Rookie Akira Schmid made 31 saves for his second shutout of New Jersey’s first-round Eastern Conference playoff series as the Devils advanced with a 4-0 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 7 on Monday in Newark, N.J.
Michael McLeod and Tomas Tatar scored second-period goals for the Devils, who advance to face the Carolina Hurricanes in an Eastern Conference semifinal series beginning Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C.
Schmid was solid as needed after yielding five goals on 29 shots during a 5-2 loss in Game 6. He had stopped all 23 shots he faced during a 4-0 win in Game 5.
On Monday, Schmid was especially solid with his glove, helping the Devils earn their first playoff series win since 2012. He became the fifth rookie netminder in NHL history to record a Game 7 shutout, joining Glenn Resch (1975), Felix Potvin (1993), Ilya Bryzgalov (2006) and Carey Price (2008).
The only other New Jersey goalie to earn a Game 7 shutout was Martin Brodeur in 3-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final.
McLeod, who had four goals this season, posted a short-handed goal 9:53 into the second to open the scoring.
Tatar, who had 48 points in 2022-23, recorded his first of the playoffs on a goal with 4:21 remaining in the middle frame. In the third period, Erik Haula’s fourth playoff and Jesper Bratt’s empty-netter provided insurance for the Devils, who lost their previous two Game 7s versus New York, in 1992 and 1994.
The Rangers again struggled to score after breaking out to force Game 7. Igor Shesterkin made 20 saves for New York, which went 0-for-4 on the power play.
New Jersey registered 12 of the game’s first 13 overall shots. However, the Devils took three penalties through the opening 20 minutes.
Schmid, meanwhile, came up big within the first three minutes of the second when he made a glove save on Alexis Lafreniere’s two-on-one chance. The Rangers continued to pressure, and had their fourth power play soon after.
However, some sloppy New York stickhandling resulted in an own-zone turnover. Ondrej Palat (two assists) sent the puck across the slot to McLeod, who found an opening to convert.
New Jersey extended its advantage shortly after. After John Marino (two assists) missed the net on a surge, he stayed with the puck on the end boards and found Tatar in front of the net.