The New Jersey Devils weren’t able to solve perennial Vezina Trophy contender John Gibson, losing 3-2 to the Anaheim Ducks. The Devils will head into their week-long break and All-Star break with only 43 points, which is last in the Metropolitan Division.
The first period had a promising start. Jesper Bratt made a beautiful pass to set up Marcus Johansson, who backhanded one past Gibson (video below). Unfortunately for the Devils, the Ducks responded with two goals, one of which was on the power play. The second period was a very good one for the Devils, as they held a 16-6 advantage in shot attempts.
Slick hands from Marcus Johansson got the Devils on the board 👌 pic.twitter.com/ZcCSbq8AVK
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 19, 2019
The Devils were able to keep it a one-goal game until Derek Grant put one upstairs with just over five minutes left. The Devils made a late comeback effort, courtesy of a Jesper Bratt goal with the extra attacker, but that’d be the last score of the game. John Gibson, who made 29 saves, had a sensational game and was credited with the win. Mackenzie Blackwood only faced 14 shots and was given the loss.
— MSG Networks (@MSGNetworks) January 19, 2019
- The Devils defense, surprisingly, did a good job of limiting the Ducks to 14 shots. However, what killed the Devils was the quality of the shots they allowed. Of the 14 shots, 10 were considered scoring chances and six were of the high danger variety. Holding any team to only 14 shots is fantastic, but when most of them are of high quality, it’s just not as impressive
- Rookie Nathan Bastian made his NHL debut, and it wasn’t too great. Bastian played 8:46 of ice time and the Devils were out-attempted 2-11 with him on the ice. He was also on the ice for two of the Ducks’ high-danger shot attempts, one of which resulted in a goal. The rookie may have made a great impression with the fight he had with Josh Manson (video above), but overall not a great performance.
- The Devils top defensive pairing had a nice day. Andy Greene and Damon Severson combined for a 33-14 advantage in shots attempts. Even more impressive, when Andy Greene was on the ice, the Devils didn’t concede one Anaheim scoring chance. Combined, the Devils held a 19-1 advantage in scoring chances with their top defensive-pairing on the ice. Overall, a great afternoon for the duo.
- A lot of fans are watching Marcus Johansson closely seeing if he is able to increase his trade value. He certainly did so with his performance against the Ducks. He was able to tally the Devils first goal of the afternoon and also held a 72.72% Corsi For rating. This was the second best of any Devils forward. Overall a great performance for the winger.