Recap: Devils Offense Breaks Out for 5-3 Victory Over Arizona

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Travis Zajac scored the game winner late in the third as the Devils scored a season high 5 goals to defeat the Arizona Coyotes (Photo by Ed Mulholland: USA TODAY Sports)

The Devils got off to a bit of a slow start, but their offense found their game by the second period led by none other than Taylor Hall. He had one of his best games as a Devil yet, tallying 2 goals and 1 assist. Travis Zajac added two goals, including the game winner and empty netter that sealed the deal as the Devils moved to a perfect 3-0-0 at home, their best start at home since the 2002-03 season.

The Devils dominated the second period outshooting the Coyotes 17-6. Hall added a goal on a beautiful play where he used his speed to get around Luke Schenn and in all alone on net. Adam Henrique potted his first goal of the season after a Reid Boucher shot deflected off his skate and the Devils took a 3-1 lead to intermission.

However, it didn’t last long. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored two goals in the third period, including a power play goal on a Kyle Quincey interference penalty that tied the game. In the final minutes of the third, the Devils got a power play on a questionable high-sticking call on Connor Murphy. New Jersey made sure not to waste the opportunity as Taylor Hall made a controlled entry into the offensive zone and found Travis Zajac across the ice for what would be the game winning goal.

Game Notes

  • For the second straight game, Pavel Zacha found himself on the top line with Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri and he did not disappoint. He collected two assists and has been playing in all situations. He has the skill to play with the likes of Taylor Hall and Palmieri and has a strong enough two-way game to play big minutes. It looks like John Hynes has found his top line for the foreseeable future.
  • I’ll probably be repeating it quite a bit this season, but Taylor Hall was really good. He was all over the ice making plays and creating scoring chances for his teammates. He has 5 goals on the year, which is almost half of what the team has produced to this point in the season. With the Devils still struggling to get some secondary scoring, they’ll need Hall at his best.
  • Travis Zajac had a strong game for the Devils. He scored two goals, including the game winner, and had strong possession numbers. He has 5 points in six games and is at 50% possession through the first six games. Through six games last season, Zajac had just a 42.6% Corsi. I think it’s safe to say he’s off to a much better start this season.
  • The Devils decided to break up the Moore/Lovejoy pairing and it seemed to have a positive effect for each player. Lovejoy was paired with Auvitu while Moore was paired with Quincey and each pair finished positive shot differentials for the game. Look for these pairs to stick together going forward.
  • Despite blowing a 2 goal lead, the Devils had a strong performance for a majority of the game. They finished with 35 shots on goal and had a 54.2% possession line. Despite facing some adversity, they played through it and ended up winning the game.
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