The New Jersey Devils claimed their first playoff series win in 11 years as they blanked the New York Rangers in Game 7 with a stunning 4-0 victory, thanks to their exceptional defensive performance, as they triumphed in the Battle of the Hudson. The rookie goaltender Akira Schmid played an incredible game, making 31 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs, having taken over as the starting goalie in Game 3 when his team was trailing 2-0 in the series.
“He played an unimaginable game. You think of certain things, but you don’t imagine what he did,” said Devils coach Lindy Ruff. The Devils will now advance to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. They will face off against the Carolina Hurricanes, who eliminated the New York Islanders in six games.
Devils Dominate Rangers in Game 7
The Rangers had an upsetting end to an encouraging season as they loaded up with star wingers Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko at the NHL trade deadline, but it wasn’t enough to take down their opponents. Coach Gerard Gallant claimed that talent alone is insufficient and that teamwork and hard work are needed to win games.
The Rangers led the series 2-0 but lost the next three games. Although they won Game 6 at home, the Rangers ultimately fell short. The Devils secured a 1-0 lead with an exceptional bit of penalty killing by Ondrej Palat, who managed to create a turnover after hounding defenseman Adam Fox and forward Chris Kreider in their zone.
Palat’s perseverance paid off when he passed the puck to Michael McLeod, who sent a slow-motion backhand shot into the net at 9:53 of the second period, making it 2-0. New Jersey sealed the game with two more goals, and their victory over their rivals was a joy to behold.