New Jersey Devils Win 2-1 In Overtime, Still Trail Rangers 2-1 in Series

New Jersey Devils, Akira Schmid #40. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New Jersey Devils, Akira Schmid #40. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils arrived in Madison Square Garden with one goal in mind: win this game at all costs.

The New York Rangers had dominated the first two games in New Jersey, outscoring the Devils 10-2 in those games. With the Devils looking for something to lean on, they changed their lines again, but this time Devils goaltender Akira Schmid would be between the pipes instead of struggling Vitek Vanecek.

He became the first rookie to start in net since Martin Brodeur.

Would the New Jersey Devils make this a series again?

The first period started off with the Rangers using physical play to kill off a penalty to forward Patrick Kane in the opening minutes. With New Jersey forward Michael McLeod off two minutes for boarding, the Rangers headed to the power play.

They would not score thanks to Schmid, who made some exceptional saves to keep the game scoreless. The period would end up being scoreless, as the New York Rangers would fall behind in the shot department 12-11 to the New Jersey Devils.

The first period was the best period by the Devils in this series, and the first 20 minutes were met by a lot of physical play. It was a pretty even period.

After a turnover in the Rangers zone in the second period, Mika Zibanejad came in on an odd-man rush against Schmid with Chris Kreider. A smooth pass to Kreider from Zibanejad made the score 1-0.

The Devils would tie the score on a power play goal by Jack Hughes, his second of the series, with assists to Dougie Hamilton and forward Jesper Bratt. Hughes took a wicked wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that eluded Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin and went over his glove.

The period came to an end with the score tied 1-1. The Rangers had a 9-6 shot advantage in the second and an overall shot advantage of 20-17 through two periods.

As the third period started, the pressure was squarely on the New Jersey Devils. This could be the biggest period of the year for them. If the Devils were to lose this game, they’d be down in the series 3-0 with the next game in New York.

The game opened up a bit offensively for both teams yet remained a physical encounter.  The third period had no flow, and it was a defensive showdown. Neither team wanted to make a mistake and it showed.

The Devils played much better in this game but this game did not end in regulation as we headed to overtime tied 1-1.

The Rangers started the overtime outshooting the Devils 7-0 in the first four minutes. Schmid continued to play well, keeping the Rangers off the scoreboard.

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The most intense part of the playoffs was living up to its name as both teams had opportunities at both ends. The eventual game-winner came off the stick of Hamilton. After a failed three-on-two, the puck remained in the Rangers’ zone. Hamilton picked up the puck just inside the blue line, skated in, and wristed the puck past Shesterkin as the Devils once again make this a series, 2-1.