Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 21 shots that reached him last night. His teammates kept 25 more shots from reaching him at all. Dan Girardi and Marc Staal each blocked 5 shots. Girardi also scored the Rangers' first goal of the game, which didn't come until the start of the 3rd period.
Chris Kreider, who struggled during the Washington seires, scored a Power Play goal. Girardi had an assist on that one. It's Kreider's 3rd goal of the playoffs. This guy has never played a regular season NHL game. How weird would it be for him to win an NCAA Championship and a Stanley Cup in the same season?
The Rangers are just a little bit better than the Devils in a few key departments. Lundqvist is better than Brodeur. The Rangers' defensive system is slightly better than the Devils'. The Rangers are better at capitalizing on mistakes and scoring breakaway goals.
For the Devils to win, guys like Kovalchuk and Parise must have a huge series. And that's going to be tough against Lundqvist.
Game 2 Wednesday night in New York.