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Rangers coach Alain Vigneault uses challenge to stop Devils’ momentum

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said Cody Eakin's

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said Cody Eakin's four-game suspension for a hit on Henrik Lundqvist is "fair." Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

NEWARK — Alain Vigneault decided to challenge Kyle Palmieri’s goal 1:14 into the third period Saturday, in part to stop a surge that turned the Devils’ 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead.

“They had some momentum there,” said Vigneault, who argued for goaltender interference on Miles Wood. “Antti [Raanta] was in the blue paint, there was contact, you don’t know how it’s going to go. It didn’t go our way [after a review] but maybe slowed up the game a little bit.”

Vigneault forfeited a future timeout with the lost challenge, but the Rangers steadied after the break and Adam Clendening tied it with 4:25 to play.

Red-hot goalies

It was the fourth straight game in which the Rangers faced a goaltender on top of his game. Fredrik Andersen was very good Thursday in the Maple Leafs’ 2-1 shootout loss. Carey Price was terrific in Montreal’s 3-2 shootout win. Philipp Grubauer was strong in a 2-1 Rangers win over the Capitals on Feb. 19. Sergei Bobrovsky will be in the crease for Columbus when the Blue Jackets visit the Garden on Sunday.

Mumps outbreak

Aware of the outbreak of mumps on the Canucks, Rangers trainer Jim Ramsay is investigating what needs to be done to ensure that the team is protected. “We’re not playing against them again, but Rammer is checking if they are going to be in any cities prior to us being there, so he’s going through their schedule,” Vigneault said. The virus was passed through six teams, including the Rangers, in November and December 2014, and Tanner Glass, Derick Brassard and Lee Stempniak were sidelined.

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