The New Jersey Devils defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 last night. With this victory, they finished the preseason with a 5-2-0 record. The only thing that is left for the Devils to do before their Oct. 4 opener is to cut two more players. The finalized roster needs to be submitted by midnight on Oct. 1.
As for the game, the Devils got the scoring going early as Taylor Hall riffled one home past Joonas Korpisalo just about halfway through the first period. The beautiful shot was assisted by Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier. The Devils’ second and final goal didn’t come until halfway through the third period. Travis Zajac was able to put one home from in between the face-off circles. The play was a display of great puck movement by the Devils’ first power play unit.
Those were the only two goals scored in the game as the Devils were able to hang on to the 2-0 victory. Cory Schneider played like his old self and contributed a 32-save shutout. He was easily the Devils’ best player of the night.
- The Devils were outshot by a slight margin of 32-27. However, they controlled the majority of the high-danger scoring chances. Specifically, the Devils had eight high-danger attempts, while the Blue Jackets only had two. The above heat map gives a good representation of how most of the Devils’ chances game from in close on the Blue Jacket’s netminder, while their opponents’ threats were significantly less harmless.
- Whenever I’ve written an article pertaining about this team’s performance during the preseason, Schneider has been mentioned in a good way. Last night was no different as he ended his fantastic camp in style, with a 32-save shutout. He made a total of 114 saves on 120 shots, which is good for a .951 save percentage this preseason. If this is any indication of what is to come for the regular season, and he can return to his former self, the Devils may have a real shot to make noise this season.
- In my pregame article, I explained how the Devils’ second line of Gusev/Hughes/Palmieri should be exciting and play well together. They did the complete opposite in terms of performance last night. The line was out. It may just be due to the fact this is the first time the trio has ever played with each other. However, it was not an encouraging night. Given the small sample size, I would not read into it too much just yet. But if this line keeps playing together, I would certainly monitor to see if they are able to get it going.
- The third line was a polar opposite from the second line mentioned above. The trio of Coleman/Zajac/Simmonds seemed to be the best line on the ice. They combined for a 43-22 advantage in combined shot attempts. Hopefully, we see more of this line come the regular season.
Next Game: Friday, October 4th vs. Winnipeg (Season/Home Opener)