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Kalinin helps Devils conquer Rangers

Forward has goal, assist; Schneider makes 17 saves

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Kalinin's 3rd-period goal

NYR@NJD: Kalinin scores on the breakaway

2/23/16: Sergey Kalinin skates in all alone and beats Henrik Lundqvist with a sweet top-shelf shot to increase the Devils' lead to two goals

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NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils left wing Sergey Kalinin first learned of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick on the Internet growing up in Omsk, Russia. 

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward never envisioned he'd get one 57 games into his NHL career, but it happened Tuesday when he had a goal, an assist and a fight in a 5-2 win against the New York Rangers at Prudential Center.

"He's our Russian Gordie Howe," Devils goaltender Corey Schneider said. 

Tyler Kennedy, Kyle Palmieri, Lee Stempniak and Adam Larsson scored, and Schneider made 17 saves for the Devils (30-24-7), who ended a three-game losing streak. 

Kalinin assisted on Kennedy's goal in the first, fought Rangers left wing J.T. Miller in the second, and scored on a breakaway against Henrik Lundqvist with 2:44 remaining in the third.

Video: NYR@NJD: Schneider uses his stick for an amazing save

"It was really a dream to get this when I first heard about it back home and now it's a dream come true," Kalinin said. "On the fight, I tried to chip the puck out and he went for my legs but missed and I turned around and said, 'Let's go, let's go.' It was nothing crazy. 

"It was my first fight in the NHL. Of course I enjoyed it; it's not bad actually." 

The Devils offense generated more opportunities when coach John Hynes moved Kalinin to the top line with Adam Henrique and Lee Stempniak late in the first period. Hynes also put Joseph Blandisi on the third line with Jacob Josefson and Tyler Kennedy. The Devils outshot (24-11) and outscored (3-0) the Rangers over the final two periods. 

"[Blandisi] looked nervous in the early going," Hynes said. "On top of that, Henrique's line was matched against Derek Stepan. We have a lot of trust in Kalinin and made the switch. I thought both players were energized by the move."

Video: NYR@NJD: Stempniak breaks tie in the 2nd period

Kevin Hayes and Dominic Moore scored, and Lundqvist made 31 saves for the Rangers (34-20-6). 

The Rangers played without defensemen Marc Staal (lower body) and Ryan McDonagh (jaw, neck). Staal was ruled out hours before the opening faceoff and replaced in the lineup by Brady Skjei. McDonagh has missed six of the past eight games but could return for the Rangers at the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. 

"I think it was a little bit of a struggle," Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi said. "Guys were playing with different guys, but we're all professionals here and [Skjei] is a good hockey player. I don't think there was an issue out there, but obviously having [McDonagh and Staal] out of the lineup hurt, but there's not much we can do about that right now." 

Hynes said the absence of McDonagh and Staal wasn't a factor in how the Devils played. 

"I think we respect the Rangers team as deep; McDonagh and Staal are two quality players on their team but I think in this league it's next man up," Hynes said. "Everyone has good teams and good players, so it wasn't who was in or out of their lineup. It's always about our team and how we're going to play. I thought we did that [Tuesday] and found a way to win."

Video: NYR@NJD: Palmieri scores on power play from one knee

The Devils outshot the Rangers 17-5 in the second period, when goals by Palmieri and Stempniak gave New Jersey a 3-2 lead. Palmieri's goal came on the power play when he took a pass from Blandisi in the slot and knocked in his 23rd of the season at 10:28 for a 2-2 tie. 

Miller and Kalinin fought with one second remaining in the period and drew major penalties. Miller was given an extra 5-minute match penalty for cutting Kalinin while wearing tape below his wrist. According to Rule 41.16, any player wearing tape on his hands below the wrist who cuts or injures an opponent in a fight receives a match penalty. 

"[Kalinin] played like a rock star," Blandisi said. "He set up a beautiful goal when he turned the puck over on his first assist and that fight definitely sparked the bench. When you see a guy like that going to battle for his teammates, that's an exciting thing for everybody on the team. It shows that he wants to win and reflects on the rest of the team."

Video: NYR@NJD: D. Moore scores on redirect

Stempniak collected a pass from Adam Henrique in the left circle and scored his 16th at 18:06. 

"They outworked us in the second and we just weren't able to recover in the third," Stepan said. 

Hayes and Moore scored in a span of 45 seconds in the first period to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Hayes scored off a rebound from the left circle for his fourth goal in seven games. Viktor Stalberg took a shot from the right circle and Hayes got behind Blandisi to score at 8:17. 

"I just thought we stuck to our game plan [after New York took the lead]," Devils defenseman Damon Severson said. "We wanted to grind their defense down and use our speed wide and make those guys turn. We've got some fast forwards and they were able to do that. We got extended offensive-zone time and in the second we pushed."

Video: NYR@NJD: Kennedy scores on tip-in in the 1st period

Moore redirected a pass from Keith Yandle at the right post at 9:02. Yandle's pass went between the legs of Devils defenseman John Moore to Dominic Moore. 

Kennedy scored his second goal in four games, a tip from the slot that beat Lundqvist inside the left post at 4:47 to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. Severson, in the lineup after he was a healthy scratch the previous two games, took the initial shot from the left point. 

This was Kalinin's second multipoint game in his first NHL season; the 24-year-old had a goal and an assist against the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 12. 

"I try my best every time and sometimes I get a game like this," Kalinin said. "Sometimes worse. So we need to play every game like this and wins are coming."

Video: Devils top Rangers, 5-2

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