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Jack Hughes scored twice and New Jersey Devils scored five goals in the second period – four in six minutes – to erase the early deficit and win New York Rangers 7-4 on Tuesday night.
Nick Dawes made 31 saves for the Devils, who broke a eight-game losing streak with rival Rangers. Ryan Graves, P. K. Subban, Dawson Mercer, Thomas Tatar and Egor Sharangovich also scored a goal when New Jersey scored Igor Shesterkin for five goals with 13 shots on average.
In 11 of the last 14 starts Shesterkin has conceded two or fewer goals. Alexander Georgiev replaced the usually steadfast Rangers starter to start third.
“We just weren’t very smart,” said Rangers coach Gerard Galant. “I don’t blame the goalkeeper, as good as he was this season.”
Shesterkin made 19 saves, and Georgiev, who took first place in Carolina on Sunday night, stopped five shots in the third. He gave up Hughes ’20th goal – and 100th career point – at 9:36 in the power game before the 20-year-old striker scored again at 10:46.
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The Prudential Center received a standing ovation from fans of both teams.
“It was a great victory for our fans against a huge opponent,” said Hughes, the first overall scorer selected by the Devils in the 2019 draft, which has 49 points this season. “We have great fans, and so do they.”
It was the third blast in seven goals this season for the Devils, who have lost four of their last five games, including all three on trips to Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.
“The strength of our team is our speed. We played too slowly and then started to move the puck well,” said Devils coach Lindy Ruff. “A sign of a good team is a rebound.”
Mika Zibanejad opened the scoring for the Rangers for the first time with a score of 7:10, scoring his 26th goal of the season after Dawes. Assisted by Chris Crider and Alexis Lafrenier.
Adam Fox made it 2-0 at 13:55, scoring his 10th goal, giving an assist to Zibaneja. In 9 of the last 12 games defender Norris Trophy has points.
After the Devils broke 14-11 in the first, the Rangers dominated the second before Graves broke through to New Jersey with a score of 7:12. Subban equalized with his fifth goal at 8:30 p.m.
Mercer put the Devils ahead 3-2 at 12:40 before the Tatars scored their 12th at 13:13. In New Jersey, an offside goal was even rejected after the Rangers’ replay before Sharangovich extended the cushion to 5-2 with his 16th at 18:07.
Mercer continued his strong starting campaign by scoring the 16th goal in his first home game of the regular season against the Rangers.
“It’s exciting when the Rangers come here. Finally, to feel good about him,” he said of Shesterkin’s decision, at least for one night. “We just have to keep grinding”
Leading scorer of the “Devils” Esper Bret gave two assists, as Graves and captain Nick Ischier.
Bret became the first Devils skater to score more than 60 points and 40 assists in the season after Taylor Hall in 2017-18. Brett leads the team with 62 points.
This season the Daws have improved to 7-6-0.
“He has retained his composure,” Ruff said of the 21-year-old set-master of German descent, one of six goalkeepers the devils have used this season. “He was pretty cool. It was a really important win.”
The Rangers have won two previous meetings this season, both at Madison Square Garden 4-3 on November 14 and 3-1 on March 4.
This season the young devils are 23-35-5. Since 2012, they have gone into the postseason only once, in 2018.
“We need to see this as a playoff to assess where we can be in the offensive group,” Raf said. “Tonight we have highlighted our transition game. Sometimes the puck doesn’t reach you. Tonight it has reached us.”
The Rangers, who fell to 40-19-5, have won five straight victories in Newark by November 30, 2019. In these games, “New York” beat New Jersey 24-7.
Three Rangers players on Monday made their debut for the team: strikers Andrew Kopp and Tyler Mott and defender Justin Brown. The cop had two assists.
Ryan Strom scored his 15th goal for New York at 3:46 of the third before Crider finished his 42nd goal in a power game at 2:56 p.m.
“We had a good time first and then fell asleep behind the wheel,” said Crider, who leads the NHL with 22 goals in power games. – They jumped on our turn. Most of the game is mental. We just stopped playing. “
LESS TRAVEL AHEAD
The Rangers played their 35th away game of the season, most in the NHL. They will play with opponents in the Eastern Conference all but one of the remaining 19 games. April 19 against “Winnipeg” at home – the only exception.
Notes: The Rangers dropped to 25-4-2 when they scored first. … Zibanezhad needs one point for 500 in his career. … Cross-rivals will meet again this season, April 5 in New Jersey. … The devils scratched defender Coltan White and forward Paul Zach. … Rangers have scratched defenders Braden Schneider and Libor Hayek, as well as forwards Greg McKeg, Julien Gauthier and Johnny Brodinsky. They also continued to remain without injured strikers Kevin Rooney and Kaapo Kakko.
Rangers: Take the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night.
Devils: Visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night