The New Jersey Devils were unable to extend their six-game point streak and two-game win streak last night, as they fell to the Florida Panthers. The multi-goal deficits were too large to overcome, as the Devils lost by the score of 5-3.
The scoring started courtesy of a Jack Hughes’ power play goal – which snapped an 11-game goal drought – just 3:15 into the game (see below). The Panthers answered back with two goals of their own. Thanks to these, the Panthers went into the first intermission leading 2-1.
The second period featured five goals. The Panthers scored the first, then Kevin Rooney tallied his fourth of the season to make it a two-goal game once again. The Panthers answered back with two more goals of their own, which gave them their largest lead of the game, 5-2. However, with just six minutes left, Kyle Palmieri scored off a beautiful double blue line pass from Will Butcher.
Unfortunately, two goals were the closest the Devils would get, as no third-period goals were scored. Louis Domingue – who struggled – was credited with the loss after only stopping 28 of the Panthers’ 33 shots. Sam Montembeault recorded the victory, making 25 stops on 28 Devils’ shots.
- Our pregame touched on the recent struggles of defenseman Will Butcher and how head coach Alain Nasreddine may want to find a new partner for him. Bucher played with Connor Carrick for the first two periods and was paired with Damon Severson for the third. With these partners, he played the most ice time of the night at even strength. He also contributed a Corsi for percentage (CF%) of 50.00, which led Devils’ defensemen. To further demonstrate how well he played tonight, take a look at his tremendous up ice pass which sprung Kyle Palmieri to score the Devils third goal of the night below.
- The Devils continue to bleed chances in the defensive zone, as the Florida Panthers were on the attack often. They held the shot attempts advantage 62-44, including a second period where they out-attempted the Devils 31-15. They also registered 13 high-danger attempts at five-on-five. Since interim head coach Alain Nasreddine took over, the Devils have played a faster game. However, with that has come the tendency to give up large amounts of attempts against.
- As was touched upon above, the defensive pairings were adjusted during the game. Mirco Mueller was demoted to the third pairing, while Butcher was promoted and played alongside Damon Severson in the top four. While playing alongside Mueller, Severson owned a CF% of 20.00. When he was united with Butcher, this rating jumped to 42.86. Hopefully, seeing how each player performed after the switch, Nasreddine will keep Butcher in the top-four alongside Severson.
- Forward Joey Anderson was named an AHL all-star and rewarded with a call-up. In only 8:52 of even-strength ice time, Anderson led the Devils with a CF% of 55.56 and was second on the team with an expected goals for percentage (xGF%) of 69.30. He was rewarded by his stellar play on the fourth line with an assist on the Devils’ second goal of the game. Hopefully, Anderson can build on his play and continue making a positive mark in the NHL.
Next Game: Thursday, February 13th vs. Detroit