After falling flat against the Sharks Sunday afternoon, the New Jersey Devils rebounded last night with a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche in a game they could not afford to lose. The Devils wasted no time scoring as Pavel Zacha scored just two minutes into the game, his 8th point in his last eleven games. The Devils were aggressive throughout the first twenty minutes and it carried over into the second period where they out-attempted Colorado 10-3 in the first seven minutes.
Despite out-attempting and out-chancing Colorado, the Avs managed to tie things up on Mark Barberio power play goal seven minutes through the second period. It didn’t take long for the Devils to respond as Andy Greene scored a power play goal of his own just two minutes later to put the Devils back up 2-1. The goal was initially waved off for goalie interference, but after John Hynes used his challenge, it was confirmed to be a good goal. The Devils would soon add to their lead after some beautiful tape-to-tape passing by Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri that ended with Palmieri’s 15th goal of the season.
New Jersey seemed to have things wrapped up, but Mikhail Grigorenko added a late second period goal to make it a 3-2 game heading into the second intermission. After an eventful second period, the Devils buckled down defensively and Cory Schneider stopped all nine shots he faced in the third period to help New Jersey hang on for the win to move them to 4-1-1 since the All-Star break.
- Kyle Palmieri and Taylor Hall were both really good last night. Hall led the team with 14 scoring chances when on the ice while Palmieri had 12. They also combined for a beautifully set up play that led to Palmieri’s goal. The two, along with Travis Zajac, have been the Devils best line during this stretch and last night wasn’t any different. New Jersey will need this trio to continue to keep it up if they want make Ray Shero’s life difficult come the March 1st trade deadline.
- After the Zajac line, the Zacha/Josefson/Noesen line continues to be the Devil’s most effective forward group. The three have found really good chemistry together since Noesen was paired with them after being claimed on waivers. Zacha and Josefson were +11/-8 in shot attempts when on the ice last night while Stefan Noesen broke even. They also all recorded a point on Zacha’s goal. The line has been a welcomed addition to a Devils team that has lacked secondary scoring the whole season and is a big reason why they’ve found success since coming out of the All-Star break.
- Not to harp on this too long, but Mike Cammalleri continues to struggle. He’s now been held without a goal in 17 games and has struggled in possession on most nights, as was the case last night. John Hynes may want to considering moving him back to his natural left wing position and perhaps moving Parenteau to play along side him and Henrique. Cammalleri is also fighting the percentages a bit. For his career, he is a 12.4% shooter and is shooting just 8.8% for the year, which is the lowest mark of his career. He hasn’t played well, but it’s also only a matter of time before he gets a puck to find the back of the net. As long as he keeps shooting the puck, he’ll get one to fall his way.