Devils rout Sharks behind 7-goal outburst

Nico Hischier had a goal and three assists and Nico Daws made 29 saves to lead the visiting New Jersey Devils to a 7-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.Jack Hughes had a goal and t

Devils rout Sharks behind 7-goal outburst

Nico Hischier had a goal and three assists and Nico Daws made 29 saves to lead the visiting New Jersey Devils to a 7-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.

Jack Hughes had a goal and two assists, Jesper Bratt added a goal and an assist and Kevin Bahl, Colin Miller, Brendan Smith and Dawson Mercer also scored goals for New Jersey, which closed to within five points of third-place Philadelphia in the Metropolitan Division and five points of Tampa Bay for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Timo Meier, playing for the first time in San Jose since being traded to the Devils one year and one day earlier, added two assists and also had a goal called back in the second period on a coach’s challenge for an offsides entry.

Nico Sturm and Justin Bailey scored for San Jose, which suffered its fourth straight loss. Kaapo Kahkonen, who replaced starter Mackenzie Blackwood at the 17:34 mark of the first period, finished with 24 saves. Blackwood stopped all 13 shots he faced before leaving with an undisclosed injury.

San Jose took a 1-0 lead at the 18:17 mark in the first period when Alexander Barabanov’s crossing pass ricocheted off the skate of Sturm and inside the far right post.

New Jersey rebounded to take a 3-1 lead in the second period. Bratt started the comeback with his 22nd goal of the season off a backhand pass from Meier at the end of a two-on-one break.

Hughes followed 37 seconds later with his 19th goal, intercepting a Henry Thrun pass in the neutral zone then scoring on a breakaway with a wrist shot.

Bahl made it 3-1 at the 13:08 mark when he blasted a slap shot from the top of the left circle over Kahkonen’s glove and into the top far corner

The Devils then blew the game open with four goals in the first 7:57 of the third period.

Miller fired a wrist shot from the right point past a Meier screen and Kahkonen’s blocker side at the 2:41 mark to make it 4-1. Smith followed with a one-timer from the left point into the far corner off an Ondrej Palat pass. Mercer and Hischier then scored a minute apart to extend the lead to 7-1.

Bailey ended the scoring at the 12:33 mark with his fifth goal of the season.