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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hextall Stops Rangers, Devils Pound Penguins

NEW YORK -- Goaltender Ron Hextall, in his first playoff game at Madison Square Garden since a humiliating defeat last year, led the Philadelphia Flyers within one game of the conference finals with a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers.


Hextall, a 6-0 loser with the New York Islanders the last time he played at the Garden, was a different goaltender Wednesday as the Flyers took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference semifinals.


The Flyers can finish off the defending champions when the series resumes with Game 4 at the Garden on Friday.


Hextall made 32 saves, including a stop on Pat Verbeek in front in the first period, and Stephane Matteau from the upper right circle and Mark Messier from the lower right circle in the second. Then, with the Rangers bearing down on him in the third, Hextall made a great stop on Jeff Beukeboom's blast from the blue line.


Devils 5, Penguins 1. Linemates Bobby Holik and Randy McKay scored in as three-goal second period as the Devils continued their playoff domination by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.


New Jersey now leads the best-of-7 Eastern Conference semifinal series 2-1.


The Devils didn't let the Penguins get started, outshooting them 17-3 in a scoreless first period, then beat Pittsburgh goaltender Ken Wregget three times in the middle period to take control in a game at the Meadowlands Arena, where Game 4 will be played Friday night.