2005_12_sdevils.jpgThe Rangers have hit their first rough patch of the season. After coming home from a successful road trip, they dropped one-goal games to Vancouver and Colorado before losing to New Jersey 3-1 last night. The loss leaves the Rangers with a one point lead over second place Philadelphia.

Things started off well for the Rangers as Steve Ruchin scored on a great assist by Petr Prucha and the Rangers took a 1-0 lead deep into the third period. After killing four penalties in the period, it looked like the Rangers would escape with a win, but Brian Gionta scored with under five minutes to go and Alexander Mogilny added the go-ahead goal just 16 seconds later on a freak deflection. John Madden added an empty netter to put the game away.

Thing will not get any easier for the Rangers as they face Tampa on Thursday night before heading to Ottawa and Long Island next week.

Photo by AP/Julie Jacobson via Yahoo