Jonas Siegenthaler scored the tiebreaking goal in the third quarter, Akira Schmid had 22 saves in another close start and the New Jersey Devils beat the New York Rangers 3-1 on Monday to even their first-round playoff series at two games apiece. one.
Jack Hughes and Ondrej Palat also scored for New Jersey, which earned its second straight victory at Madison Square Garden after a pair of lopsided losses at home.
Vincent Trocheck scored for Rangers and Igor Shesterkin saved 20 shots. New York has added just two goals in the last two games after scoring five apiece in the first two.
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Game 5 is at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on Thursday night, with Game 6 at MSG on Saturday night.
Schmid, making his second straight start after Vitek Vanecek allowed nine goals on 52 shots in the first two games, was sensational again for the Devils. The 22-year-old has allowed just two goals on 58 shots in the last two games.
He had 10 saves in the first half, six in the second and six in the third of this.
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Trocheck tied the score at 1 to 1:42 into the third when he scored head-on on a rebound from Chris Kreider’s attempted backhand on a Patrick Kane pass. It was Trocheck’s first of the series and the ninth playoff goal of his career.
Siegenthaler regained the lead for New Jersey at 8:22 when he received a cross from Nico Hischier and fired a shot from the left circle that went under Shesterkin’s glove and hit the right post.
Less than 30 seconds later, Hischier slid into the Rangers goalkeeper on a driving attempt. Both players went down briefly before getting up.
The Rangers took Shesterkin out for an extra skater with 2 minutes remaining, but Palat sealed the Devils victory with an empty net with 26 seconds remaining.
Vladimir Tarasenko broke free down the left side and fired a shot that Schmid deflected with a right bag stop to keep the Rangers off the scoreboard eight minutes into the second period.
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New Jersey defenseman Erik Haula had a short-handed break with 7 1/2 minutes left in the half, but his attempt was deflected.
Shesterkin tried to rouse Rangers’ stagnant offense with a long forward pass to Kaapo Kakko down the right side. Kakko found Alexis Lafrenière running up the middle towards the net, and Lafrenière turned and sent a shot wide to Schmid’s left with about four minutes remaining in the second.
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Schmid made a couple of good saves 2 1/2 minutes into the game, first on a Kakko shot and then on a Lafrenière bunt. Hughes then received the puck on a breakaway, slowly skidded over Shesterkin and fired a forehand, backhand and forehand before sliding the puck inside the left post at 2:50. It was his third goal of the series.