(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

The Devils drop points for the first time this season. 

Before the game began, the New Jersey Devils were hit with the very tough news that star goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood was added to the COVID-19 protocol.

Losing a player of such high caliber is tough, but things aren’t all bad for the Devils. Yet to come out of a game pointless the Devils, led by youngster Jack Hughes, have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL.

They look to keep the streak alive in another tough matchup, this time against the New York Islanders.

1st period: It’s not what you want

The first period didn’t go well for the Devils, and was arguably the worst period of hockey that they’ve played so far in this young season.

Mathew Barzal was able to get the Islanders on the scoreboard early, and it seemed like things just went downhill from there. The Devils were outshot 15-6 and the defense was exposed.

Note: this is a testament to Blackwood, whose excellent goaltending has been able to conceal the mistakes and weaknesses of the defense in front of him.

The Devils brought practically no offense to the game this period but, when they did late in the first, the Islanders were able to take it back for a Jordan Eberle goal that P.K. Subban likely wishes he did better on.

The Devils will have to regroup and start fresh in the second if they hope to even have a chance.


2nd period: How the tables have turned

The Devils looked like a totally different team to start the second period.

Just 2:50 into the period Nathan Bastian, who didn’t play a single NHL minute last season, took a beautiful shot that was able to get past Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov for the Devils’ first of the game.

This gave them momentum, and they became the much more dominant team. With an assist on the goal, Ty Smith’s point-streak would remain alive. Smith would continue to benefit his team by drawing a penalty with 11:15 remaining in the period.

The Islanders have a great penalty kill, but the Devils’ power play continues to be a major problem. They nearly even conceded a short-handed goal had goalie Scott Wedgewood not come up with a big, timely save.

Unfortunately, Smith is only human and would go on to commit a hooking penalty.However, like the Devils, the Islanders have a poor power play. The Devils also looked good on the penalty kill.

If the Devils can play as well as they did in the second for just 20 more minutes, they really might be able to extend their point streak.


3rd period: All teams have bad games, I guess

The Devils came within one, but that was all they’d be able to do. Two penalties in the first 10 minutes of the period proved to be deadly, as the Islanders were able to score on both and extend their lead to 4-1.

It’s worth noting that the second penalty, a too-many-men call, was the Devils’ third of the year. The Devils’ special teams clearly continues to struggle mightily.

This was a tough loss for the Devils whose weaknesses were exposed, but they’ve gotten off to an unexpectedly hot start, so a game like this certainly isn’t the end of the world.


Key Moment: The one and only

The Devils’ key moment was their only goal of the game. This goal cut the Islanders’ lead in half and allowed the Devils to get within one.

Of course, nothing more came of it, but it prevented the Devils from falling victim to a shutout and did give them something to fight for.


Player of the game: Nathan Bastian

The player of the game for the Devils was their lone goal-scorer, Bastian. Bastian came up huge for his team by scoring this great goal, but he and his line did play well throughout the game.


Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.