The New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers headed into a pivotal Game 5 with their best foot forward. The winner of this game would have a 3-2 series lead and maybe be able to close out the series in New York on Saturday.
All eyes would be on the goaltenders as they have been sharp throughout the series. Both teams have struggled at one point or another on offense, so scoring chances would be key in this matchup.
Game 5 pit Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin against promising Devils goaltender Akira Schmid. The Devils and Schmid would get the better of the Rangers, 4-0, in Game 5.
The New Jersey Devils dominated the Rangers in their Game 5 win.
The New Jersey Devils wasted no time in giving the home crowd something to cheer about.
Only 39 seconds into the game, Devils forward Ondrej Palat scored from the slot after the puck had bounced around. It was a quick shot that seemed to catch Rangers goaltender Shesterkin off guard and go right past his glove hand. The Palat goal, his second of the playoffs, was unassisted.
This would be the only goal of the first period as both goaltenders looked sharp. The shots were 10-8 New Jersey, and both teams had two penalties in the period.
The New Jersey Devils came out flying in the second period and were the superior of the two teams. At 3:27 of the second period, forward Erik Haula scored a power play goal, assisted by Dawson Mercer and Damon Severson.
Ten minutes later, Mercer scored a short-handed goal, his first of the playoffs, 13:32 into the period. The only assist went to Haula, his second point of the game.
At 12:04 of the second, things started to get spicy as Rangers forward Barclay Goodrow had a fight with Devils defenseman Kevin Bahl. The Rangers would not capitalize on the power play as an unsportsmanlike penalty was handed out to Devils defenseman Severson.
The scoring was done for this period as the Devils had a big lead going into the final period. Shots were even in the second at 13 apiece, with the Devils holding a 23-21 advantage after two.
The final period would not have much action as there was only one goal scored. At the 14:48 mark, the Rangers had pulled Shesterkin and the Devils had an empty net.
Devils forward Haula had his third point of the night, and second goal of the night, as he put one into the empty net and the Devils had a 4-0 lead that would hold up. Assists on the empty net goal went to forward Nico Hishcier and defenseman Ryan Graves.
At the 19:13 mark, Rangers forward Goodrow was given a misconduct penalty. The Rangers would be given nine penalties for 29 minutes, while the Devils were whistled for five penalties and 13 penalty minutes.
The Devils poured 20 shots on Shesterkin in the third and finished with 43 shots, and the Devils had two shots in the third and would have 23 on the night. Devils goaltender Schmid would have a special night, stopping 23 shots for his first playoff shutout.