Igor Shesterkin took a shutout late into the third period and Alexis Lafreniere scored twice as the New York Rangers rolled to their ninth straight victory, 5-1 over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.

Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist and Artemi Panarin set up three scores for the Rangers, who moved within one point of Boston for the Eastern Conference lead.

Shesterkin finished with 39 saves, allowing only Jack Hughes’ goal with 2:07 remaining, and also picked up his first assist of the season.

The Rangers killed off all five New Jersey power plays and have remained perfect since a loss to Stanley Cup champion Vegas on Jan. 26.

New York’s nine-game streak is tied for the third-longest in franchise history, bettered only by 10-game runs in 1939-40 and 1972-73.

The Devils lost their second straight and third in four games.

 

Hurricanes end Panthers’ 11-game road winning streak

Sebastian Aho scored with 18.9 seconds left and Pyotr Kochetkov turned aside 44 shots to help the Carolina Hurricanes to a 1-0 victory, snapping the Florida Panthers’ 11-game road winning streak.

Kochetkov stopped 16 shots in the first period, 12 in the second and 16 more in the third for his third shutout of the season and seventh of his career.

Florida’s 11-game road streak was one short of matching the NHL record.

Carolina has won four straight and six of seven to tighten its grip on second place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Panthers played the final two periods without star forward Matthew Tkachuk and defenseman Gustav Forsling.

 

Maple Leafs handle Golden Knights

Auston Matthews kept up his torrid pace with his league-leading 52nd goal and the Toronto Maple Leafs rolled past the Vegas Golden Knights, 7-3 for their sixth straight win.

Matthews was held off the scoresheet until he tallied midway through the third period to extend Toronto’s lead to 7-3.

He has goals in five straight games with 10 during that span and has 18 with nine assists in his past 14 contests.

Max Domi scored twice and Pontus Holmberg, David Kampf, Jacke McCabe and John Tavares also had goals to help the Maple Leafs win their 10th in 12 games.

Vegas set a season high in goals allowed and lost its fourth in five games.

Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist to back 20 saves from Jeremy Swayman as the Boston Bruins remained hot with Monday's 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets in a clash of division leaders.

Jake DeBrusk scored short-handed in the third period to help Boston to a fifth consecutive victory, while Brad Marchand and Jakub Lauko added goals for the Atlantic leaders. 

The Central-leading Jets lost for just the second time in 12 games and had a streak of 34 straight games allowing three goals or fewer halted. The run was one short of an NHL record in a single season during the expansion era, as the Minnesota Wild did so in 35 in a row from Jan.-April 2005.

After Lauko and Winnipeg's Vladislav Namestnikov traded early goals, Coyle put the Bruins back ahead by redirecting Hampus Lindholm's shot past Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck with 1:34 left in the first period. 

DeBrusk fired a loose puck by Hellebuyck with the Jets on a power play to increase the lead to 3-1 with 5:25 left to play, and Marchand sealed the win with an empty-net goal inside the final minute.

Hellebuyck stopped 17 of 20 shots for Winnipeg.

Devils' Toffoli has hat trick, overtime winner against Golden Knights

Tyler Toffoli scored with 2:25 left in overtime to cap his second hat trick of the season and give the New Jersey Devils a thrilling 6-5 comeback win over the Vegas Golden Knights.

New Jersey trailed 5-3 late in the second period before getting two unanswered goals from Toffoli and another from Curtis Lazar to halt the defending Stanley Cup champions' three-game winning streak.

Lazar also scored in the first period and Nico Hischier added a goal to help the Devils avoid a fourth loss in five games.

Jonathan Marchessault had two goals and an assist for Vegas, which also received a goal and two assists from Nicolas Roy and one goal and one assist from Chandler Stephenson.

Toffoli started New Jersey's rally by ripping a shot past Knights goaltender Logan Thompson with 15.8 seconds left in the second period. Lazar's second of the night created a 5-5 tie midway through the third, and Toffoli completed his three-goal outing by converting a feed from Luke Hughes with the Devils on a 3-on-2 rush in overtime.

