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Tatar and Daws MVPs in SO Win Over Ducks

Nico Daws made 33 saves on 34 shots and Tomas Tatar scored in both regulation and the shootout to give the Devils a 2-1 win over Anaheim

Anaheim Ducks v New Jersey Devils
Nico Daws celebrates after winning the game by saving Terry’s shootout attempt
Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Jack Hughes got the action going by taking the puck over the line and passing to Hamilton. Dougie fired a shot from far out that was steered away by New Jersey native Anthony Stolarz. The Ducks went the other way on a 2 on 1 and Daws made a save on Adam Henrique. Zacha got the next Devils chance, going 1 on 2, and but it was turned away by Stolarz.

Sharangovich and Zacha got a chance each. Sharangovich was tied up for his chance and Stolarz made the save on Zacha after Bratt got him the puck.

Boqvist almost got a breakaway, but tried to give the puck to Johnsson instead, who couldn’t get a good chance

Hughes continued to Hughes and beat some defenders and tried to between the legs move. Stolarz made the save and Hughes was checked hard into the boards, but he was fine. Hughes got another chance and tried a sharp angle shot, leading to a scramble in front, but the puck stayed out.

A couple minutes later, Henrique would almost score again, hitting the post behind Daws.

The puck would actually go in the net not long after, as Troy Terry beat Daws from the top of the circle with 9:00 left in the first

Bratt had an open shot from the right dot half a minute later, but Stolarz made the save

Lindholm had a breakaway but Daws stopped him, keeping it just a 1 goal difference

Bratt tried a slapshot from the left with 45 seconds left but Stolarz made the save. Bastian tried the same thing from the right 20 seconds later but the shot went wide.

2:35 into the second period, Jesper Boqvist picked up the puck just outside his own blue line, carried the puck in, and passed it to Tatar, who was breaking for the net and put the puck past Stolarz to tie the game.

Vesey tried a nice move a couple minutes later after getting behind the defense, but Stolarz made another save

With 10:00 left, Zacha cut to the net but the connection missed

The first power play of the game did not come until over halfway through regulation. The Devils went on the man advantage, but didn’t get much going. Milano would take another penalty afterwards, though, giving the Devils another 2 minutes up a man. The best chance on that power play was Jesper Bratt missing over the net from the slot.

Ty Smith had a good chance and looked for a tip open at the left point with 2:30 left but didn’t get one

Daws made a save on Terry trying to put it 5 hole

The Ducks got their first power play of the game as Ty Smith tripped Adam Henrique who drove to the net (3 great chances for Rico against his old team and none of them went in!)

Zacha had the best chance of the Ducks’ power play, cutting to the net and almost scoring shorthanded

The Ducks then got another power play, but the Devils killed that one too.

The Devils came very close to taking a 2-1 lead. Hughes and Bratt went on a 2 on 1. Hughes passed it across to Bratt, who passed it back to Mercer, but Stolarz got the pad out.

The Devils almost took the lead again shortly afterwards. Johnsson went behind the net and centered it to Tatar, but the puck went through the duo of players in front.

With 9:27 left in the period Terry almost gave the Ducks the lead on a shot from the slot, but Daws turned it away

Ryan Graves was down on the ice and needed to be helped to the bench after blocking a shot

Trevor Zegras tried to do Trevor Zegras things but Ty Smith had other ideas, almost launching his stick to Mars instead

With 3:55 left Henrique had another great chance, his 4th of the game, and his 2nd time hitting the post, but the puck just would not go in for Rico

With a 1-1 tie after 3, we headed to overtime

Fowler had the first good chance, driving to the net. Daws made the save, but the rebound was there for Zegras, but he couldn’t beat Daws either.

Hughes did some Hughes stuff in OT, but couldn’t get any top quality chances until his 2nd shift of OT, where he drove to the net and got slashed. The Devils pulled Daws and retained possession for a while. The best chance was the last, where Bratt shot it just wide.

For some strange reason, the Devils went with 2 defensemen on the 4 on 3. The best chances were a Hughes shot wide and a Hughes shot saved by Stolarz. Overtime ended without a goal from either team, so the shootout was up next.

The first shooter was Devils goal scorer Tomas Tatar. He started fast, slowed down, and deked backhand to beat Stolarz and put the Devils up first.

Zegras was the first shooter for Anaheim, making his first ever shootout attempt. Like Tatar, he started quickly and then almost stopped, but he opted to shoot rather than deke, and Daws made the save.

Bratt was the second shooter for the Devils. He came down on his off wing, cut to the middle, faked right and went left to beat Stolarz and give the Daws a chance to end the game with a save.

It was up to Troy Terry to keep the Ducks alive. He tried a very similar move to Bratt, but went backhand instead of forehand, and Daws stuck the pad out to give New Jersey the 2 points.

Final Thoughts

Once again, Nico Daws was solid in goal. I feel like I say this every time I do a recap, but it’s been true. He only allowed 1 goal in 65 minutes and then went 2/2 in the shootout. With a 1-1 game in 65 minutes of play, that sounds like a goalie duel to me, and Daws won. If he keeps playing like this there’s potential for him to take the starting job next year.

Jack Hughes was Jack Hughes. He is such a fun player to watch. He can stickhandle through people, keep possession, and make great moves on defenders and goalies alike. It’s so great to be able to say that such a great player will very likely be a Devil for 8 more years at least. He is something this franchise sorely needed and he’s arrived.

The shooters weren’t the greatest for the Devils. Zacha and Sharangovich had some good chances but couldn’t finish. Tatar was the only one with much luck, scoring the only goal of regulation and one of the two shootout goals. Tatar hasn’t been as good as I hoped this season, but hopefully he can turn it around next year.

The Game Stats: The NHL.com Game Summary | The NHL.com Event Summary | The NHL.com Play by Play Log | The NHL.com Shot Summary | The Natural Stat Trick Game Stats

Postgame Content: Interview with Ruff | Ruff postgame speech | Bogart Postgame Report Siegenthaler | Tatar | Daws

If you have any thoughts about the game, be sure to leave them in the comments below, and thank you for reading