Skirmish helps Devils beat Rangers

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Zach Parise scored the game winner as the New Jersey Devils used a little added motivation to beat the New York Rangers, 2-1, in East Rutherford Tuesday night.

Sean Avery roughed up Devils goalie Martin Brodeur with the score tied at one at the end of the second, leading to a pile-up of players and a tense third period.

The incident started as Avery crashed into Brodeur, knocking off his helmet, with 1:16 left in the period. Brodeur responded with a shove, prompting Avery to deck the goalie and send him sprawling into his own net. It started a skirmish as players dove into the crease. Avery was hit with two minor penalties for goalie interference and roughing. Brian Rafalski, the first Devil to Brodeur's defense, was called for roughing. Brodeur was not penalized.

"Guys crash into the net all the time," Brodeur said. "It's part of the normal battle. I get into it. I'm a big guy and I've played a long time. I'm not going to get rattled too much."

Avery felt Brodeur overreacted.

"It's pretty obvious," he said. "I don't complain about that stuff. I know what I bring and I'm never going to get the benefit of the doubt. He's a good goalie. You've got to get in front of him. That's how you score goals."

Parise broke the tie with 12:06 left, seconds after the Rangers almost took the lead. Petr Prucha and Michael Nylander could not bury golden opportunites in a scrum outside the Devils' crease.

Rafalski scored the Devils first goal, and Scott Gomez assisted on both. Brodeur made 35 saves.

Prucha scored for the Rangers.

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