Hischier and Lazar each struck in the first period after Pavel Dorofeyev gave Vegas a 1-0 lead 6:12 in. Toffoli extended the margin to 3-1 with just 1:37 elapsed in the second, but the Knights scored four times before the end of the period to move ahead.

Marchessault tied the game at 3-3 with a pair of goals 2:21 apart, and Stephenson scored just 48 seconds after Marchessault's second before Roy gave Vegas a 5-3 edge in the final minute of the period.

Thompson finished with 32 saves while Vitek Vanecek stopped 27 shots for the Devils. 

Canucks' Demko blanks Blackhawks for fifth shutout

Thatcher Demko turned aside 31 shots to record his fifth shutout of the season and lead the red-hot Vancouver Canucks to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The All-Star goaltender tied Arizona's Connor Ingram and Pittsburgh's Tristan Jarry for the NHL's lead in shutouts while sparking Vancouver to its third straight win. The Pacific Division-leading Canucks are now 8-0-1 over a nine-game point streak.

Vancouver got all its scoring in the opening period, as Pius Suter knocked in a feed from Andrei Kuzmenko 1:47 in and Quinn Hughes blasted a shot over the shoulder of Chicago goaltender Petr Mrazek less than five minutes later. Kuzmenko was credited with an assist on that goal as well. 

Demko stopped 10 shots in the second period and 12 more in the third to keep the Canucks' lead intact.

The Blackhawks, who had won two of their last three games, were shut out for the fifth time this season. Mrazek finished with 27 saves. 

Lukas Dostal stopped a career-high 55 shots before Auston Matthews scored his league-leading 30th goal in overtime to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.

Dostal protected a 1-0 lead until John Tavares banged home a rebound on a power play with 5:43 left in regulation.

Frank Vatrano scored in the second period for the Ducks, who lost their third straight and dropped to 1-5-0 on a season-high eight-game homestand.

Toronto extended its streak of not being shut out to 181 games, a run that started in November 2021.

Hischier leads Devils over Capitals

Nico Hischier scored two goals and set up another on the eve of his 25th birthday to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals.

Dawson Mercer and Michael McLeod also scored twice for the Devils, who squandered a two-goal lead before recovering to win for the fourth time in five games.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and an assist for Washington to end a 10-game point drought. The Capitals dropped to 1-3-2 in their last six games.

Max Pacioretty went pointless in his Capitals debut, playing his first NHL game in nearly a year after tearing his right Achilles tendon.

Owen Tippett scored with 1:35 remaining in overtime to lead the surging Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

Ryan Poeling, who entered with two goals in 25 games this season, had the other two goals and Samuel Ersson stopped 24 shots as the Flyers improved to 7-0-2 in their last nine games.

Philadelphia already has 39 points in 31 games this season after it had 75 all last season and missed the playoffs.

Michael McLeod and Jesper Bratt tallied for New Jersey, which has points in nine of its last 12 games (8-3-1).

Rangers snap Maple Leafs’ point streak

Mika Zibanejad scored two goals and Igor Shesterkin turned aside 31 shots as the New York Rangers ended the Toronto Maple Leafs’ nine-game point streak, 5-2.

Braden Schneider, Alexis Lafreniere and Artemi Panarin also had goals to help the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers win their third straight.

Auston Matthews scored two more goals for Toronto, giving him 11 in his last seven games and a league-high 25.

The Leafs had been 6-0-3 in their last nine games.

Marchenko has hat trick as Blue Jackets roll

Kirill Marchenko had a natural hat trick and the Columbus Blue Jackets rolled to a 9-4 rout of the reeling Buffalo Sabres.

Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and two assists for the Blue Jackets, who had the second-highest scoring game in franchise history.

Columbus set the record in a 10-0 win over Montreal on Nov. 4, 2016.

Casey Mittelstadt had three assists as the Sabres dropped to 3-7-1 in their past 11 games. The nine goals were the most allowed by Buffalo since a 10-4 loss to Dallas in March.

