Welcome back, everyone. Now that the three-day NHL holiday break is over, it’s time to resume the regular season. The Devils got back to action tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. It wasn’t a very pretty game, truth be told, but New Jersey found a way, something they have been very good at this season. Cory Schneider is in no small part responsible for the Devils’ victory. His play tonight was stellar, and he dealt with a variety of attacks, turning away most of them to seal the Devils’ fifth-straight win.
To the recap: The Devils rolled the line of Hischier-Hall-Bratt, with Vatanen and Moore as the defense, to start the game. Those five played against the Detroit line of Frans Nielsen, Darren Helm, and Tyler Bertuzzi, nephew of former NHL’er, Todd. Behind them were Danny DeKeyser and Mike Green. Cory Schneider faced off against Jimmy Howard for the night’s goaltending matchup.
Anyway, first period of action. New Jersey controlled the majority of the early first period. They were kept off the board until Nico Hischier, standing in front of the Detroit net, deflected home a shot from Steve Santini at 15:16 of the period. It was Hischier’s sixth goal this season. Nico refused to stay off the scoresheet, and he found himself being penciled in for a not-so-great reason just about 30 seconds later. Hischier took the first Devils penalty of the night, the team’s first of five penalties, and Hischier’s first of three on the night. But the Devils would kill off the man advantage, and thirty seconds after killing it off, New Jersey would grab a 2-0 lead, as Hischier took a cross-ice pass and one-timed it home from the left faceoff circle.
In the second, the game would change drastically, as Detroit seized control of the flow of action and would hem the Devils in their zone with a solid forecheck and good boardplay. Justin Abdelkader would make it a 2-1 game with about nine minutes gone in the second to draw Detroit closer, and the Red Wings would continue to roll from there.
It was all about Cory Schneider for the rest of the game on New Jersey’s side of things, though. The Devils starter made 31 saves en route to his 16th win this season.
New Jersey will next play this Friday night against the Buffalo Sabres, a game that will wrap up this season-long six-game homestand.
The Opposition Opinion: For the Detroit side of events, go check out JJ From Kansas’s recap at Winging It In Motown.