You can read the pregame article for yesterday’s game HERE.
The Devils rallied for a thrilling 3-2 victory after the Rangers took the lead early in the 3rd. Blandisi and Schlemko scored two unanswered goals in the 3rd period to give them the lead, while Cory Schneider made sure nothing got past him the rest of the game. The win was the Devils 5th in their last 6 games dating back to before the All-Star game.
The Devils got off to a bit of a slow start. J.T. Miller got the Rangers on the board first scoring on a 2-on-1 after a poor pinch by Eric Gelinas that left David Schlemko out to dry. The Rangers had 8 scoring chances to the Devils 3 through the first fifteen minutes of the game. However, the Devils began to find their legs in the final minutes of the first period creating a few scoring chances and drawing a power-play that would carry over to the second period.
The Devils wasted no time tying up the game. With twenty-one seconds remaining on the power play and less than two minutes into the second period, Lee Stempniak scored off a hard Eric Gelinas shot that Lundqvist left out in front of the net. Stempniak’s goal was his 8th against one of his former teams this season and now has 14 points in 13 games against his former teams through this point of the season.
Both teams continued to exchange chances throughout the second period with the Devils and that would carry into the third period. J.T. Miller buried his second of the game from a wide-angle shot to give the Rangers a lead with eighteen minutes to go in the game.
As the Devils have shown throughout the season, they are a resilient bunch and tonight was no different. Just over a minute after Miller gave the Rangers the lead, Joseph Blandisi scored a goal’s scorer goal on the rush after a great bank pass from Andy Greene to spring him loose. The Devils’ second power play of the game was a nail-biter to say the least. Schlemko gave away the puck in the worst possible moment that led to break away for Ryan McDonagh. Luckily for the Devils, he missed wide and the game remained tied at 2.
Shortly after his terrible turnover, Schlemko made the most off a glorious opportunity and scored the eventual game-winning goal when a deflected pass came out to him in front of the right circle. The goal was Schlemko’s fifth of the season and his first career power-play goal.
- Cory Schneider was phenomenal again, especially down the stretch as exemplified by his highlight reel save against Dan Boyle late in the third period. Schneider stopped 31-33 on the night and now has a .933 save percentage in his last 10 starts.
- Special teams were a huge difference tonight. The Devils were 2/2 on the power play while killing off all four Ranger power-plays they faced.
- Blandisi had another solid game for the Devils. He was a positive possession player, had two scoring chances, and scored the game-tying goal. If he keeps it up, he’ll certainly be staying the big club for the rest season, especially as the Devils look to make a playoff push.
- Stempniak continues to be a huge part of why the Devils have won 5 of their last 6 games. He has 6 goals and 8 points in those six games. If he continues to score, the Devils should be in good shape going forward.