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Stefan Noesen was able to complete the comeback for the New Jersey Devils as he scored two late third period goals to give New Jersey a 5-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks, spoiling Adam Henrique’s return to New Jersey.
Ryan Getzlaf got the scoring started for the Ducks in the first period. He came down along the right wing on a 2-on-1 and scored on a shot that Cory Schneider would surely like to have back. Anaheim would add to their lead in short order, this time courtesy of a goal from Jakob Silfverberg. Former Devil Adam Henrique got the played started by banking a gorgeous stretch pass off the boards to spring Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg on yet another 2-on-1. Once in the the Devils end, Cogliano found a wide open Silfverberg in the slot, and just like that it was 2-0 Anaheim after 20.
After a rough first period, the Devils began to find their legs in the second period. Miles Wood got the Devils on the board after he deflected a Sami Vatanen point shot (Vatanen’s first point as a Devil). Now down 2-1, New Jersey soon found themselves up a man again as Nico Hischier drew a penalty in the offensive zone. The Devils had their chances to tie the game on their second power play. However, Adam Henrique was able to bring Anaheim’s lead back to two. As he’s done many times short-handed in New Jersey, he flipped a puck over Sami Vatanen’s head and was off to the races as he beat Cory Schneider on a backhand for a 3-1 Ducks lead.
The Devils resiliency showed once again, as they continued to claw back from another deficit. With just 1:44 remaining in the second period, Miles Wood notched his second goal of the game to bring the Devils within one headed into the second intermission. New Jersey would continue to build off Wood’s goal in the third period. After killing off a minor penalty to Jesper Bratt, they managed to tie things up just seconds afterwards thanks to the aforementioned Bratt. Brian Boyle started the rush and fed Bratt, who fired a wicked wrist shot past Miller to make it 3-3.
New Jersey was not done just yet, either. After killing off a minor penalty to Blake Coleman, Stefan Noesen scored what would be the eventual game-winning goal with just four minutes remaining in the game; his first goal against the Ducks since being placed on waivers by them last season. Noesen would seal the deal, as he added an empty net goal with 6.6 seconds remaining. With the win, the Devils moved to 19-9-5 on the season and back into first place in the Metropolitan Division.
- It’s been up and down for Sami Vatanen since he was traded to New Jersey, but he played his best game as a Devil last night. He was on the ice for 18 shot attempts as opposed to 11 against at five-on-five. He had three shots on goal and also recorded his first point as a Devil while logging a team-high 23:25 in total ice time. While the Henrique goal was a bad moment for him, Vatanen was sound defensively. He also got a chance to contribute offensively, which is what the Devils were looking for when they acquired him. They’ll need more of that from him going forward.
- While he didn’t have a flashy game, Pavel Zacha quietly had a very strong outing. He made a nice play to set up Miles Wood for his second of goal of the game. Zacha was also on the ice for five scoring chances as opposed to three against. It may’ve taken him awhile, but he finally seems to be finding his game. Zacha has been able to generate more offense as of late. If he keeps it going, he should start finding the back of the net soon enough.
- A big reason for the Devils success this season has been getting goals from depth players. Last night was no different as Stefan Noesen and Miles Wood tallied two goals each. For Wood, it was his third multi-goal game of the season while Noesen now has eight points in his last seven games. There’s no doubting what their contributions have meant to the team this season. As long as they keep it up, the Devils will be in pretty good shape as the season progresses.
- Although the Devils had a rough first period, they really found their game from the second period onward. They out-attempted Anaheim 34-25 over the final 40 minutes while out-chancing them 11-2 in the third period. They also outshot the Ducks 27-18 in all situations over the last two periods. There’s been no shortage of comeback wins for the Devils this season. Given how they played over the final 40 minutes, they certainly earned it last night.