(PR) Reading, PA – The Devils overcame two first-period deficits to defeat the Reading Royals, 4-3, in their final contest of the preseason on the heels of a Ryan Ginand game-winning goal in overtime. Matt Kang scored twice in the game, including the game-tying goal in the second period, which ultimately forced the extra period. Goaltender Dave Caruso did not allow a goal after the first period, finishing with 29 saves.
Reading’s Andrew Sarauer started the scoring with his third goal of the preseason on a setup from former Devils forward Eric Castonguay at 3:44 of the first. Matt Caruana extended the lead on a shorthanded opportunity created by Dallas Jackson at 5:24. The Royals early threat was slowed by three penalties midway through the first, and though Trenton could not capitalize on the power plays, going 0-for-6 for the game, the offense began to click.
Matt Kang put the Devils on the scoreboard at 14:50, with an assist from Taylor Vichorek, and moments later Ryan Hayes tied the game, 2-2. Darcy Zajac got the primary assist on the Hayes goal, sending a waist-high pass across the goal mouth to the back door where Hayes bunted the puck past Reading goalie Adam Courchaine. Ryan Ginand picked up a secondary assist, his first of two points on the night, en route to first-star honors.
Reading snatched the lead back at 16:45 of the first when John Mori snuck a shot between Caruso and the right post to make it 3-2 Reading, with assists from Jackson and Ben Gordon. The period closed with A.J. Mikkelsen taking double minor for high-sticking, which carried into the second frame. That power play became a 5-on-3 when Todd Perry was called for holding early in the second. Though the Devils could not capitalize, they generated multiple scoring chances and moved the puck as well as any point of the preseason.
Kang and Hayes combined for the Devils next game-tying score, with Kang starting behind the net, curling around the post, creating space and firing just under the cross bar to make it 3-3 at 14:00 of the second. The Devils also killed off three power plays in the second, including a long 5-on-3, and a fourth Reading extra-man chance in the third period. A back and forth third period finished with the Royals outshooting the Devils 12 to 10, but without any scoring.
Ginand’s game winning goal came when Castonguay turned the puck over in front of his own net in the midst of a breakout. Ginand took advantage of the mistake, surprised Courchaine and forced the puck away from Castonguay and into the net at 1:40 and a 4-3 Devils win.
Trenton’s regular season begins Saturday, October 16 against Reading at the Sun National Bank Center at 7 p.m.