Writer’s Twitter: @ChrisMottHockey
The Devils continued their homestand at the Rock yesterday, and would face another big test in just their third game of the season against the San Jose Sharks. Coming off a dominant performance against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, the Devils were faced with putting that win in the rear view mirror so they can take on another projected top team in the league.
The puck dropped and the Devils did a lot of things well throughout the game to earn the win against the Sharks. After a scoreless first period, the Sharks scored first off a rebound with their captain Joe Pavelski tallying the goal in the second period. The Devils would fight back though, as Kyle Palmieri kept his hot streak going by scoring a goal during a Devils 5-on-3 power play to tie the game at one a piece.
— NHL (@NHL) October 14, 2018
The Devils and Sharks would go back and forth with scoring opportunities for both sides until San Jose broke through again with just under five minutes left in the second period. The goal was scored by Timo Meier, giving the Sharks a 2-1 lead going into the third period. The Devils answered to win the third period, and game. Kyle Palmieri scored another goal and tied things up just 37 seconds into the period. The Devils would keep attacking and Jean-Sébastien Dea scored three minutes later to give New Jersey the lead, one they would not relinquish. The last eight minutes of the game were spent almost entirely on special teams with the Devils on the power play, PK, and some 4-on-4 action. The Devils were able to kill off back-to-back minor penalties—a holding call by Stefan Noesen, followed by a bench minor for too many men on the ice. This win was one the Devils earned and is huge for the season not only in terms of obtaining points in the standings, but for building more confidence by defeating another of the league’s top teams.
Keys Points of the Game
Kyle Palmieri continues to stay hot. Palmieri once again had a multi-goal game and now has six goals in just three contests. Palmieri currently holds the Devils record for most multi-goal games consecutively to start the season, and has more goals three games into this campaign than he did last season by January. Palmieri tied the game twice for the Devils, and helped set the tone for the third period by scoring in the first minute. The line of Hall-Hischier-Palmieri has been producing a lot of chances, and there is no doubt that unit’s scoring touch will eventually catch on to Nico Hischier and Taylor Hall.
Keith Kinkaid was solid once again between the pipes, facing a lot of great scoring chances from one of the deepest most offensively potent teams in the league. There were multiple times throughout the game where Kinkaid kept the game tied or the Devils down one goal. Kinkaid has continued his play from last regular season, and is just as much a reason for the Devils success through the first three games as Kyle Palmieri. If Corey Schneider returns to form like he played during the first round of the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning, New Jersey could potentially have one of the best goalie tandems in the league.
The Penalty Kill was a huge key to the game in two different facets. The first was how, for the most part, New Jersey stayed out of the box which is the best penalty kill to have. Andy Greene was called for a tripping penalty in the first period, followed by Stefan Noesen’s holding call and a Devils bench minor for too many men—both in the last four minutes of the game. For the most part, the Devils played smart and stayed out of the box. When the Devils were on the kill, they were successful and even generated a couple shorthanded scoring opportunities.
The Devils will look to remain the only team in the National Hockey League without a loss when they take on the Dallas Stars at home on Tuesday October 16.
Who's the only undefeated team in the @NHL?
— MSG Networks (@MSGNetworks) October 14, 2018
Final Score and Stats
Devils 3 – Sharks 2
Devils 36 – Sharks 39
Devils 41 (61.2%) – Sharks 26 (38.8%)
Devils 1 for 8 – Sharks 0 for 3
Devils 19 – Sharks 12
Three Stars of the Game
- Kyle Palmieri – 2 Goals, +1
- Jean-Sebastien Dea – 1 Goal, +1
- Taylor Hall – 2 Assists, +2