RECAP: Devils Swedes Lead In 6-2 Routing

Marcus Johansson and Jesper Bratt (pictured above) led the way for the Devils as they combined for four of the team’s six goals in a 6-2 demolition of the Sabres (Photo by Bill Wippert/Getty Images)

Game Summary

The Devils picked up right where they left off after Saturday afternoon’s 4-1 victory against Colorado by laying a 6-2 thumping on the Buffalo Sabres yesterday. The Devils got two goals apiece from Swedish forwards Marcus Johansson and Jesper Bratt, while Nico Hischier tallied the first career NHL point in what was a dominant performance by New Jersey.

New Jersey opened the scoring when Brian Gibbons sent a puck towards the net that deflected off Stefan Noesen’s visor for a 1-0 lead. The Devils finished off a strong first period (where they out-attempted Buffalo 20-11 at five-on-five) when Nico Hischier assisted on Brian Gibbons first goal of the year.

Hischier made the Sabres defense look silly, as he danced around Marco Scandella in the offensive zone. Once behind the net, Hischier was able to lose Scandella and eventually found Gibbons in front for a 2-0 lead that the Devils took into intermission.

While Hischier may’ve wowed everyone with his assist, it was all about Jesper Bratt yesterday afternoon, specifically in the second period. Bratt finished the game with two goals and an assist, including this shorthanded beauty courtesy of an Adam Henrique setup:

Henrique starts an odd man rush after a nice defensive play to poke the puck away. Once in the offensive zone, he makes a slick saucer pass to Bratt, who shows silky smooth hands to freeze Chad Johnson for a beautiful goal.

From this point, there’d be no looking back for the Devils, as they would add three more goals; courtesy of two from Marcus Johansson and one more from Jesper Bratt. The Devils moved to 2-0-0 on the season, thanks to a high-powered offense and solid performance from Cory Schneider, who stopped 23 of 25 shots.

Game Notes

  • As mentioned above, Jesper Bratt was the star of the game. He became the first player in franchise history to score five points in the first two games of his NHL career. He’s been a big part of why the Devils started 2-0-0 this season. He’s playing in all situations, including the power play and penalty kill. When he’s being put in offensive situations, he’s scoring goals like this (first goal in the video):
    • If Bratt keeps scoring, in addition to what he’s bringing in all other facets of the game, he’ll be staying in New Jersey for the long haul.
  • While he may’ve not racked any points, Andy Greene quietly had a dominant performance yesterday afternoon. The Devils out-attempted Buffalo 18-4 when Greene was on the ice, which was the best mark for all skaters. Greene had a down year last season, but he’s off to a great start so far- granted it’s only been two games. That being said, if Greene plays like this more often, it’ll go a long way for a group of defensemen that’s their fair share of inexperience.
  • The Devils defense was solid yesterday, but it doesn’t come without concern. The Mirco Mueller/Steven Santini pair had some struggles against Colorado and yesterday afternoon was no different. Both players were -9 in shot attempt differential, which isn’t great considering the team won 6-2 and out-attempted Buffalo. Mueller struggled in some defensive situations (as evidenced by Evander Kane’s second goal) and with a highly-skilled Maple Leafs team up next, him and Santini will need to take their game up a notch.
  • Finally, it’s worth noting the play of Brian Gibbons and Stefan Noesen. Both were +9 in shot attempt differential and tallied their first goals of the season. The Devils will get contributions from the usual suspects, such as Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri, if they get consistent secondary scoring from players like Gibbons and Noesen, it could go a long way.

Advanced stats are via Natural Stat Trick 

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