The New Jersey Devils were severely outplayed at 5-on-5 but managed to eke out a 3-2 win. The Devils win ends a three-game losing streak and snaps a three-game Hurricanes winning streak.
The first period had a promising start, as Pavel Zacha continued his domination of the Hurricanes when he tallied a power play goal courtesy of a beautiful pass by defenseman Ryan Murphy. The Devils got their second of the period thanks to a Marcus Johansson goal. The final shots on goal that period were 9-8 in favor of the Hurricanes.
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After the first period, it went downhill for the Devils. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton was able to get a point shot home past a screened Keith Kinkaid. The Devils were outshot 8-2 in the second period, but luckily, they were able to score on a perfectly executed 2-on-1 late in the game. Jesper Bratt blew past defenseman Just Faulk and made a brilliant pass to Marcus Johansson, who put the puck past Mrazek (video above). The Hurricanes comeback came up short after they were only able to cut the deficit to one.
The final shots on goal were 35-21 in favor of the Hurricanes. Keith Kinkaid was credited with the win thanks to a brilliant 33-save performance. Petr Mrazek stopped 18 of 21 shots in a losing effort.
- As mentioned above the Devils were miserable at 5-on-5. Shot attempts for the game were 43-20 at that game state. The Devils were only able to generate 4 even-strength shot attempts in the second period. The Hurricanes are a team notoriously known for out-attempting teams, and they did just that today.
- Defenseman Will Butcher led the Devils with 14:22 of 5-on-5 ice time. Unfortunately, it did not go well. When he was on the ice, the Devils were out-attempted 16-2 — an 11.11 percent Corsi For (CF%). He also wasn’t on the ice for a Devils single scoring chance. Butcher has been one of, if not the best Devils defenseman all season. So, hopefully, tonight was just an outlier.
- Forward Marcus Johansson was terrific. He led the Devils in Corsi For and scoring chances for when on the ice. He also tallied two goals, which put him at ten for the season. Johansson is finally healthy, and his performance is showing it. Whether the Devils trade Johansson or re-sign him at the end of the season, they’ll be happy with what they get in return.
- Goaltender Keith Kinkaid was superb. He stopped 33 of the Hurricanes 35 shots, which is good for a .943 save percentage. He was especially good in the third period, where the Hurricanes racked up 18 of their 35 shots. Luckily for the Devils, this game definitely rose his trade value.
Next Game: Feb. 12th@ St. Louis