NEW YORK — Ryan Carter snapped a tie with 4:24 left, and the New Jersey Devils posted a 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers after blowing a three-goal lead in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night.
The Devils, who led 3-0 before the first period was half over, have a 3-2 edge in the series and can advance to face the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals with a win at home on Friday night. If the Rangers can stay alive then, Game 7 would be back in Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
The Devils seemed primed for an easy win when Stephen Gionta and Patrik Elias scored within the first 4:13 of the game. Travis Zajac made it 3-0 before the Rangers woke up and began chipping away.
Brandon Prust brought New York within 3-1 before the first period was over, and Callahan made it a one-goal game in the first minute of the second. The Garden really rocked when Marian Gaborik tied it at 3 just 17 seconds into the third with his first goal of the series.
But the comeback was all for naught. Carter put the Devils back in front, and Zach Parise sealed it with an empty-net goal in the closing seconds.
Brandon Dubinsky was back in the Rangers’ lineup after missing 11 playoff games because of an injury to his right foot.
CANUCKS: Signed coach Alain Vigneault to a contract extension, ending speculation that the team’s playoff loss to Los Angeles might cost him the job.
The Canucks didn’t disclose terms, but Vigneault said it was a two-year extension.
Vigneault has guided the Canucks to a 287-155-50 record – a club-record 63.4 winning percentage.