Wedgewood Notches Shutout as Coyotes Blowout Devils

The Devils, coming off of their first win in Denver since March of 2008 last night, came into Glendale, Arizona to face an old friend and try to make it two in a row on a back-to-back. Unfortunately, that old friend, Scott Wedgewood, was very motivated and stood on his head to give the Devils fits. The Arizona Coyotes blanked the Devils 5-0, their biggest loss of the year so far. The (usually) lowly Coyotes got their first regulation victory on home ice this year with that win.

The night started on a high note, as MSG’s Deb Placey interviewed Devils General Manager Ray Shero. Among the highlights from that interview was him explaining the Hentrique/Vatanen trade and saying how hard it is to trade a fan favorite like Adam Henrique, but that the Devils were getting a good asset back in Sami Vatanen. He also feels that the Devils are fighting this year to get back some of the respect that they lost last season throughout the NHL. Unfortunately, this game tonight was not a good example of them doing that.

On paper, this game was a mismatch in favor of New Jersey. The Devils have the best road record in the NHL while Arizona, as noted, struggles at home, having the NHL’s worst home record. But the story, as we shall see, was Wedgewood and his revenge on his former teammates, as he pitched his second career shutout and first for a Coyotes goalie this year.

But before we get to all of that, let’s address roster moves. The defense remained intact from last night’s game in Colorado, with Dalton Prout and Steven Santini as healthy scratches. The only difference was Pavel Zacha sitting out up front in favor of Jimmy Hayes.

The Devils were playing an earlier start (six o’clock local time) tonight, which meant that they were playing twice in less than 24 hours. The game in Colorado started at seven o’clock local (both games played in the Mountain Time Zone). The Devils were also looking for the season sweep of the Yotes, having already beaten them back in New Jersey earlier this season.

The goaltending matchup saw Wedgewood go for the Yotes while Keith Kinkaid started for New Jersey. Wedgewood stopped all 27 shots he faced while Kinkaid turned aside 22 of the 27 shots he saw.

On the power play, both teams had an ofer, the Devils were 0-for-3 with four shots on goal while the Coyotes were 0-for-2 with five shots on goal.

But the Coyotes scored early and often. They found the back of the net just 34 seconds into the game and did not look back. Jason Demers had that goal off an assist to Derek Stepan. The Arizona forecheck simply hemmed the Devils in their own zone and a turnover led to the goal. The Devils coaching staff thought about challenging for offsides, but replays showed that it would have brought nothing. They did not challenge. This is the second time in a week that the Devils gave up a goal 34 seconds into a game (last Saturday the Devils gave up one 34 seconds in against Detroit – they would go on to win that game, however, in OT).

The Yotes scored early in the period and would also score with 25 seconds remaining in the first period. That goal came from Stepan off assists from Tobias Rieder and Kevin Connauton.

The Devils came out and played a very good second period where they outshot the Coyotes 15-4. But the play that best encapsulated the game was Wedgewood making a huge right toe save on Stefan Noesen, who was in on a 2-on-1 with Brian Gibbons. MSG’s Ken Daneyko felt that it seemed like a “slam dunk” and would prove to be a real turning point for the game.

That was best shown when Jordan Martinook scored at the 17:08 mark of the second, as the Devils pushed the play in that period, to make it 3-0 Arizona. Zac Rinaldo and Connauton had the assists. That was Martinook’s first goal since October 30.

While the Devils played a somewhat coherent second period, the wheels just fell off in the third. It began at the 12:05 mark when Alex Goligoski scored on a 2-on-1 with Anthony Duclair. Miles Wood tried hard to back check and get back in the play, but simply could not and it was 4-0 Arizona. Christian Fischer had the secondary assist on that goal.

The Coyotes capped off the scoring at the 13:38 mark of the third when Dylan Strome scored his very first NHL goal when he scored five hole on Kinkaid. Fischer and Clayton Keller had the assists on his career first. Congratulations to Dylan Strome on his first NHL goal.

Even though the Devils could not break the shutout, Kinkaid did make a nice save on Duclair late in the game. Coach John Hynes called a timeout late, also, where he was able to sort of try to get the Devils back on track.

Stat-wise, with Vatanen playing so much in the last few days (going back to his last few games with Anaheim), John Moore took over the time-on-ice leadership for this game, playing 20:15, just four seconds more than Vatanen. Drew Stafford led the team in shots on goal with five while Andy Greene led in hits with four. The Devils only won 47-percent of the game’s faceoffs.

Next up, the Devils take on the Columbus Blue Jackets in the start of a home-and-home with the Metropolitan Division leaders. It will be a showdown that will really test the Devils’ mettle and should make for some exciting hockey. Daneyko feels that the Devils will be angry coming out of this game and will feel they need to prove something against the Jackets, which could be a blessing for New Jersey. A better effort on Tuesday in Ohio is all fans are looking for. See you then!

