The Devils played their second game of the 2019 Prospects Challenge this afternoon and lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1.
Of note: I watched this game on the Devils’ YouTube channel as opposed to the website and the audio and video quality was worlds better, being presented in HD. The broadcast team did acknowledge the problems on Friday’s webcast, saying that the NHL was having some troubles getting the stream out there.
The Devils had a better showing than yesterday, but as Matt Laughlin pointed out on the webcast the last two games, they have had less practice time than the other teams in the tournament, having left for Buffalo straight from Newark. Not an excuse, just the way it is.
Jack Hughes did not play in today’s game, being a healthy scratch, giving a prospect who will undoubtedly be playing in the NHL this season some time off to maintain himself. He was joined by Colton White and Colby Sissons as the scratches for the Devils.
Akira Schmid, following his relief work on Friday, got the whole game today, as that has been the case all along – for goalies to get whole games. Gilles Senn was just ambushed in Friday’s game and the coaching staff did not want to leave him out to dry, which is why Schmid got time in the game versus Buffalo.
Graeme Clarke got what would turn out to be the Devils’ only goal early on in the first period. He scored from Jesper Boqvist and Joey Anderson on the power play, beating Pittsburgh goaltender Alex D’Orio.
The Penguins would respond only minutes later when Jan Drozg shot through a screen to tie it at one apiece.
The Devils started the second period on the power play, but were unable to convert, which became a theme all throughout the game.
After killing off the penalty, Pittsburgh would score what would go down as the game-winner when Anthony Angelo scored to make it 2-1 Pens.
Following this goal, things began to get a little more chippy, especially when Devils defenseman Nicholas Canade dropped the gloves with the Penguins’ Brandon Hawkins in the second period. This is their only allowed fight during the tournament but it was a good one.
Special teams played a big role for the Devils especially in the third when they allowed no shots on a power play set up by a penalty to Boqvist.
The Devils would be on the other side of things when they had a 5-on-3 opportunity early in the third and could not convert. They would also have a power play with a little more than two minutes to go in the game, even pulling Schmid to make it 6-on-4, but could do nothing. Pens’ goalie D’Orio was big on those power plays, making some big stops and defusing the Devils’ chances.
Of other notes in the game was that Joey Anderson left the game late, going down the tunnel. We will have to wait and see how bad an injury it is, or if he was just being kept out for simply precautionary reasons. Hopefully is the latter, though he did not return.
Also, one final note that one player on the Pittsburgh roster has a connection to Devils of the past. Chris Brown suited up for the Pens and is the son of former Devil Doug Brown.
The Devils will play again on Monday morning at 9:30 AM. We will try to have something up then for you.