Devon Levi was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals on 18 shots and was replaced by Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who stopped 11 of 16 shots the rest of the way.

The Los Angeles Kings rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third period for a 4-3 overtime victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday to match the NHL record with their 10th straight road win.

Drew Doughty scored 33 seconds into overtime after Phillip Danault scored twice in the third period. Arthur Kaliyev scored the equalizer just 90 seconds after Danault drew the Kings within one.

Los Angeles has won seven of eight and matched the road win record of the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres.

Kirill Marchenko, Johnny Gaudreau and Mathieu Olivier scored for the Blue Jackets, who have lost eight games this season after holding a lead in the final 20 minutes.

Bratt’s late goal rescues Devils in Hughes brothers’ reunion

Jesper Bratt scored his second goal of the night with 34 seconds remaining and the New Jersey Devils recovered for a wild 6-5 win over the Vancouver Canucks in a game featuring three Hughes brothers.

Jack Hughes had a goal and two assists, while younger brother and teammate Luke Hughes added a power-play goal for the Devils.

Vancouver defenseman Quinn Hughes had an assist on Sam Lafferty’s third-period goal and Nils Hoglander’s tally with 3:26 remaining forged a 5-5 tie.

Hertl, Sharks stun Islanders with OT win

William Eklund completed the San Jose Sharks’ comeback from a three-goal deficit in the third period with a late overtime goal in a stunning 5-4 win over the New York Islanders.

Tomas Hertl had a hat trick, scoring twice in the final 3 ½ minutes after Kevin Labanc’s goal ignited San Jose’s rally.

Julien Gauthier, Brock Nelson, Mike Reilly and Ryan Pulock scored for the Islanders, who have at least a point in nine of 10 (5-1-4).

 

Jacob McDonald and Anthony scored two goals apiece and the San Jose Sharks defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-3 on Friday for their first road win of the season.

Kaapo Kahkonen matched a season high with 44 saves and Mikael Granlund had a goal and two assists for the league-worst Sharks, who entered 0-10-0 away from home with just six goals in those games.

Dawson Mercer, Jack Hughes and Ondrej Palat scored as New Jersey had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Akira Schmid stopped just 12 of 17 shots one day after making 44 saves in a 4-3 overtime win at Philadelphia.

Timo Meier returned for the Devils to face his former team after missing seven games with a lower-body injury.

Merzlikins leads Blue Jackets over Senators

Elvis Merzlikins turned aside 41 shots and the Columbus Blue Jackets scored four unanswered goals in a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

Goals by Claude Giroux and Brady Tkachuk gave Ottawa a 2-0 lead midway through the first period, but Patrik Laine scored on a power play with 5:07 left in the period and Dmitri Voronkov tallied less than a minute later to tie it.

Adam Fantilli and Boone Jenner scored in the second period and Merzlikins was perfect on 16 third-period shots to help the Jackets improve to 4-2-0 in their last six games.

Joonas Korpisalo made 19 saves for the Senators in his first game against the team where he spent the first 7 ½ seasons of his career.

 

Filip Forsberg scored just 14 seconds into overtime to lift the Nashville Predators to their sixth consecutive win, 3-2 over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Michael McCarron scored twice in the first period and Juuse Saros stopped 29 shots for Nashville, which followed a four-game losing streak with wins in six straight.

Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust had goals for the Penguins, who dropped to 2-4-1 in their last seven.

Gustav Nyquist assisted on McCarron’s first goal to extend his point streak to nine games. He has two goals and nine assists during that stretch.

Pittsburgh went scoreless on both power-play opportunities and is 0 for 20 over the last eight games.

Wild stop slide in Hynes’ debut

Joel Eriksson Ek and Frederick Gaudreau scored first-period goals and the Minnesota Wild snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues in John Hynes’ debut as coach.

Matt Boldy added a goal in the third period and Filip Gustavsson stopped 23 shots for Minnesota, playing its first game under Hynes after the Wild fired Dean Evason on Monday.

