Taylor Hall produced a goal and two assists as the New Jersey Devils rallied for a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals in Newark, N.J. In an attempt to shake what's ailed them through two games, head coach John Hynes is making changes for Game 3 (CNBC, 7:30 p.m ET, stream here). "I'm pretty sure New Jersey is going to do the exact same thing".
The Devils tied the game with 7:36 remaining in the second when Hall lifted a slap shot from the high shot under Vasilevskiy's legs.
"We did bend a little bit in the third but didn't break, so it's a good feeling to be up 2-0", Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. "Just getting out on the ice, that was a great opportunity for me to go in, make some saves and show that I'm feeling good about myself. That's the bottom line".
Will the offensively-gifted Lightning continue to assault the Devils' goalkeepers?
Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson also scored for Tampa Bay, which is up 2-0 in the series after going 0-2-1 against the Devils during the regular season.
Play was tied into the third period when the game became defined by Schneider and penalties.
"Taylor Hall is Taylor Hall every night", offered Coleman in a satisfied postgame dressing room. "It's a long series".
"My main objective was to keep us in it and not give up that next one", Schneider said.
Devils coach John Hynes echoed that sentiment.
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Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne says he is pleased to be up 2-0, but the series is far from over.
"I'm really impressed by the way he's been playing all year, not just tonight". We have to win one game. "He's got real good hockey sense, good playoffs experience".
Taylor Hall, Devils: Hall scored unassisted to tie the game in 1-1 in the first period and then was the primary assist on Will Butcher's game-tying goal in the second and Stefan Noesen's eventual game-winner later in the period.
Goalie Cory Schneider came off the bench to help the Devils stay in the game with 10 saves, nine in the final period.
Cory Schneider made 34 saves as the Devils opted to use him after he stopped 10 shots in relief of Keith Kinkaid in Game 2.
Avalanche 5, Predators 3 (Predators lead series 2-1): Take a team that plays very well at home and a player who scores a lot of his points at home and you get a Colorado Avalanche win thanks to two goals by Nathan MacKinnon on Monday. Noesen buried the sweet feed, the Devils had their first lead of the entire series and that first win was a couple of empty-net goals and one major scrum away from being finalized.
Second Period_1, Tampa Bay, Killorn 4 (Kucherov, Stamkos), 0:42 (pp).
If New Jersey is to get back in the series, they will need to come out of the gates faster. Vasilevskiy made an excellent stop on a shot from near the blue line by Kyle Palmieri. New Jersey outshot the Lightning 44-25, including 19-9 over the final 20 minutes.
Hopefully his excellent 3rd period in Game 2 gave him enough confidence to get back on track. To have a chance against a team like Tampa Bay, the Devils need to maximize their ceiling and I think starting Schneider does that.