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Mercer And Bottom 6 Get Devils The Win Against Winnipeg

Dawson Mercer added 2 more goals to stay hot and the bottom 6 was responsible for the tying and winning goals in tonight’s winning effort, as the Devils continue demolishing Canada

NHL: FEB 19 Jets at Devils
Dawson Mercer continued his hot streak with 2 goals against the Jets
Photo by Andrew Mordzynski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

1st Period

Zetterlund with a good backcheck to break up a potential Scheifele breakaway

As you might expect, it has been a strong defensive game for both teams in the first 5 minutes.

Boqvist picked up a turnover and passed back to Hamilton at the point. He took a wrist shot that trickled through Hellebuyck but wide of goal

Kuhlman had a centering feed for Stenlund that luckily was beyond his reach

Dillon to the box for high-sticking Marino. Devils get the first power play of the game. The Jets showed why they have one of the highest % kills in the league as they consistently broke up passes on the kill.

A moment after the penalty expired, a point shot from a Jet rebounded right to Perfetti who was left alone in front. Marino was covering the other Jet in front of the net and I couldn’t really see what Graves was doing, but he wasn’t covering Perfetti.

Right after the faceoff, the Devils went on a rush. A pass was blocked and the puck bounced to Mercer, who used his quick hands to corral the puck and center it to Tatar. It either went off him or Schmidt, but it’s in the net either way. Tie game.

Haula had a partial breakaway and took a slapshot Hellebuyck saved. Hughes got the puck and tried a between the legs move that Hellebuyck made another save on. Game opening up a bit over the last couple minutes.

Sharangovich had a good opportunity that was stopped but I couldn’t quite see what happened and there was no replay

Just after that, Neal Pionk took a blast from the point that went right through everybody. Jets lead 2-1.

Hischier made a nice play to circle back and pass to Wood for a rush shot.

Blackwood made a nice save on Ehlers from the high slot.

With 2.5 seconds left and an offensive zone draw, the Devils pull Blackwood, but the Jets tie them up on the faceoff.

2nd Period

Stenlund broke his stick with an empty net to shoot at and he hit the post.

Winnipeg is playing better here in the 2nd. Fewer shots for the Devils.

Jets defenders made plays on each of the players of the 17-86-63 line to neutralize them in a single shift

Jets had a d zone turnover and Hellebuyck made 2 saves on Tatar and a save on Hischier trying to put in a rebound

Hughes hit the post twice in about 5 seconds

Shots are 21-11 Devils 33 minutes in

Bratt got a breakaway and hit the post

Scheifele had a breakaway and Blackwood made a pad save. Jets to the power play. Devils did a good job and killed it off.

Zetterlund had a great chance where he cut to the net but Hellebuyck poke checked the puck away

3rd Period

The Hughes line had a great shift in the OZ with a couple shots but nothing to show for it

Mercer and Tatar had a 2 on 1 that developed late and Hellebuyck made a stop on Mercer

Haula took the puck away from Connor behind the Jets net and centered to Zetterlund who ripped a one-timer past Hellebuyck off the post and in to tie the game!

Boqvist dumped the puck in. McLeod retrieved in and make a through the legs pass to Wood. He misfired on the shot and it fooled Hellebuyck. Devils lead 3-2!

Wood cross-checked Dillon in front of Hellebuyck. Jets to the power play.

The Jets had some good chances in the first minute but kept missing the net. The Jets then had some puck handling issues and the Devils kiulled some time. Siegs held the puck against the boards to kill some time. Devils cleared it away, and play is blown dead as Ehlers is down and not getting up. Smith cross-checked him repeatedly and Ehlers slipped awkwardly.

Shortly afterwards, Barron gets called for cross-checking Hamilton. Lots of uncalled cross-checking, including Hamilton doing it to Barron right before this penalty, but Hamilton fell towards the boards this time, and so the Devils end up with a power play.

Menalainen had a shorthanded bid and Tatar hooked him to end the power play. Menalainen held Tatar’s stick, to be fair. Officiating has not been great in this period.

Blackwood gloved a Morrissey shot with 8 seconds left in the power play, otherwise an easy kill for the Devils.

Hellebuyck tries to leave, but the Devils steal and force him back. Jets retake possession and he heads to the bench. Blackwood saves a Connor shot and the Jets call their timeout.

Mercer tries to clear but the ref gets in his way. Graves gets the puck to Haula, who successfully clears. Mercer comes flying into the Jets zone, gets the puck, and pushes his way past Perfetti for the empty netter. Final, 4-2 Devils.

Quick Overview of the Game

The Devils started the game strong with a solid first period. They led by far in high-danger chances and were the better team from an eye test standpoint as well. Unfortunately, Blackwood gave up a bit of a soft goal from the point and even though they were outshot and outplayed, the Jets had a 2-1 lead after 1.

The 2nd period was where the Devils tailed off a bit. Both the 1st and 2nd were about even, with the Devils having the edge in the 1st, but the Jets were the better team by a little in the 2nd period. Ultimately, no goals were scored in the 2nd.

The Devils came out strong in the 3rd and were rewarded, with quick goals from Zetterlund and Wood to tie it and go ahead. They kept up their level of play and Mercer sealed the deal with an ENG, his 2nd of the game. Blackwood, after a shaky start in the 1st, was solid for the rest of the game, made some nice saves, and held the Jets without a goal in the final 2 periods. 23 saves on 25 shots for him in the end.

Home Sweet Home?

The Devils are known for being a road team and generally struggling at home, but that hasn’t been the case of late. Bryce showed us some stats during the game. The Devils have a 100% PK rate over the last 6 home games, I believe 40% on the power play, and have won all 6 of those games, including the one tonight. Always nice to make the Devils fans who bought tickets happy.

Bottom 6

The 4th line had an awful game yesterday, with a <10% xGF%, and they were benched in the 3rd. They were much better today, as the top Devils line in xGF%, nearing 90%, and Wood scoring the game-winning goal. Although their line had the worst numbers tonight, the 3rd line still scored the tying goal, with Fabian Zetterlund getting on the board. On a night where the Hughes line didn’t have their A game, the 4th and 2nd lines stepped up and helped the Devils get the win.

Canada Will Be Eliminated

The Devils have still only lost 1 game to a Canadian team this season, the game that ended the huge winning streak. Toronto is a good team and got the better of the Devils there, as the beneficiary of some unfortunate overturned goals. With the win tonight, the Devils are now 10-1 against teams from up north. I for one hope the trend continues against Montreal on Tuesday.

Your Thoughts

What did you think about the game? Thoughts on the depth scoring we’ve been seeing lately? How about the 6 game home winning streak? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for reading.