The last home game of March, the New Jersey Devils faced off against the Montreal Canadiens Sunday night. This game saw the return of Miles Wood, playing his first game of the season. “Bumps and bruises” in the preseason turned into hip surgery, knocking Miles out for much of the year. He certainly made his presence known early in the game. He negated an icing on his first shift. He had 3 shot attempts 6 minutes into the game, and broke up a 2 on 1 pass using his speed and reach.
After a faceoff after Daws stopped a breakaway, Severson threaded the needle to Bratt, but Montembeault stopped him on a breakaway.
With 7:00 left Bratt had some sweet hands and almost scored
After it started to seem like it might be one of those nights, Montembeault made a mistake. With Sharangovich bearing down on him, he just sent the puck away. It went right to Hughes, who beat him to make it 1-0 New Jersey
Showing them how it's done. pic.twitter.com/YydkQLM1SA— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) March 27, 2022
1:20 into the period, Hughes set up Sharangovich, but Montembeault made the save. Sharangovich then set up Mercer,but once again the save was made.
The Canadiens got a 3 on 1, but Hischier got back to break it up
With 11:36 left in the period, the Canadiens got the first power play of the game, as the Devils took a too many men on the ice penalty.
The Devils killed the penalty, and a couple minutes later, they would get as PP of their own, as AJ Greer was taken down in the neutral zone. With 31 seconds left on the manadvantage, Hughes hit the outside of the left post. With 10 seconds left, Bratt got the puck from Severson at the left circle, waited, and fed Hughes, who was standing at the bottom of the right circle, and he had a half open net to shoot at, doubling the Devils’ lead.
Miles Wood’s return means Miles Wood things. Unfortunately, one of those things is penalties. He took a high-sticking call after the Hughes goal and the Canadiens got their 2nd pp of the game.
Halfway into the power play, Siegenthaler hit Caufield after he fell down, getting called for interference. Suzuki went after Siegs and we had a small scrum. The Canadiens had a 5 on 3 for 56 seconds.
The Devils managed to kill the 5 on 3, with some help from Daws and the fact that the Canadiens have a terrible power play.
Unfortunately, if you give a bad powerplay enough chances, they’ll score eventually (unless they’re the 2020-21 Red Wings) With about 2 seconds left of 5v4 time, Anderson tipped a one timer from the circle into the net to cut the lead in half.
Hoffman got his stick in Hughes’ skate, giving the Devils the first power play of the final frame. With about 45 seconds left, the Devils had some very quick puck movement, but no shot.
Hamilton got called on a questionable interference penalty. He did hit a guy without the puck, but he had like puck like .5 seconds before the hit. Are big hits penalties now?
The Devils managed to kill the penalty, partially because the Canadiens whiffed on a couple of their best chances.
After the PP, Wood crushed Suzuki against the boards, which caused a scrum in front fo the New Jersey net.
With 9:50 left Vesey had a breakaway, but Montembeault stopped him with the glove.
Mercer took a slashing penalty, but the Devils once again made the kill.
The Canadiens hemmed the Devils in for a minute or so, but the Devils escaped unharmed.
Montreal emptied their net with about a minute left. Severson icedthe puck going for the empty net.
Rem Pitlick tied the game with 41.8 seconds left. Daws made a save, but the rebound went to Dvorak, who backhand passed it across the crease to Pitlick, who was free of coverage and had an open net to shoot at.
The rest of the game went by without a goal, so overtime it was.
