Devils stun Light­ning with late rally

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - TOM CANA­VAN


Tay­lor Hall had a goal NE­WARK, N.J. and two as­sists, set­ting up Ste­fan Noe­sen’s game-win­ner with 7:05 play, and the New Jer­sey Devils scored four times in the third to claw their way back into their firstround se­ries with Tampa Bay on Mon­day night, beat­ing the Light­ning 5-2 in Game 3.

Rookie Will Butcher had a power-play goal ear­lier in the third to tie the score 2-2, and Blake Coleman and Ben Love­joy added empty net goals late. Cory Sch­nei­der made 34 saves while start­ing in place of Keith Kinkaid to give the Devils a chance in their first play­off se­ries since 2012.

Sch­nei­der, who seemed to hurt his groin in a col­li­sion with Light­ning de­fence­man Ryan McDon­agh mid­way through the fi­nal pe­riod, sur­vived a late power play to nail down the win.

Alex Kil­lorn and Steven Stamkos each had a power-play goal and an as­sist for the Light­ning. Nikita Kucherov added two as­sists, and An­drei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves in the game that had a ma­jor scrum with 23 sec­onds to go.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven se­ries is Wed­nes­day at the Pru­den­tial Cen­ter, which was stuffed with fans wear­ing red.

Hall was the Devils’ MVP dur­ing their stun­ning turn­around from worst team in the Eastern Con­fer­ence to post-sea­son par­tic­i­pant in a year, and he didn’t dis­ap­point in their big­gest game of the sea­son.

Hall skated down the right boards, avoided a check by Tyler John­son in cen­tre ice and found Noe­sen in the left cir­cle with a cross-ice pass the for­ward one­timed past Vasilevskiy.

Butcher had tied it at 4:03 of the pe­riod, just 24 sec­onds af­ter the Light­ning were pe­nal­ized for hav­ing too many men on the ice dur­ing a penalty kill.

The Light­ning, who scored on three of four power plays in the first two games, con­verted on two more in Game 3.

Stamkos gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead just 38 sec­onds into the third with a shot from the left cir­cle that squeezed be­tween Sch­nei­der’s arm and body and drib­bled into the net. It was his first goal of the se­ries.

Tampa Bay, which never trailed in win­ning the first two games, took the lead again 42 sec­onds into the sec­ond pe­riod on Kil­lorn’s third power play goal of the se­ries and fourth over­all. Kucherov sent a pass from be­hind the goal-line that Kil­lorn redi­rected in.

Hall tied the game 1-1 with an unas­sisted goal at 12:24. Vasilevskiy made an ex­cel­lent stop on a shot from near the blue line by Kyle Palmieri. The puck was mis­played by the Light­ning and went to Hall be­tween the cir­cles and he ripped a shot past Vasilevskiy.

Blake Coleman

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