The name on the back of the jersey read "Brodeur." The Rangers fell under the spell and never woke up.
Mike Brodeur, the third-string goalie for the Ottawa Senators and a distant cousin of the Devils' Martin Brodeur, made 32 saves and blanked the Rangers, 2-0, last night in his second NHL start. Martin Brodeur stopped 51 shots plus four in the shootout in the Devils' 1-0 win over the Rangers Tuesday night at the Garden.
Former Islanders defenseman Chris Campoli, left alone to Henrik Lundqvist's right, scored off a pass from Alex Kovalev with 1:14 left in the third period, a goal that prompted Lundqvist to slam his stick on the crossbar.
Marian Gaborik acknowledged his lapse on the goal. "It was my guy," he said. "I should have been closer to him. It was my mistake. It cost us the game."
Chris Kelly scored into an empty net with 10.7 seconds left as the Senators snapped a five-game winless streak.
"I'm so mad right now," said Lundqvist, who made 32 saves and is being asked to be perfect night after night. On Campoli's game-winner, he said he lost track of the puck on a screen.
Rangers coach John Tortorella repeatedly had warned his team about a letdown after the Devils game. "I guess they weren't listening," he said.
At several points this season, Tortorella has been mystified by his team's lack of consistent effort. He was stumped again.
"I don't understand," he said. "It's a team we're fighting against for a playoff spot and got spanked the game before. We tried to guard against it . . . That team wanted to play harder than we did tonight. We deserve what we got. They simply worked harder. We stunk tonight, which is unacceptable."
The depleted Senators (23-21-4), missing injured stars Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson, moved to within a point of the Rangers for sixth place in the East. The Rangers (22-18-7) lost in regulation for only the second time in 14 games.
Leading scorer Gaborik has one goal in his last six games. The Rangers have been shut out for the last 144:23 and have scored four goals in four games.
Despite extra practice with the man advantage Wednesday, the Rangers' power play failed to score twice, pushing its futility rate to 3-for-38.
Mike Brodeur, who stopped 22 of 23 shots in beating Minnesota on Dec. 19, was summoned from Binghamton when Pascal Leclaire was injured in practice and Brian Elliott came down with an illness. He absorbed most of the Rangers' 32 chances, allowing few rebounds.
Unlike the fast-paced thriller against the Devils, the Rangers were on their heels early. The first timeout came at 4:46. Tortorella had seen enough.
On the previous play, Erik Christensen, Marc Staal and Michal Rozsival all headed to the boards and the puck bounced behind the net to the left post, where Kovalev had three whacks at the puck before someone touched him.
"It can't be just the coaches yelling at us [after the first period]," Vinny Prospal said. "I thought we were going to be ready to play right from the start. The same thing happened at the beginning of the second period. It's got to be within the group here. You can't just play with high emotion the game before and come out basically flat. We weren't hungry enough."
"It's frustrating for everybody," Lundqvist said. "But if you don't score, you don't win."