Montreal won the faceoff. The first minute went by with 2 changes in possession but no shots on goal. with about 3:35 left, Bratt batted the puck out of the air. Hughes got the puck in the OZ and did some Patrick Kane stickhandling, but couldn’t get a shot on goal. The Canadiens got the puck back, but were immediately offside. The Devils won the faceoff. Severson got it to Bratt, who almost had a chance, but was pushed into the corner. Bratt recovered and fired one off the post and out. The puck ended up out of the zone and back on Bratt’s stick. He tried to re-gain the line, but lost possession. The Canadiens got possession, but no shot. The Devils lost the puck near Montreal’s blue line. The Canadiens finally got a shot, and it knocked Daws’ mask off. The Canadiens got another shot after the faceoff. Bratt and Hischier then went the other way on a 2 on 1, but Bratt fired the shot wide. Severson tried to sent the puck back, but there was no one there and it didn’t go nearly all the way to Daws. Hoffman picked it up and went the other way all alone and shot it off the post and in to win the game for Montreal... or so it seemed. After the replay, you could see that it went off one post, off the other post, and out. (Dano didn’t notice this!) But anyhow, it meant the Devils were still alive. Once again the faceoff was won by Montreal, but poor puck handling allowed Hischier to have a breakaway. He hit the post, the third post of the overtime. The clock finally ran to 0, sending the game to a shootout.
Tatar was the first shooter for New Jersey. He used some nice fakes and tried to go backhand, but ran out of real estate. First for the Canadiens was Caufield. He went down on the left side, and then moved right and scored 5 hole.
Bratt was the 2nd shooter for the Devils, and he had a similar move to Caufield. He came down the left side and went 5 hole, but his move was more waiting for the right moment to shoot 5 hole then stickhandling and trying to open things up like Caufield.
Unfortuntely, Pitlick also scored in the second round. He went left right left, put the puck in the net past Daws who was on the wrong side, and then ran right into the post.
The hopes on the Devils rested on the shoulders of Jack Hughes. He almost lost the puck, recovered, and shot it over the right shoulder of Montembeault to keep New Jersey’s hopes alive.
However, Nick Suzuki could still end the game in a Canadiens win right after if he scored in the third round. Daws didn’t have to worry about the game resting on his shoulders, as Suzuki missed the net with his shot.
Severson was the next shooter for New Jersey. He tried his usual move to the backhand, but lost the handle after Montembeault poked his stick.
Dvorak had a chance to win the game for the Canadiens. He came down the right side and tried to go backhand, but Daws made the save.
Hischier was next. He opted for a shot, but Montembeault made a blocker save.
Joel Armia was next for the Canadiens, but he hit the post. If the posts were a team, they’d’ve won this game by now.
Dougie Hamilton was the 6th round shooter for New Jersey. He came in on the right, cut to the middle, and beat Montembeault under the left pad.
The Canadiens weren’t done just yet, though. Hoffman was back for more, and this time it was the Canadiens who succeeded in staying alive.
Yegor Sharangovich was up for the Devils in round 7. If you have a good shot, use it? Sharangovich made good use of his, beating Montembeault.
Paul Byron was the 7th shooter for Montreal, but Daws made the save, winning the game for New Jersey. 2 points for the home team after a wild OT and SO.
Return of Miles Wood
Miles Wood can be a very important player for this team. He had 19 goals in a season once and 17 in 55 last year. Last season he also had EVO WAR of .58, higher than Mikko Rantanen, Sean Couterier, or Morgan Rielly. I don’t want to get too into the stats as this is just a recap, not an in-depth full post about Wood, but you get the idea, for a 4th liner Wood is pretty darn good offensively.
He had some good plays in this game and didn’t look rusty at all. The speed and physicality was there. He should be a big boost to this team.
Jack Hughes. He scored both Devils goals in regulation and kept the team alive in the shootout. I think he might be pretty good at hockey, just maybe. Also went off in shot contributions according to Todd Cordell. Yeah, that’s pretty good. And we have him for 8 more years! Very smart move to sign him before the season started. I’m very excited to see Hughes on this team for years to come.
Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt, who now has a career high point streak of 7 games, are both very good at hockey. Miles Wood is a nice re-addition. The Devils played a pretty solid game, although I would’ve preferred for them to not once again give away their lead. Pitlick was alone in front of the net. There probably should’ve been someone covering him.
Have anything to say yourself? That was a crazy shootout and overtime, huh? Thoughts on Miles Wood’s return? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for reading.