Colton Parayko scored for the Blues, who dropped to 3-4-0 in their past seven games.

Devils score 3 in third period to rally past Islanders

Curtis Lazar scored with 23 seconds left to cap a three-goal third period and rally the New Jersey Devils to a 5-4 win over the New York Islanders.

New York took a 4-2 lead into the third period, but Jack Hughes scored at 5:08 and Nico Hischier netted the equaliser on a 4-on-3 power play with 8:50 remaining.

Michael McLeod and Dawson Mercer also scored for the Devils, who have won two straight after losing six of seven.

Mathew Barzal had a goal and two assists for the Islanders, who had a six-game point streak snapped (3-1-3).

Artemi Panarin and Jimmy Vesey each scored twice and the New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-3 on Saturday to extend their point streak to 11 games.

Panarin scored a first-period power-play goal and his second goal midway through the third forged a 3-3 tie.

He set a franchise record by running his season-opening point streak to a career-high 15 games, breaking the mark he shared with Rod Gilbert.

The 15-game point streak is the longest by a Ranger since Wayne Gretzky in 1996-97.

Igor Shesterkin returned after missing four games with an undisclosed injury and stopped 30 shots as the Rangers improved to 10-0-1 in their last 11 contests.

Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist in his return after missing five games with an upper-body injury, but New Jersey lost for the fourth time in five games.

 

Avalanche score 6 straight to beat Stars

Valeri Nichushkin ignited a four-goal third period and the Colorado Avalanche scored six unanswered goals in a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars.

Colorado’s Cale Makar became the fastest defenseman in NHL history to reach 200 career assists with three in his 254th game.

Tyler Seguin’s second goal of the game early in the second period gave Dallas a 3-0 lead, but Colorado responded with goals by Miles Wood and Ryan Johansen to make it a one-goal game.

Nichushkin’s unassisted goal tied it at 4:19 of the third, Mikko Rantanan put the Avs on top with 5:28 remaining and Andrew Cogliano’s goal just 21 seconds later extended the advantage.

The Stars had a four-game winning streak snapped, while Colorado won its third in a row.

 

Ovechkin scores 827th as Capitals stay hot

Alex Ovechkin scored the 827th goal of his career to lead the surging Washington Capitals to a 4-3 win over the reeling Columbus Blue Jackets.

Hendrix Lapierre had a goal and two assists and Sonny Milano added a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who have won four straight and eight of 10.

Johnny Gaudreau, Justin Danforth and Ivan Provorov scored as Columbus dropped its eighth in a row (0-6-2).

The New Jersey Devils lost star center Jack Hughes to an injury and Kevin Hayes scored twice in the St. Louis Blues’ 4-1 victory.

Hughes, who entered with an NHL-leading 15 assists and 20 points, left after awkwardly crashing into the boards following a slight hook by Blues defenseman Torey Krug. No penalty was called on the play.

New Jersey was already playing without center Nico Hischier, who missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury.

Jake Neighbours and Robert Thomas had the other goals and Jordan Binnington made 34 saves to prevent the Blues from a third consecutive loss.

Curtis Lazer scored for the Devils, who had won three in a row.

 

Ersson leads Flyers past Sabres

Samuel Ersson turned away 22 shots and Bobby Brink had a goal and an assist as the Philadelphia Flyers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

Scott Laughton, Louie Belpedio, Travis Konecny and Garnet Hathaway also scored for the Flyers, who had allowed 15 goals during the three-game skid, including a 5-2 loss to the Sabres on Wednesday.

Henri Jokiharju had the lone goal for Buffalo, which failed in a bid for a three-game winning streak.

Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury.

The New Jersey Devils and star forward Timo Meier have agreed to an eight-year, $70.4 million extension through the 2030-31 season, the team announced hours before Wednesday's NHL draft.

