There were indeed some good memories made this season. Here’s a look back at the New Jersey Devils’ four victories over tri-state foes.
With the NHL season on pause due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there’s a good chance the New Jersey Devils‘ 2019-20 season has concluded.
The Devils currently sit in last place in the Metropolitan Division with a 28-29-12 record (68 points). Thus, if the NHL decides to jump right into its 16-team postseason once play resumes, New Jersey’s season will be done.
If that’s the case, the Devils will finish the year having played nine games against their three tri-state rivals. In those matchups, New Jersey managed four wins — two coming over the New York Rangers, one over the New York Islanders, and one over the Philadelphia Flyers. All in all, they finished 4-3-2 in tri-state rivalry games.
Here’s a look back at the four victorious efforts the Devils put together against their rivals.
Oct. 17, 2019: Devils defeat Rangers 5-2
After starting the season a woeful 0-4-2 in their first six games, the Devils hosted the crosstown Rangers at the Prudential Center.
The Blueshirts struck first blood as Tony DeAngelo scored on New Jersey goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood in the opening period. The Devils then evened the score before the first intermission when Blake Coleman put one past Alexandar Georgiev to tie the game at one.
New Jersey would take its first lead in the second when Kyle Palmieri scored an unassisted goal just 2:18 into the period. Later in the second, Miles Wood added onto New Jersey’s lead with a goal that was assisted by Jack Hughes. It was the top overall pick’s first NHL point.
The Rangers would pull within a goal early in the third period, but the Devils made sure they wouldn’t let the game slip away.
Both Nikita Gusev and P.K. Subban scored unassisted goals to preserve the Devils’ first win of the season.
Jan. 2, 2020: Devils defeat Islanders 2-1
The Devils’ first game of the new decade took place at the Nassau Coliseum against the Islanders.
After a scoreless first period, the Islanders struck first when Brock Nelson pushed one past Blackwood 7:33 into the second.
Subban then delivered right before the second intermission, tying it up with a goal assisted by Gusev and Travis Zajac.
Nico Hischier then broke the tie early in the third. The Devils All-Star scored his ninth goal of the season to put New Jersey up 2-1.
From there, Blackwood shut down the Islanders, finishing the game with 29 saves on 30 attempts to guide the Devils to their first win of the new calendar year.
Feb. 6, 2020: Devils defeat Flyers 5-0
After dropping the two teams’ first pair of matchups, the Devils traveled to the City of Brotherly Love in early February, looking for revenge on the Flyers.
New Jersey came out hot, as Coleman scored on Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott to go on top 1-0 just 13 seconds into the game.
New Jersey carried the momentum into the second period. Just 1:38 in, Damon Severson scored to extend the lead to 2-0.
In the third, the Devils poured it on. Pavel Zacha scored just 1:10 into the period and Wood scored a pair of goals thereafter to make it 5-0.
While New Jersey’s offensive attack pounded Elliott and the Flyers, Blackwood kept Philadelphia at bay. The Devils goaltender recorded a 46-save shutout to lead New Jersey to the revenge it was seeking.
March 7, 2020: Devils defeat Rangers 6-4
In their final road game before the NHL’s hiatus, the Devils traveled back to Madison Square Garden, looking to play spoiler against the playoff-hopeful Rangers.
Just like in the two teams’ initial matchup at the Garden, New York scored first. Filip Chytil put one past Blackwood in the first period. New Jersey struck back with a Palmieri goal but trailed going into the first intermission after Mika Zibanejad scored for the Rangers.
Just 44 seconds into the second period, Palmieri tied the game again with his second goal of the night. From that point on, it was all Devils, as Fredrik Claesson scored to take the lead.
Later in the period, Zajac scored a power-play goal from outside and less than a minute later, John Hayden added another to make it a 5-2 game.
The Rangers earned a goal back in the third, but Zajac’s second goal of the day put the game away. With the victory, New Jersey picked up what could’ve been its final win of the 2019-20 season.