Erik Haula had two goals and an assist, Akira Schmid stopped 23 shots and the New Jersey Devils beat the New York Rangers 4-0 on Thursday to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round series.
Dawson Mercer had a goal and an assist, and Ondrej Palat also scored to help New Jersey move within one win of advancing to its third straight victory after losing the first two games at home. It was the first win for a home team in the series.
Schmid had eight saves in the first period, 13 in the second and two in the third for his first career postseason shutout while making his third straight start. He stopped 80 of the 82 shots he faced after Vitek Vanecek allowed nine goals on 52 shots in the first two games.
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Igor Shesterkin finished with 39 saves for the Rangers, who have been outscored 9-2 in the last three games after a pair of 5-1 wins to open the series.
Game 6 is Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Leading by three after two periods, the Devils controlled the game in the third with a commanding 18-2 advantage in shots on goal over the final 20 minutes.
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Rangers came close to getting on the scoreboard, but Vincent Trocheck’s attempted strike went off the left post and across the goal line. Schmid and Haula hit the puck to the side and away from the goal with 6:25 remaining.
Haula had an empty net with 5:12 to go to cap the scoring.
Just as a penalty on the Rangers’ Patrick Kane was about to expire early in the second period, Haula hit the rebound of a Mercer shot up front through Shesterkin’s pads at 3:27 for his second of the drive. to push the Devils. get to 2-0.
Mercer increased New Jersey’s lead in a short-handed 2-on-1 run when he caught a cross pass from Haula and fired a shot over Shesterkin’s right shoulder for his first career postseason goal with 6:28 remaining in the game. half term. .
Minutes later, Devils fans serenaded Shesterkin with taunting chants of «I-gor! I-gor!» and he repeated it several times throughout the game.
Shesterkin made a great save on a Timo Meier backhand attempt with 3:19 remaining in the second to keep Rangers’ deficit at 3-0.
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Kaapo Kakko had a chance to put Rangers on the board after a missed clearance from Schmid, but his attempt failed with just under two minutes remaining in the period. Schmid then stopped a long shot by Jacob Trouba a minute later to preserve the shutout.
Palat put the Devils on the scoreboard 39 seconds into the game. Following a faceoff in the right circle, the puck bounced off Shesterkin and into the left circle, where Palat fired a shot that deflected off Rangers defender Adam Fox’s stick and off Shesterkin’s glove. It was his second goal of the series and the 50th goal of his postseason career.
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Panarin fired on a 3-on-1 halftime, but Schmid used his glove to knock down the shot from the left circle at 9:10 of the first half. Schmid also stopped Vladimir Tarasenko’s shot from the left circle with 7:15 left in the period, and saved a glove on Ryan Lindgren’s attempt up front with just under two minutes to go.