Taylor Pyatt started the season like a house afire, with three goals in his first four games as a Ranger. Since then, he has been on a low simmer, but he scored a game-changing goal Sunday -- in his 800th NHL game -- to really separate the Rangers from the Devils.
"I got a call from my dad this morning to sort of congratulate me [on the 800th]," Pyatt said, "and it's definitely a nice way to celebrate, to get on a big line and score."
Pyatt, signed as a free agent after three seasons in Phoenix, hadn't scored in 26 games. He fired the puck past Martin Brodeur at 11:56 of the second period, his fifth goal of the year, to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead.
"Good for Pysie," coach John Tortorella said. "If they [the Devils] had scored the next one, it changes the complexion and their energy."
"I've used Pysie when we're protecting a lead," Tortorella said. "I think it's been an up and down year, but he's a good guy along the wall . . . That line has played well."
With 15 seconds left, Devils coach Peter DeBoer was ejected, apparently for complaining about the officiating all game. "There was a little frustration on our part," he said. "Two of our players were given unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in an elimination game." Matt D'Agostini was assessed at 14:42 of the first period, and Patrik Elias was cited at 3:42 of the third.