Acquired from the San Jose Sharks in February, Meier was a restricted free agent who scored a career-high 40 goals this past season. The 26-year-old was an All-Star for the Sharks in 2021-22 and finished that season with 35 goals and a career-high 76 points in 77 games.

"We were excited to acquire Timo at the (trade) deadline, but it's an even greater feeling knowing that he'll be here for the next eight seasons," Devils executive vice president/general manager Tom Fitzgerald said in a statement. "Timo's unique blend of style of play, goal-scoring ability, and physical presence will prove valuable for us."

Meier is the second key player the Devils have locked up on a long contract this offseason. The team previously signed forward Jesper Bratt to an eight-year, $63 million deal earlier this month.

"In talking with him, Timo realised, and I always believed, that this is the right place for him as a player and a person," Fitzgerald said. "We've locked up another piece of our young core that is looking to take that next step together for greater success."

New Jersey also acquired 34-goal scorer Tyler Toffoli from the Calgary Flames on Tuesday to add another proven forward to one of the NHL's up-and-coming teams. After missing the playoffs for four consecutive seasons, the Devils won a franchise-record 52 games in 2022-23 and reached the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The ninth overall pick of the 2015 draft, Meier has recorded 163 goals and 167 assists in 472 career regular-season games and has reached the 30-goal mark in three of his seven NHL seasons. The Swiss native posted nine goals and five assists in 21 regular-season games for New Jersey following the trade, though he managed only two goals in 11 playoff games.

 

The high-scoring New Jersey Devils have added another piece to help light the lamp in 2023-24.

The Calgary Flames have traded winger Tyler Toffoli to the Devils for forward Yegor Sharangovich and a third-round pick in Wednesday’s draft.

The deal was announced about a week after media reports surfaced that Toffoli, who is entering the final year of his contract, would not re-sign with Calgary.

Toffoli just completed the best season of his career and was the Flames’ leading scorer with 73 points (34 goals, 39 assists).

At 31-years-old, Toffoli joins a young core of Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt that made New Jersey a top-five scoring offense last season.

Toffoli has 466 career points (227 goals, 239 assists) in 733 games with the Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings.

Earlier Tuesday, the Devils traded backup goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood to the San Jose Sharks for a sixth-round pick.

The Flames add Sharangovich, a 25-year-old forward, and the No. 80 overall selection in this year’s draft.

A Belarus native, Sharangovich was drafted in the fifth round in 2018 and features a two-way game. After a 46-point season in 2021-22, his offensive production dipped to 30 points last season, but he contributed heavily on the Devils’ penalty kill units.

The New Jersey Devils and forward Jesper Bratt agreed to terms on an eight-year contract worth $63 million on Thursday.

The 24-year-old Swede was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

"It was always a priority to keep Jesper Bratt here long term and both parties are thrilled that a deal was completed," Devils executive vice president and general manager Tom Fitzgerald said. "I value and commend the commitment Jesper made to this organization.

“We believe that he is a special player and a key member of our core group of talent who will contribute towards the team's long-term success, and organizational goal of bringing the Stanley Cup back to New Jersey."

The Devils selected Bratt in the sixth round (162nd overall) of the 2016 draft, and he made his NHL debut in 2017-18.

Bratt’s last two seasons were his best in the NHL with a career-high 73 points in each campaign. He set a personal best with 32 goals in 2022-23 to rank second on New Jersey.

New York Rangers coach Gerrard Gallant had no complaints with his side's effort in their 4-0 Game 5 loss to the New Jersey Devils who he said "played their best game of the series".

The Devils have flipped the script in their Stanley Cup first-round series after trailing 2-0 following back-to-back losses in Newark, taking a 3-2 lead with Thursday's triumph at Prudential Center.

Gallant blasted his side after their 3-1 home loss in Game 4 where they surrendered their advantage in the series, but he conceded the Devils were just too good on Thursday led by Erik Haula with two goals and an assist.

"I got no problem with their effort tonight. They competed," Gallant told reporters.

"Jersey played a hell of a game. You've got to give them a lot of credit. They played their best game in the series I thought tonight."

