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Devils With Strong Performance in 3-2 OT Win

Dougie Hamilton scored the OT winner in a game the Devils played quite well in

St. Louis Blues v New Jersey Devils Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/NHLI via Getty Images

The game started with each team getting a good chance. Daws had to save a Krug shot on a 2 on 1 and Graves got in pretty close to Husso when the Devils went the other way. Tatar got another chance but that was stopped too

The Devils were sent to the power play first, as Mikkola was called for roughing Jack Hughes. They forced Husso to make some saves on the man advantage, but nothing went in

The Devils got a 2 on 1 not long afterwards. Bratt blew past a defender and managed to get the pass across to Tatar, but he was tied up and barely managed to get a shot off, which Husso made a pad save on.

The Devils outshot the Blues 10-2 early on

Daws made a nice play to get out and block a pass. The Devils went the other way. Mercer made some nice moves to keep possession, got tripped up, and still managed to pass the puck to Dougie for a shot, but Husso made the save

Jesper Bratt, after some nice moves earlier, would not be stopped this time, as he maneuvered himself into a good position in the OZ and set up Ty Smith for a goal in his return to the lineup.

With 3:00 left in the period Pavel Zacha put a dent in the crossbar, but unfortunately the crossbar is not twine and the score remained 1-0

Nico Daws made a save on the 3 on 2 in the dying seconds of the period. The Devils gave the puck up, the horn went off, and the Blues seemed to forget the horn means the period is over, as they put the puck in the net anyway.

Overall it was a very good period from the Devils. Daws didn’t have to make any amazing saves but kept the puck out of the net. Bratt was Bratt. Smith got back on the scoreboard in his first period back. A strong start for the Devils.

The second period started with anything too exciting.

Mikkola took his second penalty of the game, a hook on Tatar, giving the Devils the first power play of the period. The Devils managed to spend about 90 seconds straight in the St. Louis zone but couldn’t get any high quality chances on net. The next group of players continued the momentum. Zacha just barely ran out of room trying to roof a backhander.

With 12:56 left Husso made a nice save on a Sharangovich chance off a feed from Hughes.

A couple minutes later, Jack Hughes took a pass from Vesey, drove towards the net, and passed it across to Mercer who put it in the empty net to give the Devils a 2 goal lead.

The first great Blues chance was Barbashev almost scoring on a wraparound.

The Devils would almost get another chance of their own. They were about to have an odd man rush, but the refs blew the whistle on a wrestling match between Mercer and Krug.

During the 4 on 4, Bratt and Hughes played catch in the OZ and then Hughes set up Graves, who just missed the net. That wasn’t enough for Hughes, who got the puck back, walked in, drew penalty, and still almost scored.

Husso made another save on Sharangovich with a couple seconds left in the period.

It was another solid period for the Devils, holding the Blues to very few shots. The first 2 periods of play were some of the best hockey the Devils have played all year.

2:08 into the 3rd period, Krug cut the lead in half, beating Daws below the glove.

Bratt beat Krug at the point and rather than shoot, tried to pass, but Tatar’s first shot was blocked and his backhander on the 2nd attempt missed the net. The Devils did get a power play out of it, though.

After yet another power play ended without a Devils ppg, the Blues would tie the game. Ty Smith did... whatever that was, and left the guy he should’ve been covering, Jordan Kyrou, wide open, who receiving a pass and beat Daws to tie the game.

Hughes had a chance, tried to pass, then shot it next chance he got, but Husso made the save

With 11:04 left in the period, Tatar got to the slot on the rush, but missed the net. He missed the net a lot in this game.

Mercer had a decent chance but it was saved by Husso. There were a few back and forth rushes, but that was the best chance on any of them.

Hischier and Hamilton nearly gave the Devils a 3-2 lead on a rebound, but neither could get the puck behind Husso.

Graves took a penalty with about 4 minutes left in the 3rd. There was a scramble in front at one point, but the Devils PKers tied up a Blue in front and swept the puck away, and successfully killed the penalty.

Afterwards, the Devils got a late power play of their own with exactly 2:00 left in the 3rd, but did not score, so we headed to overtime in Newark.

In overtime, it was Dougie Hamilton who was the hero, scoring 1:12 in, sneaking up into the slot from the point and beating Husso to give the Devils a well-deserved win.

Final Thoughts

Nico Daws was good once again. He had -.05 gsax, and considering the second goal was an open shot by an all-star because of missed coverage, he probably should’ve had .95 gsax. Just average goaltending is all us Devils fans want right now, and Daws is certainly providing that.

Bratt was very noticeable. Did you know of all the players in the NHL, he’s #1 in on-ice goals for per 60? Even above McDavid! He is certainly having a hell of a season, and it’s a real shame it’s being wasted on a team that will miss the playoffs.

Jack Hughes had himself another great night, with 2 assists. He became the 2nd fastest Devil to 40 points, behind only Zach Parise in 2009.

Ty Smith showed good and bad in his return to the lineup. He scored the first goal of the game by sneaking up towards the net. On the other hand, a poor read allowed the Blues to tie the game in the 3rd period. Hopefully at least the goal is a good sign for Smith’s offense.

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

What did you think of Smith’s return to the lineup? Thoughts on Daws continuing to be solid in net? How about Dougie’s OT winner? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for reading.