The New Jersey Devils were unable to tally their second home win in a row, as they were defeated by the Minnesota Wild last night 3-2. Their well-rested legs were not able to capitalize on a tired Minnesota team who were coming off an overtime game just the previous night.
The first period saw both teams trade goals. The Wild scored the first goal of a period, as ex-Devil Zach Parise redirected a shot past a screened Louis Domingue just seconds into a Blake Coleman penalty. Luckily, the Devils were able to tie the game back up, as Jesper Boqvist scored his first career NHL goal with roughly eight minutes left in the first period (see below).
The second period was much like the first, as the Wild struck first and the Devils answered. Kyle Palmieri scored off a beautiful Taylor Hall pass on the powerplay to retie the game. Hall saw Palmieri streaking full-speed toward the net and placed the pass perfectly (see below). The third period was where the Wild scored the game-winning goal. Ryan Suter put a wrist shot short-side on Louis Domingue just three minutes in. This is most likely a goal the Devils’ netminder wants back.
The Devils were able to generate a couple of chances in the remaining 17 minutes, but nothing frightening enough to tie the game. When the horn sounded, the final score was 3-2 Minnesota. Rookie netminder Kakko Kahkonen got his first career win in his first career start, stopping 32 of the Devils’ 34 shots. Louis Domingue – who made 26 saves on 29 shots – was credited with the loss.
- As was mentioned in our pregame, the Wild have a solid defensive unit that limits their opposition in generating quality chances. This practice was evident last night, as the Devils only posted an expected goals for (xGF) of 1.41 at five-on-five. Even though this is a part of Minnesota’s game – given they were on the backend of a back-to-back – the Devils should have been able to generate more chances. Possibly, if head coach John Hynes dressed Jesper Bratt – one of his speedier forwards – and Pavel Zacha, they would have been able to capitalize on the Wild’s tired legs.
- Alas! Rookie forward Jesper Boqvist was finally able to give us a glimpse of the potential he holds. The Swedish winger had by far the best game of his young career, as he had a Corsi for % (CF%) of 75.00, as well as an xGF% of 67.42. Not to mention, he was also a part of the Devils’ best line (see above) and contributed his first career goal. If the Devils hope to turn the season around, Boqvist’s improved play would be a much-welcomed addition.
- Forward Brett Seney may have been lighting it up at the AHL-level, but his play in New Jersey is not cutting it. Through two games, he owns an xGF% of 32.75, which is severely below-average. Last night he posted a 31.58 CF%, which was the second-worst among Devils’ forwards. Also, as you can see above, he weighed down what was the Devils’ worst line. Seney is still young, so his potential may be a checking fourth-line forward. However, he has no business being on what was the Devils’ third line, and that showed last night.
Next Game: Thursday, November 28th @ Montreal