednesday night, it was: Pittsburgh 3, Ottawa 1; and Nashville 3, Detroit 2.
Brodeur did his best not to say anything inflammatory, but it's obvious that being harassed by Sean Avery the entire series, and being run over by Ryan Callahan in Game — and Jaromir Jagr in Game 4 is taking a toll on him and coach Brent Sutter.
"There was certainly contact tonight," Sutter said. "You know, I guess it's allowed. Obviously that is part of their game plan and we need to react to it better than that."
The bottom line is the Devils also have to play better.
They lost the first game of the series on a puck-handling mistake by Brodeur. They lost Game 2 on a fluky goal by Jagr after Devils defenseman Colin White bumped his goalie, and they lost Game 4 because of four major mistakes.
The winner by Staal came after Patrik Elias, who scored two goals, and White, failed to clear a puck in the Devils' end.
Martin Straka, who scored the Rangers' second goal, found Staal at the point and the rookie defenseman ripped a shot past Brodeur.
It was sweet redemption for Staal, who had John Madden's overtime winner in Game — go into the net off his skate.
"You couldn't get much lower than last game," Staal said. "To silence 20,000 people is not a good feeling. This is unbelievable to get them back on their feet."
Former Devil Scott Gomez iced the game, sending a center ice faceoff into an empty net with 13 seconds to play.
The Rangers, who have never lost a 3-1 series lead in the postseason, can wrap up the best-of-seven on Friday at the Prudential Center.
While frustrated, the Devils also realize that they can beat the Rangers if they simply cut out the mistakes. They also aren't concerned that New York has beaten them 10 of 12 games this season.
"We can't worry about it," Devils forward Zach Parise said. "We can't win all three games on Friday. We just have to worry about that one, and go from there."
Chris Drury also scored for the Rangers and Lundqvist made 28 saves, including stops on defenseman Paul Martin and Parise in close with the score tied 3-all in the third period.
"The game went back and forth," Lundqvist said. "They never gave up and we never gave up. We finally found a hole to get the fourth goal. It's a big win for us."
The Rangers took three one-goal leads only to see the Devils tie it each time.
Gomez scored on a power play in the first period and Elias tied it 31 seconds into the second period on a rebound.
Straka converted a 2-on-1 break with Brandon Dubinsky minutes later, but Elias tied it on a power play seconds after New York was called for too many men on the ice.
Drury scored on a deflection after Parise's turnover at 12:39 of the second. Devils defenseman Mike Mottau tied it early in the third after Parise knocked the stick out of Lundqvist's hands while skating near the crease.
"They are never going to quit," Drury said. "The organization has never been known to. They have a lot of character over there. They have a lot of Stanley Cups over there. The next one will be another tough one."
Penguins 3, Senators —
Evgeni Malkin and Jarko Ruutu scored second-period goals, leading Pittsburgh over Ottawa to complete a four-game sweep of the first-round series.
Sidney Crosby scored into an empty net with 7.5 seconds remaining and had an assist, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves for Pittsburgh, which got its first sweep in 16 years and its first playoff series win since 2001.
Cory Stillman scored for Ottawa, which was swept out of the first round for the third time in its 11 consecutive playoff appearances.
The Penguins also became the first team to advance to the second round.
Predators 3, Red Wings 2
Dan Hamhuis and Shea Weber scored in a 32-second span in the first period, and host Nashville evened its Western Conference playoff series in Game 4 against the No. — seed.
Dan Ellis stopped 39 shots, Greg de Vries added a goal and Martin Erat had two assists as the Predators grabbed a lead in the first period and never let up on the Red Wings. They even chased six-time Vezina Trophy winner Dominik Hasek at 6:35 of the second, having stopped 11 of 14 shots.
Pavel Datsyuk scored twice for Detroit, which won its sixth President's Trophy in 13 years this season.
Game 5 is Friday night in Detroit.
Marc Staal doesn't take long to atone for Game 3 mistake
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