The Devils welcomed the Blackhawks to the Rock on Monday night and the goal horn got a big ol’ workout against the struggling bunch from Chicago. The highlights from NHL.com and a quick recap of the proceedings is below.
After taking home a W against the Flyers on Saturday, the Devils were looking for their first back-to-back wins of 2019. The Blackhawks seemed more than happy to oblige. Ultimately, 13 different Devils would find the scoresheet as the team found a litany of ways to score.
In the first period, the Devils controlled the better of 5v5 play, out-shooting and out-chancing the Hawks handily in even strength play. The Hawks would get a couple chances on the power play after Devils penalties from Hischier and Coleman, though they were unable to capitalize. Chicago was able to mount at least some level of attack in their second man-advantage, but the Devils would strike first immediately after that opportunity ended, as Blake Coleman walked out of the box and right into a breakaway. He’d put it home to make it 1-0 and the Devils would maintain that edge into the second.
The second period featured many, many goals. The first one was from Chicago, with Patrick Kane converting on the power play with Ben Lovejoy in the box. Not long after though, the Devils would start lighting up the scoreboard for much of the remainder of the period, putting up 5 goals in a row over a 13-minute stretch. Kyle Palmieri built on his team lead in goals and took over the team lead in points from the sidelined Taylor Hall with the first two goals of this run. The first of those was a beauty of a backhander on a breakaway, despite being hooked in the process. Up next Miles Wood would force his way to the net with a nice power move and the puck would end up sitting in the crease after Ward couldn’t corral it; Travis Zajac tapped it the last foot or so it needed to go to make it 4-1. After that, Sami Vatanen would hammer home a power play goal to make it 5-1 and Kevin Rooney would arrive on the scene to fire a puck in that was waiting in the slot to make it 6-1 (his first NHL goal). Game over, right?
Well, mostly right. The Hawks would force everyone to at least entertain the thought of a comeback though, by getting back two goals in the final two minutes of the second. Kane would pick up his second of the night just 20 seconds after Rooney’s and Brent Seabrook would follow that up with a goal as he jumped up into the play to make it 6-3. Mackenzie Blackwood would pick up the victory tonight because, well, eight goals, but it was probably his shakiest game since arriving in New Jersey.
In the third, the Devils would do more than enough to keep the Blackhawks at bay, controlling play for much of the period and momentarily extending the lead back to four goals with a nicely set-up play to Brett Seney on the doorstep to make it 7-3. The Hawks would have a quick answer to this one as well, though, as Dominik Kahun beat Blackwood clean from the circle on a little bit of a broken play. That would be it for the scoring until the Brandon Saad made it 7-5 with just over a minute and a half left after he rifled one off the in-goal camera. Coleman would seal it with an empty netter for his second of the night to make it 8-5 and that’s how it ended. Comfortable (and very entertaining) win for New Jersey.
Several Devils had big nights, as six players would put up multiple points. Coleman (2G, 1A) and Zajac (1G, 2A) lead the way with three points a piece. Palmieri added his two goals, Seney had a goal and an assist, and Jesper Bratt collected two helpers. Sami Vatanen had two points on the back end (1G, 1A) as well. Kevin Rooney, as mentioned, got his first NHL goal, and Nico Hischier, Drew Stafford, Pavel Zacha, Miles Wood, Will Butcher, and Damon Severson all picked up an assist to spread the wealth nicely. Kane was the notable Blackhawk, putting up four points (2G, 2A).
So the Devils outgunned the Blackhawks in a bit of a barn-burner. Thoughts on the game, everyone? Leave your comments below.