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game recap

Schneider, Devils defeat Lightning in Game 3

Makes 34 saves; Hall has goal, two assists for New Jersey, which closes gap in series

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Cory Schneider made 34 saves for his first win since Dec. 27 for the New Jersey Devils, 5-2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Prudential Center on Monday.

Schneider, who was 0-10-2 in his previous 12 games, made his first start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since May 7, 2013, when he played for the Vancouver Canucks. 


[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Devils highlights | Complete Lightning vs. Devils series coverage]


"[Schneider] was fantastic," Devils forward Brian Boyle said. "Our goaltending has been bailing us out a lot of different ways this year. Cory has worked at his game, been a great pro, and came in and shut the door. He was sharp and locked in."

Taylor Hall had a goal and two assists, and rookie defenseman Will Butcher scored his first NHL playoff goal for the Devils.

Video: Hall leads Devils in Game 3, earns first playoff win

Tampa Bay leads the best-of-7 series 2-1. Game 4 is here Wednesday.

"This was huge for our confidence," Schneider said. "You can see at the end it was getting a little nasty. We're on each other's nerves a bit. They're going to regroup and come back in Game 4. That's what good teams do and they're a good team. We need to be ready for their push and fight harder in Game 4."

Alex Killorn and Steven Stamkos each had a goal and an assist, Nikita Kucherov had two assists, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves for the Lightning.

Video: TBL@NJD, Gm3: Stamkos buries Kucherov's feed for PPG

"We knew they were going to respond," Stamkos said. "They got good energy from their home fans and at the end of the day, you give them that many power play chances, and a 5-on-3, there's a good chance they're eventually going to get one. They got one and then they got momentum."

New Jersey went 1-for-7 on the power play. Tampa Bay was 2-for-5.

Stefan Noesen gave the Devils a 3-2 lead at 12:55 of the third period, scoring on a one-timer from the left circle off a pass from Hall. 

Blake Coleman scored a shorthanded goal into an empty net at 19:02 to make it 4-2, and Ben Lovejoy scored an empty-net goal at 19:22 to extend it to 5-2.

Video: TBL@NJD, Gm3: Coleman scores empty-netter for SHG

Killorn gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead 42 seconds into the second period, scoring his third power-play goal of the series when he redirected a pass from Kucherov from in front. 

Hall tied it 1-1 at 12:24, beating Vasilevskiy five-hole with a slap shot from the slot.

"Hall is not happy that he's playing his first playoff game, or third playoff game, the guy just wants to win," Devils coach John Hynes said.

Stamkos scored to make it 2-1 with a power-play goal 38 seconds into the third period. Butcher tied it 2-2 at 4:03, scoring on a 5-on-3 with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle.

"[Tampa Bay's] going to get some looks and probably score some goals, so it's up to us to show resolve and stay in the game," Schneider said. "Down the stretch, maybe we were a little more determined."


Goal of the game

Noesen's goal at 12:55 of the third period.

Video: TBL@NJD, Gm3: Noesen buries great pass from Hall


Save of the game

Schneider's save on Tyler Johnson at 9:50 of the third period.

Video: TBL@NJD, Gm3: Schneider denies multiple shots on goal


Highlight of the game

Hall's goal at 12:24 of the second period.

Video: TBL@NJD, Gm3: Hall beats Vasilevskiy to tie game


They said it

"Any momentum they gained in that game was because of our penalties, and every penalty we took it seemed was 200 feet from our net. It was too bad because I thought for two periods, and then after getting the go-ahead goal (by Stamkos), we had control of that game. But you can't keep taking the penalties. We did it to ourselves." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper

"I think we had a little more of an aggressive mindset on the penalty kill. I think we almost showed them a little too much respect early in the series and needed to get back to what made us successful, and that's being aggressive and optimistic when we get the puck, seeing if we can't catch them. We have to put some doubt in their heads." -- Devils forward Blake Coleman


Need to know

The Lightning are 5-for-9 on the power play in the series. ... Kucherov has six points (two goals, four assists) in the series. ... Hall has five points (two goals, three assists) in the series. ... Killorn is the second player in Lightning history to score at least one goal in each of the first three playoff games, joining Vincent Lecavalier, who scored in Games 1-4 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Devils.


What's next

Game 4 of Eastern Conference First Round at Prudential Center on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; GOLF, SN, TVAS2, MSG+, SUN)

Video: Hall registers three points in Game 3 win

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