Devils eliminate Rangers and advance to second round
The New Jersey Devils dominated most of Game 7 of their series against the New York Rangers and won 4-0 Monday night at the Prudential Center.
The winning club of this final meeting now has an appointment with the Carolina Hurricanes for the second round of the playoffs in the National Hockey League.
In the confrontation of the day, the Devils were propelled by goalkeeper Akira Schmid. The 22-year-old stopped all 31 shots from his rivals and recorded his second shutout of this series.
The Swiss masked man proved to head coach Lindy Ruff that he was right to trust him, as many wondered if the Devils would return with Vitek Vanecek, who was in net for both first duels of the series against the Blueshirts. Recall that Schmid was not very good during the sixth game, where he allowed five goals on 34 shots.
The New Jersey team also took advantage of the awakening of forwards Michael McLeod and Tomas Tatar to end the Rangers season. Both skaters recorded their first playoff success during the second period. The first of the two scorers also hit the bull's eye shorthanded, after a very good maneuver by his teammate Ondrej Palat.
Erik Haula ended his opponents' last hopes by hitting the target on a two-on-one with just over five minutes left in the game. However, it was Jesper Bratt who scored the last goal for the winners, he who scored in an empty net.
The only negative point for the Devils was the loss of forward Timo Meier in third period. The Swiss was stunned by a huge check from defender Jacob Trouba, as he tried to enter the Rangers zone during a power play.
Since the beginning of the spring dance, Meier has not collected any points. He was obtained from the San Jose Sharks last February, in a monster trade that notably involved two first-round draft picks.