March 8, 2020 / 2:55 AM / a month ago

Devils roll past Rangers with 4-goal 2nd period

EditorsNote: Updates wild-card standings in Graf 5

Mar 7, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) stretches during pregame warmups prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac scored two goals apiece as the visiting New Jersey Devils got four goals in the second period and beat the New York Rangers, 6-4, on Saturday night.

Palmieri scored New Jersey’s first goal and the first of two Devils goals in a span of 52 seconds early in the second. Fredrik Claesson scored after Palmieri’s second goal while Zajac and John Hayden scored in a span of 25 seconds late in the second.

Zajac added an empty-netter in the final minute of the game.

New Jersey posted its second straight win and improved to 6-1-2 in its last nine games. The Devils also sent the Rangers to their fourth loss in five games.

New York trails the Columbus Blue Jackets by three points for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Columbus is tied in points with the New York Islanders but has three fewer wins in two more games played.

Mackenzie Blackwood made 31 saves and improved to 8-1-2 in his last 11 starts since allowing six goals to the Rangers on Jan. 9.

Filip Chytil and Mika Zibanejad scored in the first period for the Rangers while Greg McKegg and Tony DeAngelo tallied in the third.

Rookie Igor Shesterkin allowed five goals on 23 shots in his first action in two weeks after recovering from a fractured rib sustained in a car accident in Brooklyn on Feb. 23. He was replaced after 40 minutes by Henrik Lundqvist, who made five saves.

There were three goals in a span of 1:44 in the opening period as the Rangers took a 2-1 lead.

Chytil made it 1-0 with a one-timer 5:34 into the game, Palmieri tied it 48 seconds later by beating Shesterkin from a sharp angle and Zibanejad scored his 39th goal 7:18 into the game with a slap shot from the middle of the slot.

Palmieri tied it by putting a rebound into the net 44 seconds into the second and Claesson made it 3-2 by finishing off an odd-man rush for his first goal since Dec. 8, 2018.

Zajac redirected a cross-ice pass from Nico Hischier during a power play with 3:41 remaining in the second and Hayden scored on a deflection after the puck hit him in the leg. McKegg cut to it 5-3 with 6:18 left in the third when the puck deflected off his leg.

—Field Level Media

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