Alas, the New Jersey Devils were finally able to tally their first win of the season. They were able to hold on and secure a 5-2 victory, which gives them a 1-4-2 record on the season. Not to mention, it was a little sweeter given their opponent.
The New York Rangers opened the scoring, as Tony DeAngelo was able to lose Jack Hughes and put the puck home in a scramble in front of the New Jersey net. Luckily, the Devils were able to tie the game up before the period ended. Blake Coleman wristed the puck off Georgiev’s mask which then took an awkward bounce through his wickets.
It was all the Devils the next two periods. Kyle Palmieri and Miles Wood each found the back of the net during the second period. It’s also worth mentioning Palmieri’s goal was the first power play goal the Devils scored all season. The Rangers were able to cut the Devils’ lead to 3-2 at the beginning of the third period. However, Nikita Gusev iced the game courtesy of a beautiful no-look goal (see above). P.K. Subban also added an empty-net goal for good measure.
To the chagrin of many Devils’ fans, Mackenzie Blackwood got the start and performed well, as he stopped 29 of 31 shots. Alexandar Georgiev was credited with the loss after stopping 33 of 37 shots. Also, forward Jack Hughes was finally able to tally his first career point on Miles Wood’s second-period goal.
- The Devils turned out their best performance of the season. They outshot the Rangers 38-31 while also performing solidly on special teams – an area that has plagued them so far this season. Specifically, the Devils tallied their first power play goal and killed off each of the six Rangers’ power plays. Hopefully, they can build off this solid performance going forward.
- What may have been the most encouraging sign of the Devils’ victory was P.K. Subban’s performance. Before tonight’s game, he owned a Corsi For % (CF%) of 44.80, which is well below what’s expected of him. Also, just using the eye test, he was failing on his clears as well as turning the puck over too much. However, last night he showed what general manager Ray Shero was hoping to get when he traded for him. His 60.71 CF% was the highest on the Devils, and he also tallied his first goal. Also worth mentioning, is Subban tallied a career-high nine shots on goal.
- Two players that have been the scapegoats – and rightfully so – for Devils’ fans to start the season are Matt Tennyson and John Hayden. But each had by far their best games of the season. Tennyson tallied a career-high two assists and produced a formidable 50.00 CF%. Hayden drew a penalty, set up Will Butcher for a beautiful chance in the first period, and posted a 52.17 CF% which is the highest in his short time with the Devils.
- Many Devils’ fans seemed irritated by at the fact Mackenzie Blackwood was given the start over Cory Schneider. Blackwood silenced the doubters by turning in a 33-save performance, which translated to a .935 save percentage. For good measure, he was also awarded the game’s first star. If the Devils wish to have any type of sustained success this season, Blackwood needs to be solid. And tonight, was a great start. Hopefully, the Devils give him another chance to expand on this fantastic start against the Canucks.
Next Game: Saturday, October 19th vs. Vancouver Canucks at 1 PM