A look at how the Devils did in their second of a back-to-back with the Bruins.
The New Jersey Devils began their season with a loss, but were able to come away with a well-earned point against the very dangerous Boston Bruins.
1st period: Round One. Fight!
After being called for goaltending interference twice in Game 1, Miles Wood didn’t have the chance to breathe before engaging in a fight with Boston’s Kevin Miller 20 seconds in.
The first notable moment of the game came 5:45 in when Charlie McAvoy tripped Jack Hughes.
The Bruins are known for being elite on the penalty-kill, but the power point appears to be something that the Devils really need to work on (they also went 0-5 on the power play in the first game).
The fourth line that played well on Thursday had New Jersey’s first really good scoring chance of the game. An unbelievable save by Jaroslav Halák on a great chance in front of the net by Michael McLeod kept the game scoreless.
Matt Tennyson was penalized for holding Charlie Coyle, giving us our first look of the day at New Jersey’s penalty kill.
The Devils struggled in this regard on Thursday: they didn’t allow a single even-strength goal in that game and both of Boston’s goals came on the power play.
The Devils looked like a completely different team on this kill. They were fantastic this time around and didn’t give the Bruins a chance in New Jersey’s zone, even having some short-handed scoring chances themselves.
Hughes, who’s coming off a great first game, showed a lot of hustle early on and a great shift from him allowed the Devils to get on the board first.
Hughes hustled into Boston’s zone to get the puck and was very wary, moving around to eventually regain possession and pass to Ty Smith, who took a shot that was redirected into the net by Wood for his second of the season.
That gave Hughes his third assist of the year already and Smith the second point of his NHL career.
The period ended with some four-on-four hockey after Devils captain Kyle Palmieri and Sean Kuraly slashed each other. The competitiveness of the rivalry can be felt in the air.
Fun fact: Smith becomes the first Devils defenseman since Slava Fetisov in 1989 to record two points in his first two NHL games.
2nd period: Man-advantage is the Devils’ disadvantage
Nikita Gusev had some good looks this period but couldn’t convert.
MacKenzie Blackwood had to be much more active, making 12 of his 19 saves this period.
A very uneventful period became interesting at 16:01 when a Bruins goal was called off because of goalie interference by Craig Smith on Blackwood. A bad challenge by Bruce Cassidy resulted in a Devils power play.
The power play looked like it was going to be their best of the season until they gave up a short-handed goal to Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron.
Brad Marchand, who was excellent for Boston on Thursday, picked up where he left off by taking the puck into the Devils’ zone and making an excellent pass to his line mate.
3rd period: Really, Halák?
P.K. Subban and Trent Frederic had been in each other’s faces all night and just 30 seconds into the period, Subban was penalized for holding Frederic in New Jersey’s zone.
McLeod was without a stick for most of the power play after breaking it on the faceoff, but the Devils were still able to do a great job on the penalty kill.
The line comprised of Andreas Johnsson, Gusev, and Pavel Zacha had a fantastic shift about five minutes into the period, but was unable to come up with a goal.
Palmieri, who had been having an excellent game (defensively, especially) had a great scoring chance, but Halák came up with the save on Palmieri’s backhanded attempt. It’s worth noting that Palmieri’s chance came as a result of a nice pass from Hughes.
Subban had the next good scoring chance for New Jersey coming in the form of his famous slapshot, but a great pad save from Halák prevented the puck from going in.
Two massive saves from Halák on Travis Zajac and then Hughes exacerbated the frustration of Devils fans.
Blackwood saved his team by coming up with a huge save after New Jersey turned the puck over in their own zone.
With 1:24 left, Matt Grzelcyk was called for hooking and the Devils found themselves on another power play. They couldn’t capitalize in time, so the two teams would go to overtime for the second game in a row.
Overtime: The rookies are alright
The Devils began OT with a four-on-three advantage for about 30 seconds. This was a disaster and ended with a sloppy giveaway by Wood, who redeemed himself by hustling back to prevent Coyle from scoring.
The Devils were, by far, the more dominant team in OT, and that was evident in the game’s result. A beautiful no-look, backhand pass by Damon Severson to Yegor Sharangovich resulted in the 22-year-old rookie scoring his first career NHL goal.
Sharangovich’s, who had a strong game, goal was incredibly well-deserved. He becomes the second Devils rookie to get his first goal of the season after Smith did it on Thursday.
Key Moment: Yegor Sharangovich for the win
The key moment of the game was undoubtedly Sharangovich scoring the game-winning goal. This marked the Devils’ first win of the year and head coach Lindy Ruff‘s first win with his new team.
Player of the Game: Jack Hughes
Hughes, who was strong on Thursday, didn’t slow down in his second game of the season. He did have just an assist on Saturday, but was active all throughout the game and had many good looks.
He was also an excellent playmaker, making great passes to his teammates for several scoring chances. If he can continue to work on his shot, the Devils will have another dangerous centerman in their possession.