RECAP: Devils Capped at Home 4-1

First Period

The New Jersey Devils outshot the Washington Capitals in the first period, but it seemed that the Capitals got better quality chances throughout the first. The Caps struck first just three minutes into the game off a snipe from Andre Burakovsky. The Swede has yet to break through in the NHL but has a lot of potential and is going up for a contract as a restricted free agent this summer. The Devils responded with just one second left in the period, as Kenny Agostino found the puck at the blue line, threw it on net, and it somehow found it’s way past Pheonix Copley.

Second Period

Just two and a half minutes in, Mackenzie Blackwood made a sick windmill save on Nic Dowd to keep the game tied, and then another stretch save on Jakub Vrana after a Damon Severson turnover and Will Butcher wipeout. This would not hold, though, as Christian Djoos fed Brett Connolly in front for an easy tap in to break the tie. Things went from bad to worse when Evgeny Kuznetsov came down on a two-on-one and shot it five-hole on Blackwood to make it 3-1. The scoring stopped, but not before Tom Wilson finished a well executed 3-on-2 off of a pass from Alexander Ovechkin.

Third Period

The third period was fairly even, featuring decent chances from both sides. Blackwood almost let up another fluke goal when the ref got in the way of a dump in but recovered just in time to stop the puck. He made up for it with an outstanding save on Kuznetsov to hold the score. The Devils would get one really good chance when Connor Carrick slapped a rebound off the post, but the game ended at 4-1.

Takeaways

The Devils seemed to lapse in the second period, which is probably the result of having such a fickle lineup with many important pieces missing. It wasn’t a great game for Blackwood, letting up four goals on 22 shots, but New Jersey has to stop letting up so many odd-man rushes. There are some positives to draw from the game, though, as Connor Carrick is demonstrating that he can be a threat offensively, and Kenny Agostino getting on the board again.

Three Stars

  1. Brett Connolly
  2. Evgeny Kuznetsov
  3. Pheonix Copley

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