For the first time in the Eastern Conference first round series on Thursday, the New Jersey Devils took the lead against the New York Rangers. After losing their first two games, the Devils have bounced back and have won their last three contests.
On Thursday in game five of the best of seven series, Akira Schmid of Bern, Switzerland made 25 saves at the Prudential Center in Newark. New Jersey in a 4-0 Devils win. He made eight saves in the first period, 13 saves in the second period, and two saves in the third period, as the Devils delivered with exceptionally traditional shutdown New Jersey defense that would make former head coach Jacques Lemaire proud. Ryan Lindgren, Vladimir Tarasenko and Mika Zibanejad led the Rangers with three shots on goal each.
Exceptional Playoff Goaltending
After Vitek Vanecek started the playoffs with two poor 5-1 losses, the Devils have regrouped nicely with three great performances by Smid. In 191 minutes, he has only given up two goals for a goals against average of 0.63 and a save percentage of .976. The Devils can close out the series on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Solid Regular Season Netminding
In the regular season, Schmid had a record of nine wins, five regulation losses and two losses in extra time. He had one shutout, a goals against average of 2.13 and a save percentage of .922. Schmid’s regular season shutout came in a 7-0 Devils win over the Philadelphia Flyers on February 25. It was a game that saw Schmid make 23 saves.
Bounce Back Year
Schmid made significant improvements from his struggling 2021-22 season where he played in only six games, and did not play enough to lose his rookie status this season. Schmid had a record of zero wins and four losses with a goals against average of 4.83 and a save percentage of .833.