The New Jersey Devils extended their two-game win streak to three in Detroit last night. Thanks to a strong performance on the power play, the Devils defeated the Red Wings 4-1. The Devils are now 7-3-0 in their last 10 games and own a 25-27-10 record on the season.
The scoring got started early in the first period, as Joey Anderson scored his third of the season just over a minute in. Dakota Mermis – who has been solid since the call-up – registered his first career-NHL point on Anderson’s tally. The second period saw the Devils add two more goals, each on the power play (see below). Jesper Bratt scored off a wrister thanks to great passes by Pavel Zacha and Nikita Gusev. The second power play goal was a result of a beautiful shot-pass by Jack Hughes to Kyle Palmieri on the doorstep.
Unfortunately, the Red Wings broke Cory Schneider’s shutout on the power play halfway through the third period to make it a 3-1 game. Nikita Gusev – who now has six points in his last three games – iced the game with the Devils’ third power play goal of the contest.
The final shots on goal for the game were 31-28 in favor of New Jersey. Schneider made 27 saves and was credited with a win, his first of the season. Jonathan Bernier made 27 saves and picked up the loss.
- The Devils’ third line was terrific tonight. The trio of Miles Wood, Travis Zajac, and Joey Anderson made up the team’s best line. They contributed an expected goals for percentage (xGF%) of 83.91%, and they also contributed five scoring chances and only surrendered two. If this trend continues, along with the newfound success of the second line, the Devils may be set with three lines they can rely on for production.
- The third defensive pairing of Connor Carrick and Frederik Claesson worked well. The two combined for a Corsi for percentage (CF%) of 50.00. They also had a more impressive xGF% of 64.37. The eye-test showed an extremely ugly defensive grouping on paper, however, the third pairing of the group performed well last night.
- Pavel Zacha tallied two assists, which brings his season total to 22. He was instrumental in the Devils’ success on the power play, which tallied three goals. he has already set career-highs in assists and points, but it will be interesting to see if he can hit the 30 assist mark by season’s end.
Next Game: Thursday, February 27th at San Jose