Devils Battle Coyotes, Come Out With Eighth Win of Season

The Devils officially got off to their best start since 1993-94 tonight with a 4-3 victory over the hapless Arizona Coyotes, sending the Yotes to the worst start of a season since the 1995-96 San Jose Sharks and improving to 8-2-0. Arizona has not won a game to start this year, now standing at 0-10-1.

The Coyotes vastly and generally outplayed the Devils most of the night, but New Jersey was able to battle back from a few deficits to pull away a victory from a desperate Arizona club. This was their only set of back-to-back games this season where both games would be played at Prudential Center.

On the medical front, Brian Boyle has been skating with the team, so he is closer to returning from his battle with CML. In addition, while Cory Schneider was back in the nets after his wife gave birth yesterday, captain Andy Greene was missing from tonight’s lineup as his wife gave birth to a son earlier this morning. Congratulations to the Greene family on their new addition.

With Cory back in the Devils’ lineup, there was a glut of goaltending. Instead of sending Scott Wedgewood back down to Binghamton, the Devils decided they would cut ties with him so that he could successfully achieve becoming a number one goaltender in the NHL. His destination? Right down the hall from the Devils’ dressing room to Arizona. He was dealt early this afternoon to the Coyotes for a 2018 fifth round Draft pick. He would back up Louis Domingue for the Yotes tonight. Part of the early struggles for Arizona has been lack of consistent goaltending, so Wedgewood should get a chance to really shine there.

Some other roster notes for the Devils: Kyle Palmieri was still out with the lower body injury. He will be reevaluated before the Western Canadian road trip coming up to see if he can make the trip with the team. Marcus Johansson was injured during warmups and was a last minute scratch for the Devils as well. Dalton Prout and Mirco Mueller came back in on defense while Stefan Noesen, who was originally supposed to sit, slotted in for Johansson.

The story of the night, as far as New Jersey’s comebacks were concerned, was special teams. The Coyotes went only 1-for-5 on the power play as the Devils continued to be a heavily penalized team. The Devils’ power play was 2-for-2, connecting on both chances to complete a rally for New Jersey late. The Devils also had a bizzare shorthanded goal in this game that we will get to in a second.

The first goal of the game was the Arizona power play goal that was set up by Jesper Bratt going off for slashing. Christian Fischer potted one on that man advantage, with assists to Christian Dvorak and Jason Demers. The Coyotes were really pressuring early in the first and it paid off for them there. Arizona had the 1-0 lead, but the Yotes do tend to score first early, as they have done so eight times this year so far.

The Devils seemed to be setting a tone when, after that power play, Pavel Zacha was called for a slashing infraction. But, while killing that penalty, Brian Gibbons broke free for a breakaway on the Arizona net after intercepting a pass at the Devils’ blueline. He was hooked from behind by Oliver Ekman-Larsson and a penalty shot was awarded to Gibbons at 11:55 of the first period. Gibbons would make a move similar to Bratt’s shootout goal last night, cutting in and hesitating to freeze Domingue before sliding the puck under his goal stick. That shorthanded penalty shot, the first such converted by a Devil since Ilya Kovalchuk did it back in January of 2013. The Devils went back on the penalty kill and finished, keeping Arizona off of the scoreboard. That goal was also Gibbons’ team leading fifth goal of the season.

In the second period, Taylor Hall would score his first of two to give New Jersey the 2-1 lead. It came at 11:09 when Ben Lovejoy got the puck up the wall to Jesper Bratt. Bratt cut into the Arizona zone, dumping the puck to the far corner and then heading to a spot behind the net where he knew the Coyotes’ defender would try to wrap the puck around the boards. The puck came right to Bratt, who centered to Hall in the slot. He fired it home and the Devils had the lead. It was a nice play by Bratt, who showed good anticipation on the play, knowing exactly where to be on the ice to intercept the clearing attempt.

But the Coyotes would get the next two to take a 3-2 lead going into the second intermission. Arizona tied things up when Brendan Perlini scored his first of the year from Alex Goligoski and Mario Kempe at 11:57 of the second period. The Yotes had tied things up less than a minute after Hall’s goal gave New Jersey the lead and they would take the lead at the 15:13 mark when the NHL’s leading rookie scorer, Clayton Keller, potted his eighth goal unassisted. Going into the final frame, the Devils were down 3-2, which would set up a wild third period.

