Devils’ Hamilton scores in OT to cut series deficit to 2-1 against Rangers

Dougie Hamilton scored 11:36 into overtime and the visiting New Jersey Devils beat the New York Rangers 2-1 on Saturday night to cut their series deficit to 2-1.

Jack Hughes scored and Jesper Bratt had two assists for New Jersey, which lost the first two games at home by 5-1 scores. Rookie Akira Schmid got the start in goal in place of Vitek Vanecek and finished with 35 saves.

Chris Kreider scored for New York. Igor Shesterkin stopped 26 shots.

In the extra period, Bratt found Hamilton on the right side, and the defenceman skated into the right circle and beat Shesterkin on the glove side.

Game 4 is back at Madison Square Garden on Monday night and Game 5 will be in New Jersey on Thursday night.

Schmid in his playoff debut made a left pad save on a shot by Braden Schneider about 1:40 into overtime. Shesterkin denied an attempt on the left side by Timo Meier two minutes later, and then the follow try on the rebound by Bratt. Schmid then gloved a shot by Vladimir Tarasenko six minutes into the extra period.

Bratt had a try from 10 feet away 8:14 into the third but his attempt was turned aside by Shesterkin to keep the score tied.

The Rangers got their fifth power play of the game with six minutes remaining when the Devils’ Ryan Graves was sent off for high-sticking. Artemi Panarin had chance to give the Rangers the lead but his shot from the left circle was wide left of the net 32 seconds into the advantage.

Kreider got the Rangers on the scoreboard first as he got a pass from Mika Zibanejad, skated up the left side and fired a shot past Schmid’s blocker from the left circle at 3:39 of the second period. It came on the Rangers’ first shot of the period and was Kreider’s fifth goal of the series — after the first four came on power plays — and 39th postseason score of his career.

Hamilton fired a shot from the right point that got past Shesterkin but hit the crossbar and deflected up and out of play during a Devils power play 8 1/2 minutes into the middle period. New Jersey didn’t manage a shot on goal during the advantage.

With the Devils on their third power play of the game, Hughes got a pass from Hamilton on the left side, skated into the left circle and fired a shot that beat Shesterkin on the blocker side with 9:23 left in the second. It was Hughes’ second goal of the series — the first came on a penalty shot in the third period of Game 1 — and New Jersey’s second on a power play.

Each team had 11 shots on goal in a scoreless first period — the first scoreless period in the series.

The Rangers’ Patrick Kane was called for hooking 22 seconds in, putting New Jersey on an early power play. The Devils managed one shot on goal during the advantage. Artemi Panarin had a breakaway with 7 1/2 minutes left in 1st but his shot went wide over Schmid’s glove.

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