NEWARK, N.J. — Chris Kreider scored two power-play goals in a three-goal second period and the New York Rangers stunned the New Jersey Devils 5-1 on Thursday night to a take a 2-0 lead on the road in their first-round playoff series.
Patrick Kane added a goal and two assists and fellow trade deadline acquisition Vladimir Tarasenko scored for the second straight game as the Rangers again had their way with the young Devils.
Kaapo Kakko also scored and Adam Fox added two more assists to give him six in two games. Igor Shesterkin had a relatively easy night, making 21 saves.
Erik Haula scored for New Jersey, which has been outscored 10-2 after going 3-0-1 in the regular season against New York. Vitek Vanecek finished with 26 saves in a game that got one-sided and chippy late.
Referee Wes McCauley and Frederick L’Ecuyer sent five players from each team to the locker room with 6:40 left.
The best-of-seven series shifts across the Hudson River to Madison Square Garden for Games 3 and 4 on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Special teams and Kreider were again the difference. The Rangers were 2 of 7 with the extra man and Kreider netted both, giving him four in two games, all on tip-ins.
Haula put New Jersey on the board first with a rebound in the crease in the waning seconds of a power play. The Devils were 1 of 4 with the extra man.
Tarasenko got the Rangers going 5:53 into the second period, taking a pass from Fox and beating Vanecek with a shot from the top of the circles.
A little more than four minutes later, Kreider tipped a slap shot from Kane past the Devils goalie. He stretched the lead to 3-1, using great hand-eye coordination to pop a soft pass by Kane over Vanecek’s shoulder into the net.
Kane scored on a breakaway at 6:34 of the third period after sustained Devils pressure. Kakko scored in close shortly after a New Jersey penalty ended.
MAPLE LEAFS 7, LIGHTNING 2: John Tavares had his first playoff hat trick and Toronto rebounded from a poor playoff start with a lopsided victory over visiting Tampa Bay to even the teams’ first-round playoff series at a game apiece.
Mitch Marner had two goals and an assist, William Nylander added a goal and an assist, and Zach Aston-Reese also scored for Toronto.
Morgan Rielly tied a franchise record with four assists. Auston Matthews also had two assists for the Maple Leafs, whose stars stepped up. Ilya Samsonov made 19 saves for Toronto after being pulled in Tuesday’s 7-3 loss.
Ian Cole and Corey Perry scored for the Lightning, who were without injured defensemen Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak. Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has played every minute of Lightning postseason action since 2020, allowed seven goals on 35 shots.
The series shifts to Florida, where Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-seven set are scheduled for Saturday and Monday.
AVALANCHE 3, KRAKEN 2: Devon Toews scored with 7:01 left and Colorado rallied from a two-goal deficit against visiting Seattle to even its first-round series at one game apiece.
Trailing 2-0 in the second period, Artturi Lehkonen and Valeri Nichushkin scored 48 seconds apart to tie the game. It set the stage for Toews, who knocked in a rebound.
Justin Schultz and Brandon Tanev scored one goal each for the Kraken.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5, JETS 2: Mark Stone scored two third-period goals and assisted on another in just his second game since returning from back surgery to give Vegas a victory over visiting Winnipeg to even its first-round series.
Chandler Stephenson and William Karlsson each had a goal and an assist, Jack Eichel made his first career playoff goal, and Phil Kessel and Alex Pietrangelo each had two assists. Laurent Brossoit made 31 saves.