(PR) Trenton, NJ – Matt Caruana, Chris Blight and Ryan Cruthers scored unanswered goals for the Royals after the Devils had taken a 2-0 lead and Matt Dalton made 28 of 30 saves as Reading defeated Trenton, 3-2, Wednesday at Sun National Bank Center in Trenton.
The Devils got the early advantage on their division rivals when Kory Nagy made a tricky move around a Reading defenseman on the left wing boards and swung wide around the net, stuffing home his third goal of the season on a wrap-around, just inside the post and beyond Reading goaltender Matt Dalton’s outstretched leg, 5:40 into the first period. Matt Lombardi’s assist on Nagy’s game-opening score was his second assist in as many games and sixth point in a Devils uniform. The Royals nearly tied the game late in the first period when left winger Robert Slaney’s shot shimmied up Dave Caruso’s arm, but Caruso was able to deny Reading the game-tying score and all 14 Reading shots in the first.
Ahead 1-0 starting the second period, the Devils doubled their lead when Darcy Zajac sniped a blistering slap shot off a feed from Ryan Ginand into the lower corner of the net to make the score 2-0 Trenton at 4:07 of the middle period. The Devils went on the power play a minute later, but Reading began to garner momentum with a successful kill, scoring shortly thereafter. Seeking their fifth straight win, Reading broke through with two goals in 1:24, one from their leading scorer Matt Caruana and the next from sixth-year pro Chris Blight to knot the contest at 2-2 after two periods.
With new life from their two-goal, second-period comeback, the Royals clamped down defensively and went ahead of the Devils for the first time, 5:48 into the third period. The go-ahead marker was scored when Ryan Cruthers slipped a quick shot past Caruso after receiving a hard leading pass from Ben Gordon. The go-ahead goal was Cruthers’ fourth tally this season against Trenton, and it staked Reading to a 3-2 lead. Ahead by a goal, the Royals stifled the Devils offense, which generated five shots-on-goal in the third period and few substantial scoring chances. In the game’s final seconds with Caruso pulled for a sixth attacker, Kory Nagy lugged the puck into the Royals zone, but Reading’s defense prevented him from shooting or passing and time expired with the puck still on Nagy’s stick.
Winning 3-2, Reading improves to 8-5-0-0 and Trenton falls to 4-5-0-1, losers of two straight. The Devils can avenge Wednesday’s loss Friday in their first visit of the season to Reading’s Sovereign Center at 7:05 p.m.