The game started with the Devils in control. Shots were 4-1. Hughes got in alone at one point and drew Merlizikins off the post but ran out of room
The Devils drew the first penalty of the game when Siegenthaler was tripped up on a zone entry.
The best chance of the power play was a Hughes one-timer, but it was blocked by Gavrikov. On the second wave Tatar had a chance in front but Merzilikins made the save.
Shots were 10-1 Devils
Gaudreau got called for hooking Hischier nad heard it from the crowd
Tatar had a wide open net but had to pull the puck to his backhand and Merzlikins made the glove save.
On a Columbus rush the rebound almost went to Voracek for an easy goal but Dougie batted it away
Zetterlund and Tatar had a rush and Tatar hit the outside of the post
On the next shidt Zetterlund would not be denied
Hischier gained the line and gave it to Zetterlund who shot it. The puck came back to Zetterlund who fired again but missed. Hischier gave it back to Zetterlund and this time the one timer went right in
The Boqvist-Mercer-Sharangovich line had a dominant shift, included Siegenthaler hittign the post twice in about 10 seconds. After Columbus finally got the puck out, Hischier went the other way and beat Merlikins under the glove to the far side to double the lead.
Off the faceoff, the Devils went back into their own zone and Hughes and Bratt got it started. Graves took advantage of the entire left side being open and joined the rush. Bratt gave it to Graves, who blasted a slapper top shelf to make it 3-0.
Hughes and Bratt wrnt on a 2 on 2. Hughes stopped up and spotted Haula for a one timer
Columbus went the other way and too many Devils got caught up in a board battle, allowing Chinakhov to sneak to the middle of the ice, get a pass, and beat Vanecek to get his team on the board.
The Sharangovich-Mercer-Boqvist line had another good shift, again with Siegenthaler and Hamilton as the dmen.
Marino took the Devils’ first penalty for tripping Jenner
Columbus was held shotless on their power play and Haula almost had a shorthanded breakway but the pass was just to far for him to collect it
Haula had an open net but Merzlikins managed to deflect it with the tip of his glove. Haula, frustrated, went down the tunnel for a minute.
Vanecek gave the puck away but Severson got in the way to stop the Jackets
Nyquist almost had a breakaway but Smith got back and broke it up without taking a penalty.
Bastian was poking away at Merzlikins, who went after him, and a pileup ensued. Bastian got a slashing call and Merzlikins a roughing call
Hischier and Hughes started the 4 on 4. Hischier persued the puck. Columbus tried to get the puck forward to Gaudreau but Marino intercepted the pass and the puck went off Merzlikins’ glove and in. That’s one Merzlikins will want back, but it’s John Marino’s first goal as a Devil and a 4-1 lead for us.
McLeod got away with cross-checking Johnson, but Jenner did not get away with holding Severson.
The Devils had some amazing puck movement on the power play, the puck was flying around, but Merzlikins made a couple saves to keep the Devils from blowing the doors off.
The Jackets’ trainer came out to see Merzlikins, who was gasping for breath at the end of the sequence. He stayed in the game.
The Devils went with 2 dmen on the rest of the power play. Haula shot the puck at Mercer for a tip. The puck bounced around in front. Siegenthaler snuck in from the right point and the puck bounced to him and he knocked it in for his first of the season.
Columbus had a 2 on 1 but Vancek stopped Voracek’s shot
With about 10 minutes left, Marino tripped Gaudreau
Hischier forced Merzlikins to cover up on the Columbus power play. Columbus with a terrible power play... some things never change
Wood got hit on a clearing attempt by Johnson, but he was ok
Bratt, Hughes, and Tatar had a 3 on 2. Hughes stopped up and then passed across to Bratt who blasted a one timer to make it 6 goals on 45 shots.
Wood would have his revenge for getting high-sticking by fighting off a Jacket and scoring a backhand flip up top on his 8th shot. That was a Coleman-type goal. 7-1.
Top of the Division
This win puts the Devils in first place in the Metro division, at least for now. I believe the last time that happened after the first couple games was the 4-0 start in 2018-19. This game was just a relentless beatdown. No other way to describe it. The Devils played the same way the entire game. There were no breaks for Columbus. No time to rest. The Devils had 53 shots to Columbus’s 21. 53 shots on goal! This was a statement game, that the Devils are here to make the playoffs, and good luck stopping them. They beat the cup champs in a close game and crushed a bottom-feeder the next. The Devils had 87.51% of the expected goals. Moneypuck deserve-to-win o meter says the Devils won this game in 98% of simulations. Only 1 Devil had an xGF% of less than 70. This Devils squad is legit.
This game was fantastic. The Devils had the biggest xG differential in EvolvingHockey’s model’s history and scoring a bit more than that, finishing with a 7-1 win. More than twice as many shots as their opponent, and now they end the month with a 6-3 record atop the Metropolitan division. Great way to start the season.
What did you think of today’s game? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and thank you for reading.