Martin and Holtz accidentally ran into each other sending Martin into Vanecek, and Holtz took an interference penalty. The Islanders had a3 shots. Afterwards Wood used his speed to get behind the defense and Pulock took a penalty for holding him. Varlamov stopped a Bratt one timer. Hischier got the puck down low on the right side and he roofed it. 1-0 Devils. Beauvillier got behind the defense. Marino came back to take him out and he crashed hard and was slow to get up. Martin got called for knocking Zetterlund down after the puck was gone. The Devils passed around and eventually one handcuffed Hamilton and the Isles cleared. The Islanders had a 2 on 1 at the end of the power play and Vanecek made a save on Nelson. He would not be denied however, as he would score on a wraparound a short while later to tie the game. Nelson had another chance on a rebound of a rebound. He tried to roof the backhand and Vanecek robbed him with the glove. In the final minute, Hughes hit the crossbar. On the Islanders next chance in the Devils zone, Lee got the puck and fired a shot from the middle of the ice over Vanecek’s shoulder. 2-1 Isles
Martin fed Cizikas, who was alone on a 3 on 2, for his first goal of the season. 3-1 Isles. A point shot came out to Wahlstrom who was all alone. 4-1. Vancek out, Schmid in. Tatar had a takeaway but Dobson got back just enough to prevent him from having a clean scoring chance. Haula took the puck away from an Islander at the Devils blue line. Graves got the puck and he made the breakout pass to Hughes. Hughes held the puck through 2 defenders and got it across to Mercer who buried it. One back. 4-2. Tatar flipped the puck on net. It bounced up on Varlamov and he barely managed to bat it away. Nelson had a breakaway and Schmid made a fantastic save. Siegenthaler sent to the box on the next Isles chance. The penalty kill had a crazy sequence. An Islander fanned on a shot. Sharangovich went the other way and the Devils had a 3 on 2, but the pass to Smith was blocked. The Islanders had a 3 on 1 the other way with Sharangovich rushing back and Schmid stopped them. Wood got drilled by Romanov trying to carry the puck through the Isles defense. McLeod went after Romanov and got 5, 2, and 10. Lee hit the crossbar on the power play and the Devils PKers were out there for a long time. The Isles kept the momentum going on the next shift. Holtz was called for hooking Aho the next time NJ was in the offensive zone. The Devils left Nelson alone at the right circle. Pageau passed it across and Nelson buried the one-timer to reestablish the 3 goal lead.
A minute into the period, Clutterbuck scored. The Devils weren’t done just quite yet, however. Siegenthaler got the puck up quickly to Tatar. Tatar’s shot deflected off Aho and in. Cizikas high-sticked Hischier in the neutral zone off the ensuing faceoff. Cizikas had a partial breakaway out of the box and Schmid stopped him. The Devils emptied their net with 7:51. Siegenthaler had to rush back to make sure a clearing attempt didn’t go towards the net and negated icing in doing so. Lee hit the post when the Islanders got the puck. The Devils got set up and a minute later Hughes walked in and scored. After the faceoff the Devils took Schmid out of the net once more. The Isles iced the puck a moment later. Hamilton went in and tried to jab the puck in but Varlamov held the pad to the ground and stopped play, sending us to a commercial break. Hughes made saves on Mayfield and Parise to keep the deficit 2. He’s been out there since the 7:51 mark. The rest of the skaters changed. Haula hit the crossbar. After the next whistle it was back to the first shift and Hamilton hit the crossbar. The Isles iced the puck. The Isles got it out after the next Devils cycle and Clutterbuck iced it. With a minute left the Devils called their timeout, and Hughes finally got a second a rest. The Isles had an icing and a clear and ultimately the Devils fell 6-4, but that was a hell of a last 8 minutes from the Devils.
This wasn’t the Devils best or worst game of the season, but generally you don’t win when you give up 6 goals. The Islanders had a whopping 5.27 expected goals, so it wasn’t goaltending but rather defense. That number is cut about in half when you change to 5v5 only, but only 1 of the goals was a ppg. So overall just a bad defensive performance from the Devils. Gotta play better defensively next game. Can’t win em all but 5.27 xGA is not good. The last 8 minutes were certainly fun though, with a goal scored, a lot of Devils puck possession, and 2 saves by Hughes.
What did you think about pulling the goalie with 8 minutes left? Thoughts on Hughes setting the record for longest shift with a 6 minute marathon? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and thank you for reading.