NEW YORK (AP) – Martin Rucinsky and Ville Nieminen scored 17 seconds apart in the first period and rookie goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves for his first NHL victory as the New York Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on Thursday night.

Blair Betts and Jaromir Jagr also scored for the Rangers, who ended a three-game losing streak against their local rivals.

Brian Gionta scored for the Devils, who are 24-4-11 against the Rangers since the 1997-98 season.

Rucinsky got the Rangers rolling with a shot from the left circle that beat Martin Brodeur between the pads at 11:35. Nieminen split the Devils’ defense soon after and lifted a backhander over Brodeur for a 2-0 lead.

Betts made it 3-0 at 16:02 of the opening period when he scored on a rebound of Martin Straka’s shot.

The highlight of the scoreless second period came at the midpoint when Lundqvist preserved the shutout with a sprawling save on John Madden’s short-handed breakaway.

In the third, the Devils broke through at 4:16 when Gionta scored with the teams skating four-on-four.

Jagr made it 4-1 with a power-play goal at 12:59.

Notes: Brodeur made his 68th consecutive appearance against the Rangers, 56 in the regular season and 12 in the playoffs. … Devils D Paul Martin missed the game with a bruised back. … Lundqvist has made two starts, both against the Devils. He dropped his NHL debut, 3-2 in overtime, in New Jersey last Saturday. … Rangers G Kevin Weekes did not dress due to a groin strain. Al Montoya, called up from Hartford of the AHL on Wednesday, served as Lundqvist’s backup. … Jagr’s goal was the 541st of his career, tying him for second place with Stan Mikita on the all-time list for goals scored in the NHL by a European. Jari Kurri is the leader with 601.

AP-ES-10-13-05 2142EDT

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