Dan Girardi scores a third period goal in Game 3...

Dan Girardi scores a third period goal in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. (May 19, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

NEWARK -- The Rangers' power play hasn't been a thing of beauty this postseason, but the Rangers produced another beautiful result with help from the man advantage once again.

Dan Girardi's game-winner was the Rangers' fourth power-play goal in the first three games of this Eastern Conference finals, and the 40-percent (4-for-10) conversion rate would make any team glow. However, the Rangers haven't looked good for long stretches with the advantage over the course of 17 postseason games, despite going 13-for-67 (19.4 percent), the best rate among the four remaining teams.

"We'd like to get more zone time, obviously," said Brad Richards, who won the faceoff straight back to Girardi to set up the wrist shot that beat Martin Brodeur at 3:19 of the third. "They've got as aggressive a penalty kill as you're going to see. It's tough sometimes. Winning draws can be big, starting with the puck, just getting them into situations where you can back them off a bit."

A little luck helps, too, which came to bear on that power-play goal. Richards won the draw so cleanly, he fooled Devils forward Dainius Zubrus, who broke toward the faceoff dot instead of toward the point, leaving Girardi to walk in with tons of room.

The two power-play goals the Rangers scored in Game 2 came off defensemen shooting pucks through traffic at Brodeur. Marc Staal was credited with the first after it hit a leg in front, hit the back boards, caromed in front and was shoveled into the net by Brodeur, and Chris Kreider scored the other on a deflection in tight. But the Rangers have had difficulty even setting up on the power play at times because of the Devils' active forwards, who hound the point men into making rushed plays.

"We're just trying to shoot the puck," John Tortorella said. "We struggled a little bit there on our power play. We're just trying to get pucks to the net."

What's remarkable is that the Devils set a regular-season record with their penalty kill, recording an 89.6-percent success rate over the 82 games, allowing only 27 power-play goals.

In the postseason, the Devils have now allowed 16 power-play goals in 15 games and have a success rate of 71.4 percent, worst by a long way of the final four squads.

"The power play's a funny thing," Tortorella said Friday. "Sometimes even when there are some struggles, you find a way."

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