Tatar and Mercer had a 2 on 1 to start the game. That line continued to have possession with the Graves-Marino pair for about 2 minutes to start the game. Drouin finally got play stopped by giving the puck to Allen, almost putting it through him and into the net in the process.
3 Canadians ran into each other, knocking them all temporarily out of the play. Wood took the puck away from Guhle behind the net and Bastian took and it wrapped it around and through Allen. 1-0 Devils.
Sloppy first period for both teams. The Devils are not on their A game and the Canadiens are just bad. The Devils need to do a better job of preventing the Canadiens from getting in the slot and tipping pucks. They’ve had a few lucky bounces wide and a couple saves from Schmid to keep Montreal off the board so far but one of those pucks is gonna bounce in if the Devils don’t tighten up defensively.
Richard had a breakaway and Schmid stopped him.
The Canadians turned it over to Smith trying to get the puck ahead. He gave it to Mercer who gained the line and stopped. He passed to Severson who moved in and fed Hischier tap-in, except it went off his skate rather than his stick. 2-0 Devils anyhow.
The Hughes line had extended possession with about 10:30 left in the 2nd. First great shift of the game for them.
Rest of the period was pretty much like the first. Devils with a whole lot of possession, Canadiens with a couple chances here and there, but less often and less dangerous than in the first
With 1:37 left in the period, Pitlick took the puck away from Severson and centered for Gurianov. I guess the Devils forwards were changing because no one was home to cover home. Canadiens on the board.
In the final minute, Hughes fell down and a slapshot went right at him. Fortunately it hit him in the back and not the head.
Canadiens emptied their net. Hoffman set up Drouin and he hit the post. The puck deflected to the boards where the Devils got it. They sent it ahead for Tatar and he iced it. 3-1 Devils.
He didn’t score a goal but he did add an assist on the GWG. That brings him to 12 games on his point streak, the longest such streak by an under-22 Devil in franchise history.
Maybe it’s because I was a little tired, but this was not a particularly exciting game to me. The Devils were supposed to win. They got a 2-0 lead. They won. They had a lot of the possession, which was good. Rush offense was not clean, but there was a lot of time on the cycle. Schmid was good, only allowing 1 goal on 24 shots. The Hischier line was good. The Hughes-Meier connection hasn’t quite clicked yet. The 4th line had a pretty good game, including the opening goal.
The Hurricanes lost 4-0 to Vegas. The Devils are now just 2 points behind them... and they play Carolina tomorrow. The Devils would tie them in points with a regulation win. The Devils have 1 more GP but the same amount of wins, and 1 less RW. The Devils can help themselves out if they want to win the division with a good game tomorrow.
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