Hughes had the first devils shot of the game 2 minutes in, a quick wrister walking in the from right circle. Delia made the save and the rebound was cleared.
Mercer flipped a pass past the Canucks to Wood, but he had to catch up to it and only got a backhander off at the goal line. Shortly afterwards, Kuzmenko danced past Hamilton and buried it under the glove. 1-0 Canucks.
Hughes did Hughes things at the other end of the ice and had a couple chances, knocking Delia’s mask off to stop play.
A floater came in on Delia with Bastian bearing down on him and he fumbled the puck, but managed to recover.
The next couple shifts were more Devils-centric, but nothing in the net just yet.
The Devils got lucky with Beauvillier saucing a pass too high for Pettersson. Hamilton got caught with Palat covering for him and Beau got behind Palat.
Vanecek made a nice glove save on a hard wrister from Boeser.
The Canucks had a decent couple shifts. Bratt went flying the other way and was just held off at the last minute or he would’ve had a chance alone in front.
Wood made a diving play to prevent a Vancouver 2 on 1.
With under 3 minutes left in the period, Hamilton got it ahead to Zetterlund, who chipped it between 2 Canucks to an open Jack Hughes on the left side, all alone. Guess what happened. Yup, backhander past Delia. Tie game.
McLeod went flying in with a few seconds left to go and Delia made a skate save to keep it tied.
The period started with Bratt getting a breakaway from a Severson saucer pass. He tried to put it 5 hole but Delia managed to close the pads just quickly enough to keep it from going through him. A minute later Pettersson had a breakaway by a mile and ripped a shot off the post. Marino got caught between pinching and getting back.
Both teams had a couple messy chances in the next couple minutes. Podkolzin got past Smith and it looked to me like Vanecek got a piece of it with the pad to keep it out.
A point shot from Hamilton was tipped down by Palat through the 5 hole of Delia. Devils lead, 2-1!
Off the faceoff the Devils got a 3 on 2. Bratt passed to Hischier who ripped a one timer just wide. The puck came back to Hischier again who took another shot, and then Myers put it on Palat’s tape and he ripped it past Delia for his 2nd goal in 28 seconds.
The Devils got the puck in the zone off the faceoff and Severson held it in down in the corner. Zetterlund won the puck and passed across to Hughes who buried it. 3 goals in 50 seconds!
Finally, over halfway into the game, we got our first penalty. Aman off for tripping.
By the way, that’s the second fastest 2 goals by a Devil in franchise history. Fastest was Jeff Friesen with 2 goals in 26 seconds in 2003.
Schenn would get one back for Vancouver. A quick slapper that Vanecek never saw snuck into the net. 4-2 Devils.
Hamilton took a high sticking penalty in front of his net, sending the Devils to the penalty kill for the first time tonight.
Vanecek made a couple nice saves on the kill, including one where Kuzmenko was alone in front.
With under a minute left in the period, Palat and Bratt had a 2 on 1. Bratt, excessively generous as always, passed and Palat was in too tight to get a good shot off. The puck went the other way. Severson and Siegenthaler got caught watching Stillman, who centered to Lazar, the open man, and he scored. Canucks within 1.
Severson, after getting hit in the hand in the 2nd period and not playing the last 5 minutes, is not on the bench to start the 3rd. A minute into the period, he came out of the tunnel onto the bench
3.5 minutes in, Severson is out for his first shift of the period. Seems he’s alright, so that’s good news. Don’t want one defenseman back just for another to get injured. The Devils now have every player from the opening night roster available.
Zetterlund and Sharangovich played catch and Hamilton blasted a bullet from the point into the chest of Delia.
Kuzmenko had a good chance with Vanecek out of position but he shot it off the outside of the net.
The Canucks got a 2 on 1 and Di Giuseppe beat Vanecek to tie the game. Giving up a 3 goal lead to Vancouver is not something you want to be doing.
Bear got a chance in the high slot and Vanecek made the save.
