The Devils edged out a win over the New York Islanders tonight on the strength of two Jesper Boqvist power play goals. They downed the Isles 4-3.
Boqvist got the scoring kicked off when he scored just 2:39 into the game. This came on a power play set up by Ross Johnston cross checking Sami Vatanen at 2:10 of the first period. Boqvist got an assist from Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt had the secondary.
Before the first frame was up, though, the Islanders, in what would become a trend all night, tied it up. Leo Komarov scored from Noah Dobson and Adam Pelech at 14:25. That made it 1-1 going into the first intermission.
The Devils would come out of the second period with a 3-2 lead.
First, Nikita Gusev continued to impress, scoring from Hischier (who ended up with three assists on the night and the first star of the night) to make it 2-1 at 8:31 of the second.
Mat Barzal would knot it at two apiece when he scored at 10:19 from Thomas Hickey and Jordan Eberle.
Will Butcher gave the Devils the 3-2 edge, scoring at 16:50 of the second from Hischier and Gusev.
In the third period, Otto Koivula scored 5:59 in to tie things at three for the Isles. Tom Kuhnhackl had the lone assist on that one.
When Jared Coreau – the Isles’ goalie – was called for a hold at 15:47, the Devils power play went back to work. It was again Boqvist who scored at 15:57 from Butcher and Bratt to nail the game winner, making it 4-3.
Cory Schneider, who went the distance and made 42 saves on 45 Islander shots, held down the fort in the end and the Devils got their fourth victory of the preseason.
For the Isles, Thomas Greiss made eight saves on 11 shots faced while Coreau stopped nine of ten. The Devils finished the game with 21 shots on goal.
The Devils’ strength was special teams in this game, going 2-for-4 on the power play with four shots while keeping New York 0-for-2 on the man advantage with seven shots allowed.
Another key for the Devils was faceoffs. They won 56-percent of the draws in the game. Other than that, hits were even at 18 apiece. The Islanders had more blocked shots at nine to the Devils’ seven and the Devils had 12 giveaways to the Isles’ three. A typically good defensive game from Barry Trotz’ squad.
Individually, Sami Vatanen led in time on ice with 20:06 while Boqvist led the forwards with 18:07. Hischier and Gusev were both a plus-2 plus/minus while Boqvist led in shots on goal with four. John Hayden led the hit parade with four while Brandon Baddock led in blocks with three. Kevin Rooney led in takeaways with two.
Next up, the Devils will probably trim down their roster on Sunday or so and then play at Boston on Wednesday. We will have something up about both events then.