Will Butcher Makes New Jersey Devils History In 4-1 Season-Opening Win Over Colorado Avalanche (Highlights)
NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 07: With both players sking in their first NHL games, Jesper Bratt #63 (l) celebrates his first NHL goal and is joined by Will Butcher #8 (r) during the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Prudential Center on October 7, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Will Butcher picked up three assists as the New Jersey Devils beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 to open the 2017-18 season.

  • New Jersey Devils 4 (1-0-0, 2 PTS)
  • Colorado Avalanche 1 (1-1-0, 2 PTS)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

In front of a packed house at the Prudential Center on Saturday afternoon, Hobey Baker Award-winner Will Butcher became the first player in New Jersey Devils history to record three assists in their NHL debut.

Butcher’s first assist came just 4:04 into the first period on the power play. After getting the puck to Kyle Palmieri down low, Palmieri sent it back to an uncovered Butcher at the left point, who fired a shot that was tipped by Adam Henrique to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.

New Jersey made it 2-0 early in the second period, as Palmieri’s one-timer off a pass from Butcher missed the net, but bounced off the boards right to a waiting Jimmy Hayes, who put it past a sprawled-out Jonathan Bernier for the team’s second power-play goal of the day.

Colorado would get on board at the 12:04 mark of the second period, with Carl Soderberg picking up his first goal of the season to cut the lead to 2-1. But that’s all the offense the Avalanche could muster.

Butcher’s third and final helper—yet again on the powerplay—and got 19-year-old Jesper Bratt his first NHL goal in his first NHL game. Butcher sent the puck over to Taylor Hall at the top of the left faceoff circle. Hall fed Bratt with a nice cross-ice pass before the former sixth-round pick faked a slap shot and sent a wrister over Bernier’s right shoulder for a 3-1 lead.

With Marcus Johansson serving a double-minor for high-sticking Mikko Rantanen halfway through the third period, the Devils broke out shorthanded. Bratt fed John Moore, who was trailing the play, for an easy goal to officially put the game out of reach at 4-1.

First-round pick Nico Hischier didn’t record a point but logged 15:44 of ice time—including 4:25 on the power play—and had six shots on goal. Corey Schneider saved 40-of-41 shots for his first win of the season.

New Jersey will look to get off to a 2-0 record on Monday when they travel to Buffalo to take on the Sabres at KeyBank Arena at 3 p.m. ET.

I've been dunked on by Shaq and yelled at by Mickey Mantle. ESNY Editor In Chief. UMass alum. Former National Columnist w/Bleacher Report & former member of NY Knicks Basketball Ops department. Nephew of Rock & Roll Royalty.