With 11:59 left in the 3rd Miles Wood was taken down by Curtis Lazar. Devils to the power play. Hischier, Bratt, Hughes, Hamilton, and Palat is the top unit. The puck bounced over Hischier’s stick and out. Devils reset and got things going. Hughes tried to roof it but Delia shouldered it away. Bratt had a 1 timer but it was right at Delia’s pad. And now Stillman is going to the box for cross-checking. It will be a 5 on 3 for the Devils for 37 seconds. Devils call timeout. Vancouver survived the 5 on 3 and cleared. NJ got back into the zone with 55 left on the second penalty but Vancouver immediately cleared again, and then play was stopped and the faceoff is in the NZ. Not a great look for the 2nd unit. First unit back on, 38 seconds left. Canucks managed to kill it off and clear at the end of the power play.
Joshua drove to the net and ran into Vanecek who poked the puck away. Still tied 4-4 with 3:34 left in regulation.
The last few minutes has been more Vancouver oriented. It’s been a while since the Devils had some good chances.
Hughes and Hamilton are out there first, as usual, with McLeod on the draw. Devils win the puck, and McLeod is off for Bratt. Kuzmenko managed to take it away. The Canucks would’ve had a 2 on 1 but Hughes slowed Pettersson down and took the puck. The Canucks got it back and changed. The Devils got a 2 on 1 after the Canucks missed their chance but the pass was in Bratt’s skates. Sharangovich had the puck stolen by Miller, but Hughes stole it back a moment later. Devils reset behind their net. 3 on 2 for the Canucks and Beauvillier ripped it high. Jack got the puck alone the other way with Quinn hot on his heels and he wasn’t able to flip it over the pad. The next shift was slow. Hughes back out again. He tried to sauce it to Hughes but Kuzmenko hooked him. Devils to the power play with 1:19 left in overtime. HHH and Bratt are the 4 on the power play. Delia stopped a Hughes one timer. Hughes set up Bratt for a one-timer and he scored. Devils win in overtime, 5-4!
Not Always Pretty
Blowing a 3 goal lead to a bad team is never something you want to do. The 2 goals at the end of the 2nd period were not goals the Devils should be allowing. Schenn’s goal was unfortunate, and sometimes it happens. Someone could’ve blocked it but oh well, sometimes point shots just sneak through. Lazar’s goal was definitely preventable, though. The Devils had 2 defensemen there and both were covering Stillman, leaving Lazar open in front. Less than 30 seconds left in the period as well. Not the type of goal against you want to see. The tying goal was also an odd man rush against.
But hey, the Devils still managed to get the win in overtime. They shut the door after allowing the tying goal. And it still counts as a come from behind win to add to their league lead.
Zetterlund and Palat are two players I’d like to talk about today. Palat scored 2 goals in 28 seconds, as mentioned earlier. He is supposed to be one of the best goal scorers on this team and he showed that today. He is also going to be important for the rest of the season, as he is the Devil with the most playoff experience, a Stanley Cup Champion with Tampa. I’m glad to see him healthy and scoring goals
Zetterlund also had 2 points tonight, the primary assists on both Hughes goals. He was great to start the season and then stalled out. It would be great to see him get back into the form he was in for the first stretch of the season. Hopefully the 2 primary points today are the start of a good stretch for him after some good time off.
Nico Hischier was also a force today. He didn’t get on the scoresheet but he led the Devils in game score even without any points and he was partly responsible for Palat’s second goal. The 3 players I’ve mentioned here were the top 3 Devils in game score, and I planned to write about Zett and Palat even before looking at it.
Other notable Devils were Dougie Hamilton quietly having a 3 assist game, and of course Bratt scoring the OT winner.
What did you think of tonight’s game? One random thought I have is that Jack is on the good side of a lopsided rivalry with Quinn in the NHL so far. The part where Quinn was chasing Jack down 1 on 1 in OT was pretty funny. Not the best game for the Devils, but they still got the 2 points in the end. Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for reading.