Thu, Apr 05, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Devils power past Rangers

AP, NEWARK, New Jersey

Taylor Hall and rookie Will Butcher scored two goals apiece, and the New Jersey Devils moved to the brink of their first playoff berth since 2012 on Tuesday night with a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers.

New Jersey moved within two points of ending its playoff drought by winning its third straight game and sixth in seven.

Coupled with the Flyers’ loss to the New York Islanders, the Devils (95 points) moved into the top wild-card spot ahead of Philadelphia (94) in the Eastern Conference.

New Jersey can clinch a playoff spot either with a win or two overtime losses in its final two games, any combination by Florida in its last three games that cost it two points, or if the Flyers lose their final two games.

Travis Zajac ignited a three-goal first period with a tap-in tally 25 seconds after the opening faceoff, and Keith Kinkaid made 22 saves in a game decided by the power play.

Butcher, who had never scored more than once in a game, got both with the Devils enjoying an extra skater, while Hall scored his first on a power play and got his 39th of the season on a second-period penalty shot that easily beat Henrik Lundqvist.

Ryan Spooner and Kevin Hayes scored for the Rangers, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-2010 season. Lundqvist made 39 saves.

This rivalry game was seemingly over in the opening 10 minutes and 40 seconds, when New Jersey scored three times.

Zajac started the roll by carrying the puck from his own end into the Rangers’ zone and dropping a pass to Blake Coleman. The forward flubbed his shot, but the puck deflected off the stick of Chris Kreider and to Zajac who tucked it into an open net.

Hall got his 38th after the Rangers failed to clear a puck in front of stick-less Lundqvist.

Butcher scored from the right point 1 minute and 10 seconds after Rangers defenseman John Gilmour was penalized for shooting the puck into the crowd.

This story has been viewed 1372 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top