After laying a complete egg against Montreal the previous night, the Devils returned to the ice in Philly to take on the Flyers. The Devils struck first on a Pavel Zacha goal seven minutes into the game. Zacha made a nice play to keep the play alive while Jacob Josefson set him up with a beautiful touch pass to help New Jersey attain a 1-0 lead. The Flyers managed to tie it up soon after when the puck took a weird bounce off the boards and Travis Konecny slid it past Keith Kinkaid.
It wasn’t until late into the second period when the Devils broke through on a Kyle Palmieri power play goal. New Jersey was awarded a two minute 5 on 3 after Radko Gudas lay a hip check into Miles Wood. Wayne Simmonds was awarded an extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct. From that point, there was no looking back for New Jersey as Miles Wood added two goals, the first multi-goal game of his career, two give New Jersey a 4-1 victory in Philadelphia.
- It was a wild game for Miles Wood, who was seemingly all over the ice, whether it was good or bad. The good: he notched two goals, one where he used his blazing speed to set up a snipe that went right past Michal Neuvirth. The other was on the power play after Taylor Hall made a beautiful pass to a wide open Wood. There was also the bad. Wood was +4/-22 at even-strength in shot attempts and took a couple of bad penalties. Those are areas he’s going to have to clean up going forward. Once he does, he should be a pretty productive player for New Jersey.
- Miles Wood wasn’t the only player to struggle at even-strength. The team was out-attempted 25-60 when at 5v5 and every player finished in the red for possession. The player with the best possession line was Kyle Palmieri, who finished +10/-11 in shot attempts for the night. Needless to say, the Devils were a bit lucky and took advantage of their opportunities when they had them because they were caved in most of the night.
- I don’t think he gets enough credit for the way he’s played this season, but Keith Kinkaid was fantastic last night. He stopped 35/36 shots he faced and made a few great saves to keep the Devils level or in the lead. With his performance last night, his save percentage is now at .923 for the season. He’s also faced 30 shots or more in 8 of his 14 starts, so he’s earned it. He’s been a bright spot for the team this season and continues to be as we progress through the final half of the season.
- It’s been a rough rookie season for Pavel Zacha, but he’s starting to pick up his play in the last few games. After having two goals in his first 37 games, he has 2 in his last 3 and seems to have found good chemistry playing with Jacob Josefson, who’s also playing well since returning from a concussion. The Devils need some more from their bottom six and if Zacha can start contributing more consistently, it’ll go a long way moving forward.