The Devils headed up to Montreal to take on the Canadiens tonight and came away with their second win of the preseason. The team got two goals from Jesper Bratt to lead them to a 4-1 win at Bell Centre.
Again, this game was not televised in the New York metro area, so I could not see it. I am going by stat sheets and highlights viewed on NHL.com to recap what happened.
The Devils goaltending saw Keith Kinkaid and Ken Appleby make the trip north of the border. Kinkaid went the distance, making 28 saves on 29 shots faced for a .966 save percentage. For Montreal, Carey Price was backed up by Zachary Fucale, but also played the entire game. He made 28 saves on 31 shots faced for a .903 save percentage.
Mirco Mueller scored his second of the preseason just 51 seconds into the first period taking a feed from Blake Coleman to make it 1-0 Devils.
It would remain that way going into the first intermission. In the second period, Montreal went on the power play when Stefan Noesen was called for interference at 5:40. On the ensuing man advantage, old friend Eric Gelinas, trying to catch on with the Habs, unleashed one of his blistering slap shots to tie it up at one. He got assists from Joe Morrow and Paul Byron. That came at the 7:09 mark of the second. On the night, the Canadiens were 1-for-6 on the power play while the Devils were 0-for-5.
The Devils would retake the lead at the 15:30 mark when Nico Hischier tipped in a Taylor Hall shot to make it 2-1. Kyle Palmieri had the secondary assist. The Devils had the lead heading into the final frame.
New Jersey would get an insurance goal from Jesper Bratt, his first of the preseason, 9:10 into the third period. Noesen and Joseph Blandisi had the assists. It was now 3-1 Devils. Bratt would add an empty netter at 19:43 of the third to make the final 4-1. He got assists from Noesen and Marcus Johansson (his first point of the preseason) on that one.
Your three stars of the game came all from New Jersey: Taylor Hall (first), Nico Hischier (second) and Will Butcher (third). Hall had an assist and was a plus-1 with four shots on goal, one block and a take away. He also won 100-percent of the faceoffs he took in 20:40 of ice time (including 5:23 on the power play and 1:57 on the penalty kill). Hischier had a goal, was a plus-1, had three shots on goal, two hits, a block and won 50-percent of his faceoffs. He had a total of 18:41 of ice time and spent 4:05 on the power play and 2:26 on the penalty kill. Butcher was a plus-1 with a shot on goal and three blocks. He had 17:27 of total ice time (including 5:37 with the man adavantage and 1:08 killing penalties).
The Devils’ final stat line again looked good. They outshot Montreal, 32 to 29; won more faceoffs, 54-percent to 46-percent; had more blocks, 19 to 11 and less giveaways 6 to 9. They were outhit by the Habs, 44 to 20 and took two more penalty minutes than Montreal, but overall it looked good for the Devils.
Next up, the Devils welcome the rival Rangers into Prudential Center at 7 PM on Saturday. That one will be televised, on MSG+2. We will have a more detailed recap here on Saturday.