The Devils would finally get their first power play opportunity at the 4:19 mark of the third when Max Domi went off for interfering with Lovejoy. The Devils wasted no time. At 4:30, Adam Henrique won the faceoff in the Arizona end to Bratt, who skated along the half wall and relieved the puck to the near point. Bratt took the pass back and made a slick backhanded pass to Henrique near the near faceoff dot. He made a backhanded pass of his own to Hall, who was swooping in to the top of the far faceoff circle. Hall rifled one by Domingue, a right-catching goalie’s, glove hand to tie things up at three.

The game clincher came at the 15:47 mark of the third when Bratt and Hall would team up again. This goal was also on the power play, set up at 15:26 when Fischer was called for roughing Blake Coleman. On the man advantage, Bratt again set up on the near half wall, giving the puck to Henrique in the faceoff circle. He dished back to Will Butcher at the near point. Butcher gave to Hall, who found a perfect seam cross ice to Bratt. Bratt one-timed it by Domingue to give the Devils the last lead of the game.

New Jersey weathered a storm of almost three and a half minutes of Arizona pulling their goaltender for an extra attacker. But unlike last night against Ottawa, they shut the door, with one last strange play close to the end. While trying to clear the zone, Coleman pitchforked the puck up so high that it hit the new gigantic scoreboard. The faceoff was ruled to come in the Devils’ zone, but the Devils did hold on to win the game in a frantic finish and sending the Coyotes to their eleventh loss of this early season.

Cory Schneider had a great night to say the least, making 34 saves on 37 Coyotes shots. In five power plays, Arizona had eight shots. Domingue had 21 saves on 25 Devils shots. The Devils power play unit was perfect, scoring on both shots they took.

Individually for the Devils, Adam Henrique led the team with 19:41 of ice time. John Moore led a pretty balanced defense corps with 17:38 TOI. Taylor Hall led the team in shots on goal with four, scoring on two of them.

Next up, the Devils begin a Western Canadian road trip after a few days off, on Wednesday, November 1 when they travel to Vancouver to take on the Canucks.

Despite Gallant Comeback, Devils Drop Tenth Straight to Coyotes

The Devils dropped their tenth straight game and fell to last place in the Eastern Conference despite a dramatic comeback that they just could not finish. They fell 5-4 to the Arizona Coyotes.

The roster had a drastically different look tonight. For starters, Travis Zajac was back in New Jersey with his wife as they were celebrating the birth of their third child. With Zajac out, Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri would be playing with Adam Henrique centering their line.

Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body injury) was out of the lineup as well. In his and Zajac’s place, Blake Pietila and Kevin Rooney were recalled from Albany to replace them. Andy Greene was also back in on the blue line following his return to the team. Miles Wood went hard into the end boards at practice earlier today and was favoring his shoulder, but he would play. Ken Appleby was sent back to the A-Devils as Keith Kinkaid felt better and was able to back up Cory Schneider tonight.

Also scratched for New Jersey were Michael Cammalleri and Jacob Josefson as well as Dalton Prout. Sitting for Arizona were Alexander Burmistrov, Kevin Connauton and Teemu Pulkkinen.

These two teams last played all the way back on October 25 in New Jersey where the Devils came away with the victory and scored five goals. Since then, both teams have gone steadily downhill. However, for the Coyotes, one bright spot has been the rookies, who have scored a combined 80 points for the club. The Devils had won five straight games against the Coyotes coming into this game.

The matchup between the pipes saw Mike Smith make 26 saves for the Coyotes on 30 shots faced for a .867 save percentage. The Devils started Cory Schneider, who made six saves on 10 shots faced for a .600 save percentage. Keith Kinkaid would come on in relief for him at about the 15:47 mark of the second period and make 20 saves on 21 shots faced for a .952 save percentage.

The first period was ugly for the Devils, no doubt about it. It began just 1:27 into the period when Radim Vrbata scored from Max Domi and Connor Murphy. The Devils would immediately challenge this goal, saying that Domi had entered the Devils zone ahead of the Christian Dvorak and the puck, thus being offside. The linesmen looked at the replays and did not agree, ruling that Domi was, in fact on side and the goal was a good goal. It was 1-0 Coyotes.

Arizona scored again one minute and 26 seconds later when Tobias Rieder found the netting behind Cory from Jordan Martinook. It was now 2-0 Coyotes.

The third Arizona goal was set up by the whistle happy referees calling everything in sight. First, at 13:24 Domi was called for interference, giving New Jersey a 5-on-4 power play. Things were evened up at 15:24 when Joseph Blandisi went off for holding. At 16:24, Vrbata was sent off for cross checking, making it a 4-on-3 for the Devils. Then Taylor Hall was nabbed for slashing at 16:40 to make it a 3-on-3. As each of those penalties expired, it ended up with Arizona coming away with a 5-on-4 man advantage on which Jakob Chychrun scored from Rieder and Martinook. The Coyotes would end up 2-for-3 on the power play and the Devils were 1-for-2 on the night.

