Mats Zuccarello continued what has been an impressive 2013-14 campaign, tallying twice to tilt the ice and give the Rangers the lead. Both goals were scored on odd-man rushes and glaring defensive breakdowns that usually are few and far between for a normally stingy Devils squad. Carl Hagelin's shot deflected in off Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky's skate for a 5-3 lead, and Rick Nash scored his 11th goal in 11 games with just 29 seconds left in the period.
Brodeur looked absolutely unhinged, though his defensive corps did little to help matters. Surrendering six goals on 21 shots matched Brodeur's career high in goals surrendered in a single game.
"It wasn't working for him or our group the way it was," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said.
When Cory Schneider emerged from the Yankees dugout to lead the Devils onto the ice for the third period the game was already over. That he let in a penalty shot to Derek Stepan at 10:06 was just another lowlight of a particularly poor performance for the Devils.
Asked after the game if he got to look around to take in the ambiance and atmosphere of Yankee Stadium, Devils forward Jaromir Jagr deadpanned:
"Looked like we all did in the second period."
Meanwhile, the Rangers get to relish all the sights, sounds and sequences that will make this historic game a memorable one. With the way things were going after the first period, it could have gone the other way.
Staal and his Rangers teammates are certainly glad it didn't.
"It was big for us," Staal said. "It was pretty quiet for us after the first. We knew we had to turn it around. It's great to be a part of this event and it was a lot of fun, but it makes it that much better to get the two points, obviously."