Devils 3, Rangers 1: David Clarkson collected two goals and an assist and Martin Brodeur turned aside 24 shots as host New Jersey defeated New York in the teams' first meeting since last season's Eastern Conference finals.
Adam Henrique, who netted the series-clinching goal in Game 6 against the Rangers, opened the scoring exactly five minutes into the game. Patrik Elias matched a career high with three assists for the Devils, who killed off all five short-handed situations to win their second straight following a four-game skid (0-1-3).
After Henrique's one-timer from the inner edge of the left faceoff circle sailed over the shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist, Clarkson doubled the advantage with 53 seconds remaining in the first period. Rick Nash struggled to play a puck in his skates in the slot, allowing Clarkson to alertly flick it past Lundqvist.
Clarkson cleaned up a rebound during a power play for his team-leading seventh goal, giving New Jersey a 3-0 edge just 2:53 into the third. Chris Kreider, who missed the last five games with an ankle injury, ended Brodeur's bid for his 121st career shutout just over 3 1/2 minutes later with his first NHL regular-season goal.
Lundqvist finished with 19 saves as the Rangers fell for the second time in three games.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Nash nearly opened the scoring early in the first period, but officials ruled that his momentum dislodged the net prior to the puck sliding over the goal line. ... Elias has recorded three assists in a contest on 18 different occasions. The last time he did so was against Carolina on Feb. 19, 2011. ... Rangers C J.T. Miller, who was the 15th overall pick of the 2011 draft, made his NHL debut and registered two shots on goal.