NEWARK, N.J. — Defenceman Connor Carrick scored with 4:10 left to break a tie and the New Jersey Devils beat the New York Rangers 4-2 on Monday night to avoid being swept in their season series by their longtime rivals.
Myles Wood and Travis Zajac also scored in the Devils’ regular-season home finale. Joey Anderson added an empty-net goal to ice the game and MacKenzie Blackwood made 32 saves.
Brett Howden and Filip Chytil scored for the Rangers, who won the first three meetings. Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves in losing his fifth straight decision.
There have been only three regular-season sweeps in the series since the Devils moved to New Jersey in 1982. The Rangers had the most recent one in 2014-15, the year they won the Presidents’ Trophy.
The game-winning goal was set up Drew Stafford. He stripped the puck from Vladislav Nemestnikov near the Rangers’ blue line and found Carrick between the circles for his first goal since being acquired from Dallas at the trade deadline.
The game between the rivals was chippy with three fights, including a one-shot bout in which Brandan Lemieux bloodied Wood.
For the third time in four games against New York, the Devils took a 2-0 lead and allowed the Rangers to tie it.
After the Rangers took nine of the game’s first 10 shots, Wood broke down the right and beat Lundqvist with a shot to the top corner at 3:54 of the first.
Zajac got the second one with a tip of Damon Severson’s shot on a power play at 14:34.
Howden cut the deficit in half, beating Blackwood with a shot from the right circle on a 3-on-1 rush.
The Rangers thought they had tied the score 16 seconds later when the red light came on after Chris Kreider’s shot. The play was reviewed and the shot hit off the goalpost and did not entirely cross the goal line.
New York tied it on its first power play when Chytil snapped a 22-game goal scoring drought, putting the rebound of Vinni Lettieri’s shot into a wide-open net for his 11th goal.
NOTES: Rangers F Pavel Buchnevich, who has a career-high seven-game point scoring streak, did not play after being hurt (concussion protocol) Sunday. … The Devils were 15 for 15 on the penalty kill over their past seven games before Chytil’s goal. … Rangers D-F Brandan Smith was a healthy scratch after picking up four penalties Sunday. Lemieux replaced him.
Rangers: Host Ottawa on Wednesday.
Devils: At Carolina on Thursday night
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Tom Canavan, The Associated Press