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game recap

Devils defeat Rangers to avoid season sweep

Joseph Blandisi scores with 54.6 seconds left in overtime, Cory Schneider makes 38 saves for New Jersey

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Joseph Blandisi scored with 54.6 seconds left in overtime to give the New Jersey Devils a 3-2 win against the New York Rangers at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

Blandisi and John Quenneville each had a goal and an assist, Taylor Hall scored, and Cory Schneider made 38 saves for the Devils (27-33-12), who won for the second time in the past 14 games (2-10-2).

The Devils avoided a season sweep of the four-game series with the Rangers.  

"We didn't want to get swept by that team," Schneider said. "It may not mean anything in the standings or in terms of the big picture for the season, but it was a big win for us to not get swept by them."


WATCH: All Rangers vs. Devils highlights


Blandisi completed a 2-on-1 breakout with Quenneville to end the game.

"I'm starting to get into rhythm and excited we're growing as a group and for the future," Blandisi said. "I hadn't had an overtime shift this year, and was out there for a long shift and lost my guy, Kevin Hayes, but [Schneider] bailed me out and then I saw the off-man rush developing and found some gas in the tank."

Quenneville said, "When I got the puck on the 2-on-1, I wanted to pull their defenseman [Ryan McDonagh] over to me and drag him across to give Joe some space. When [McDonagh] decided to get closer, I slid it over."

Oscar Lindberg and Rick Nash scored, and Antti Raanta made 26 saves for the Rangers (45-24-4). New York, which holds the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, is six points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for third place in the Metropolitan Division. It was the first overtime loss of the season for New York.

Video: NYR@NJD: Nash slides home backhander for PPG

"It was a competitive game, there's no doubt there," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "I don't know how their top line [Hall-Travis Zajac-Kyle Palmieri] plays against other teams but against us they're giving us a handful, a lot of speed and skill. I thought for the most part both clubs battled hard, made some plays. There was a lot of physicality in the game."

Nash scored a power-play goal 1:21 into the third period to tie it 2-2. After taking a pass from Kevin Hayes with his back to the net in the slot, Nash backhanded a shot under the pads of Schneider for his first goal in 10 games.

Quenneville scored his first NHL goal to give the Devils a 1-0 lead 15:16 into the second on the power play.

Lindberg tied it 1-1 when he scored from the bottom of the right circle after a backhand pass from Pavel Buchnevich at 16:53.

Hall gave the Devils a 2-1 lead off a quick snap shot from the left circle while falling forward at 18:22.


Goal of the game

Quenneville passed to Blandisi, who skated through the crease past Raanta before scoring his third of the season to give the Devils the win.

"There's a lot of chemistry," Quenneville said. "Me and Joe are best buddies. We're such close friends and anybody around here will tell you that and I can't believe WE ended up out there together in overtime and the way that happened was pretty crazy."

Video: NYR@NJD: Quenneville finds Blandisi for OT winner


Saves of the game

Schneider made a poke check to deny Michael Grabner 3:04 into overtime before making consecutive saves off a goal-mouth scramble against Grabner and Kevin Hayes 23 seconds later.

"I've been working on [the poke check] for three years and just hadn't unveiled it yet so I figured why not in OT against the Rangers," Schneider said. "I watched [Martin Brodeur] do it forever. I figured, you know, maybe it's my turn."

Video: NYR@NJD: Raanta makes multiple saves, covers puck


Highlight of the game

Schneider stopped Mika Zibanejad on a wraparound attempt at the right post with a glove save 17:30 into the first period to keep the score 0-0.

Video: NYR@NJD: Schneider slides across to deny Zibanejad


Unsung performance of the game

Devils captain Andy Greene finished with a game-high six blocked shots and led New Jersey in ice time (22:46).


They said it

"We know we're a good team. I thought we put a pretty good effort on the ice tonight, to be honest. I thought it was a hard-fought game by both teams. It's always a good rivalry and fun to play here. It could have went either way in overtime." -- Rangers right wing J.T. Miller


"I knew [Quenneville] was holding it up and waiting for me in the overtime. I thought it would end up on my stick, so I focused on making the right move to finish the game." -- Devils forward Joseph Blandisi


Need to know

Quenneville played his sixth NHL game. ... The Rangers are 5-5-2 in their past 12 games. ... Devils forward Miles Wood returned to the lineup after missing one game because of an upper-body injury.


What's next

Rangers: Host the New York Islanders on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Devils: At the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; SNO, MSG+, NHL.TV)


Video: Blandisi, Quenneville lead Devils to 3-2 OT victory

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