NEWARK, N.J. — Igor Shesterkin made 27 saves, Chris Kreider scored two power-play goals and the New York Rangers stunned the New Jersey Devils 5-1 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Vladimir Tarasenko, Ryan Lindgren and Filip Chytil also scored for the Rangers. Adam Fox had four assists and Artemi Panarin had two in this seventh renewal of this river rivalry in the postseason, the first since 2012.
The Devils, who set franchise records with 112 points and 52 wins in the regular season and beat New York three times in four games, never got their rush game going. When they did threaten, they either missed the net or Shesterkin denied them.
Their only goal came on a penalty shot by Jack Hughes with 2:46 left to play. Vitek Vanecek had 18 saves.
The Rangers also won the special teams battle. Kreider scored on two of their three power plays and the Rangers blanked the Devils on their four man advantages — holding them without even a shot on goal — though the penalty shot came in place of a power play.
Game 2 is on Thursday night.
The Rangers, who finished third in the Metropolitan Division behind the Devils, set the tone in the opening 10 minutes and never looked back. They hit, they blocked shots and they were very physical around the net.
Devils captain Nico Hischier and Hughes were knocked to the ice early and often, with Rangers captain Jacob Trouba providing the big hits.
Tarasenko, who was acquired from St. Louis before the trade deadline, scored 4:58 into the game with a shot from between the circle on a nice pass K’Andre Miller.
Kreider scored on a tip at 9:30 with Miles Wood in the penalty box. Lindgren, who had one goal in the regular season, scored in close late in the second period and Kreider had another tip in early in the third.
After Hughes made his penalty shot, Chytil scored into an empty net.
LIGHTNING 7, MAPLE LEAFS 3: Brayden Point scored twice and visiting Tampa Bay routed Toronto in the opening game of the teams’ first-round playoff series.
Nikita Kucherov and Corey Perry each had a goal and two assists, and Anthony Cirelli and Ross Colton finished with a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare also scored for the Lightning, who scored four goals on the power play. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves in his 100th playoff start.
Ryan O’Reilly, William Nylander and Calle Jarnkrok scored for Toronto. Mitch Marner had three assists and Auston Matthews added a pair. Ilya Samsonov allowed six goals on 29 shots before being replaced by Joseph Woll at the start the third period. The rookie netminder finished with four stops.
Toronto winger Michael Bunting was whistled for a match penalty and game misconduct for an illegal check to the head of Tampa Bay’s Erik Cernak. The hit occurred with 4:20 remaining in the second period. Cernak, who did not have the puck, fell backward to the ice and went to the locker room.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Thursday night in Toronto.
JETS 5, GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1: Adam Lowry scored two goals and Blake Wheeler had a goal and two assists as Winnipeg won at Vegas.
Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal an assist, Kyle Connor also scored, and Nino Niederreiter had two assists for the Jets. Connor Hellebuyck made 16 saves on a night in which the Jets’ defense allowed him to have a fairly stress-free game.
William Karlsson scored for the Golden Knights, who suffered their first regulation loss in nine games. It also was the first regulation loss for Vegas goalie Laurent Brossoit, who went 7-0-3 in the regular season. He stopped 26 shots.
Game 2 is Thursday night in Las Vegas.
KRAKEN 3, AVALANCHE 1: Alex Wennberg had a goal and an assist, Philipp Grubauer stopped 34 shots and Seattle made a successful playoff debut by beating defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado in Denver.
The second-year Kraken became the 13th expansion franchise to earn a win in their first postseason game, according to NHL Stats. Eeli Tolvanen scored the first playoff goal in team history early in the first period, and Morgan Geekie sealed it with a tally in the third.
Mikko Rantanen had the lone goal for the Avalanche, who saw their streak of 10 straight first-round wins come to a halt. It was a string that included two sweeps and dated to 2020.