Fresh Faces Help Lead Devils to Victory

In what quickly became quite the goalie duel, the New Jersey Devils needed all 65 minutes, plus the shootout, to secure a victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Both goalies were on their A game, as Kuemper made miraculous save after miraculous save, especially in the third where he had 12 of his 31 stops. Blackwood was just as dialed in, making 23 saves and going 5 of 6 in the shootout.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson started off the scoring on the day, putting one through a mass of bodies and beating Blackwood high to give the Coyotes the lead. Stafford tied the game in the closing minutes of the first, snapping one five hole off a beautiful drop pass from Zacha.

The rest of the game became a goalie show, including two pucks that were floating just above Kuemper, and destined to fall, in but were knocked out of mid air at the last minute. In the shootout both goalies remained dialed in. Blake Coleman was finally able to score off a beautiful move, and Zacha would end up putting home the winning goal one round later.

In their first games back, Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri didn’t miss a beat. They both logged heavy minutes (21:08 for Nico, 19:21 for Kyle) and were first and second on the team in possession metrics (70.7% Corsi for Nico, 69.2% for Kyle). With the roster starting to fill up with NHL players again, the speed and offensive zone pressure was back.

Team Stats

Shots: Devils – 32 Coyotes – 24

Powerplays: Devils – 0/5 Coyotes – 0/3

Faceoffs: Devils – 40% Coyotes – 60%

Hits: Devils – 18 Coyotes

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