(Newark) Erik Haula had two goals and an assist as the New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Rangers 4-0 on Thursday to take a 3-2 series lead.
Akira Schmid stopped 23 shots, including 13 in the middle period.
He only had to save two pucks in the third period en route to a first career playoff shutout.
“The guys did an outstanding job in front of me,” Schmid said. They reduced my workload a lot. »
Dawson Mercer had a goal and an assist, while the other scorer was Ondrej Palat.
“We executed a lot of things well and that’s the right thing to do,” Devils captain Nico Hischier said. We knew we had to put our speed to good use. It makes us a dangerous team. »
Undefeated for three games, the Devils will have the chance to eliminate the Rangers on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Schmid blocked 80 of 82 shots in the series. In the first two games, Vitek Vanecek was beaten nine times on 52 shots.
Igor Shesterkin made 39 saves for Rangers, who were outscored 9-2 in three games. The first two games ended 5-1 in their favour.
“We just haven’t been good enough,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. You also have to give credit to the Devils. They played their best game of the series. »
Rangers’ Vincent Trocheck hit the post with 6:25 left in the third period.
Haula completed the scoring in an empty net, with 5:12 on the clock.
He had scored the second goal of the game early in the second period, on the rebound of a Mercer shot. The net was scored towards the end of a penalty imposed on Patrick Kane.
Mercer hit the mark in the middle of the second period, shorthanded. It was his first career playoff goal.
With just under two minutes to play in the middle period, Kaapo Kakko failed to take advantage of a blunder from Schmid, who missed his clearance attempt.
Palat scored 39 seconds after the opening faceoff, with a shot that deflected off the stick of Rangers defenseman Adam Fox. Palat scored his 50th career playoff goal.
“That goal really gave the whole team a boost,” Mercer said.