The defeat leaves the Rangers in danger of elimination on their home ice in Game 6. The Rangers rallied back from a 3-1 first-round series deficit last year against the Pittsburgh Penguins as well as when trailing 3-2 in the second round against the Carolina Hurricanes offering Gallant hope.

"The effort is there, we've been in this position before," he said. "We'll see what we can do, go back home on Saturday and rally the troops and get it going."

Rangers winger Chris Kreider also reflected on last year's playoffs after the game, demanding a response from his team.

"We've had a terrific fan base all year. We let them down, we let ourselves down at home," he said. "So it's up to us to show up and play the way we want to play from puck drop.

"All the cliches and euphemisms I throw at you guys all year, it's time to step up and do those things, right? It's time to play for a full 60 minutes. It's time to win a hockey game."

Beyond Haula's outstanding display, Devils goaltender Akira Schmid stopped 23 shots and Dawson Mercer had a goal and an assist. New Jersey captain Nico Hischier praised their approach.

"Tonight we did a lot of good things and that's exactly how we got to play," Hischier said.

"We knew if we use our speed, that's our strength. That's what makes us a dangerous team — if we play with our speed."

Game 6 is on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Dougie Hamilton scored an overtime winner for the second time in as many games before describing his mindset as just "trying to let it rip".

Hamilton scored a power-play goal with 1:06 left in overtime to clinch a 3-2 win for the New Jersey Devils over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday, achieving the same feat in Sunday's 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Devils' defenseman had squared the game up after his side trailed entering the third period.

"It was pretty similar I think," Hamilton told reporters when comparing both OT goals. "I was just hoping to try and get another shot today. Same as last game. I just tried to let it rip and see what happens."

Center Jack Hughes set up the goal, with a pass from the boards as he fell to his knees to find a wide-open Hamilton.

"Obviously a great play by Jack, just laid it on a platter for me," Hamilton said.

Vegas Golden Knights rookie goaltender All-Star Logan Thompson accepted blame for Hamilton's goals, both deflected off defensemen. The result means the Golden Knights are 1-4-1 in their past six games.

"I just lost it," Thompson said. "It’s an unacceptable goal for me. They score in the first four minutes and the last minute. That's on me, I have to be better."

The Golden Knights have also scored two goals or fewer in four of their past five games, but remain top of the Pacific Division with a 29-17-3 record.

The Devils are second in the Metropolitan Division with a 31-12-4 record, including a red-hot 8-1-1 record from their past 10 games.

New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff hailed both Nico Hischier and Tomas Tatar for playing through injuries in their 5-1 road win over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

Dougie Hamilton, Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Alexander Holtz each managed a goal and an assist with Miles Wood adding a pair of helpers in the victory which improves their record to 24-11-3.

The Devils had only won two of their past 11 games prior to the Red Wings clash where Hischier and Tatar helped gain a much-needed win.

"We knew some guys were going to try and tough it out for us," Ruff told reporters.

"Couple guys were game-time decisions and were able to play. We didn't get their bodies to 100 per cent but I thought the effort was great. The fact they wanted to play, we got through the game."

Hischier appeared troubled by his hand injury during the game and he did not take any draws in the first half.

The Swiss centre helped set up Hamilton's goal midway through the second period in his first face-off of the game.

"We knew that he wasn't going to be able to take a lot [of face-offs] but we still thought he could step in for the odd one," Ruff said.

"It was a tight game until we scored those couple of power play goals and both of them where at the hands of winning draws."

Hischier, who has totalled 60 points this season with 21 goals and 39 assists, scored for the fourth straight game despite the hand issue.

"I felt good enough to be out there but definitely tried not to take too many face-offs, stuff like that," Hischier said. "Just trying to help the team on the wing as well, I think it was my first game as a winger.

"In my mind, I just wanted to reduce the face-offs. On the power play unit I'm going to grind it out there and take those draws and it came up good.

"Lucky it was good enough to win some draws for the team there. Overall, just happy for the game and the two points tonight."

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