A coaching change didn’t snap the New Jersey Devils out of their funk.
Jonathan Marchessault scored three straight goals in the third period to rally the Vegas Golden Knights over New Jersey 4-3 Tuesday night, hours after the Devils fired coach John Hynes.
General manager Ray Shero announced the move roughly 20 minutes before Hynes was scheduled to speak to the media before the game. Hynes had been the coach for four-plus seasons. Hynes was fired after a 9-13-4 start that left the team in last place in the Metropolitan Division and with the NHL’s second-worst record.
Shero named assistant Alain Nasreddine the interim coach, and Peter Horachek, a pro scout for the team, joined the coaching staff as an assistant.
“Tonight is a new beginning, and we had the lead, yes, going into the third, but it was more about what we did and what we didn’t do,” Nasreddine said. “There are no excuses.”
Marchessault scored twice in the first 5:04 of the third to give the Golden Knights a 3-2 lead. He added a power-play goal midway through the period, and Vegas held on even after New Jersey’s Nico Hischier scored 20 seconds later.
“It’s fun,” Marchessault said of the four-game winning streak by the Golden Knights (15-11-4). “We didn’t have that all year so far, so it’s good that we get on a roll.”
The Golden Knights have won four straight to improve to 15-11-4. Malcolm Subban had 32 saves, and Chandler Stephenson scored in his first game since being acquired Monday from the Washington Capitals.
Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 26 shots for the Devils. Kyle Palmieri and Jesper Bratt also scored.
Hynes’ dismissal came a day after the Devils were ripped by the Buffalo Sabres 7-1, a game Shero said was hard to describe. That followed a 4-0 loss at home to the rival New York Rangers on Saturday.
Struggling Devils forward Taylor Hall had a fast-break chance stopped by Subban in the first period before Palmieri scored a minute later off a pass from Damon Severson to make it 1-0. New Jersey outshot Vegas 17-7 in the first period.
The Golden Knights tied it in the second period on a centering pass by Alex Tuch to Stephenson at 5:24.
Bratt restored the Devils’ lead 14:17 into the second. Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant challenged for goalie interference, but the referees said Hall was pushed into the crease by Paul Statsny.