The Devils hit rock bottom at 3:59 of the second period when Brendan Perlini scored from Anthony DeAngelo and Chychrun again on the power play (Greene was in the box for holding). It was now 4-0 Coyotes.

The Devils were deep in a hole when, at 4:36 of the second, Mike Smith, one of the NHL’s best puck handling goaltenders was called for delay of game for playing the puck outside of the trapezoid. Then, at 5:47 of the period, Joseph Blandisi stole the puck from an Arizona defender and skated it to the far faceoff circle. He went cross ice to Hall, who connected on a pass to a cutting Kyle Palmieri. Palmieri was cutting in on net and scored, tumbling into the net along with the puck. The Devils had made it 4-1.

New Jersey would cut the lead in half at 12:09 of the second when Damon Severson kept the puck in the Arizona zone. He bobbled it and Beau Bennett picked it up in the slot, skated in on Smith, went to his backhand and scored to make it 4-2. With the Devils mounting a comeback, things began to get a little bit chippy as there was a lot of extra curricular activity after the whistles.

The third period opened with the Devils’ comeback continuing. Just 17 seconds into the third frame, Adam Henrique won an offensive zone faceoff back to Damon Severson at the far point. He fired and seemed to have beaten Smith cleanly to end his goal scoring drought that goes back to November 15. Replays showed that Palmieri actually tipped it in and he got the credit, giving him his second goal of the game to make it 4-3 Coyotes.

The Devils comeback would hit a snag when Sewell, New Jersey-native Anthony DeAngelo scored his fourth goal of the season from Jamie McGinn and Chychrun to put the Coyotes back up by two, 5-3.

But New Jersey made things interesting. First, at 15:02, the lead was cut back to one when Wood and Pavel Zacha cycled in the far corner. Zacha then went against the grain, finding John Moore behind the play. Moore took the pass, went to his back hand and beat Smith to make the score 5-4.

The Devils were within one and had their chance to tie it up when, with just 2:38 left in the game, Luke Schenn hauled down Hall and the ref awarded him a penalty shot. Smith would stop him and the game would continue 5-4. New Jersey pulled Kinkaid with about 50 seconds left in the third, but could get nothing going to tie it up and dropped their tenth straight and yet another one goal game.

But they did battle back and that showed that this team has not given up.

Next up, the Devils return home on Tuesday to the Prudential Center to take on the Winnipeg Jets. I will be attending this game live, so my post may be a little bit late. Hopefully, the Devils can get a win here as it would do a lot to boost the morale of this young team and their fans.

Hall and Zajac Each Score Two Goals as Devils Defeat Coyotes

The Devils came into their game with the Arizona Coyotes tonight at Prudential Center having won two straight on home ice and with all of their decisions coming by a one goal margin. One trend would continue tonight, while one would fall by the wayside.

The Devils honored New Jersey high school hockey during the first intermission of the game by having all of the captains from the state’s boys and girls high school hockey programs line up on the rink. It is always nice to see the team reach out to grassroots hockey in the state and goes a long way in strengthening the Devils’ connection to New Jersey as a whole.

Cory Schneider got the start in goal for the Devils. His 1.88 goals against average coming into tonight’s game was the best in the NHL amongst goalies with at least five starts. He would make 28 saves on the Coyotes’ 31 shots. With Mike Smith going down for Arizona, the Coyotes turned to Justin Peters who made 30 saves on 34 Devils shots.

Early in the game, Adam Henrique was clipped in the nose by Reid Boucher’s stick and had to leave the ice briefly to get cotton put in his nose to stop the bleeding. This was a good non-call by the officials as Henrique was clipped by his own teammate. He would return almost immediately.

Arizona took an early 1-0 lead at 7:04 of the first when Jordan Martinook scored on the rebound of an Alex Goligoski shot. Jamie McGinn, playing in his first game of the season for the ‘Yotes had the secondary assist.

But Arizona’s lead would not last long. At 8:43, Taylor Hall scored his fourth of the year when Pavel Zacha won a faceoff, was tied up by Martin Hanzal (a really good faceoff man), but was able to kick the puck to Taylor Hall, who used the screen of players in front to roof one past Peters.

It would go into the intermission tied at one. But 9:11 into the second, Martin Hanzal would be called for delay of game for knocking his own goal off of the pegs while the Devils had the puck in the offensive zone. At 9:40, Taylor Hall would get on the scoresheet again when he was able to chip the puck over Luke Schenn’s reaching stick on a one-on-one play. He then was able to get by Schenn and fire the puck by Peters. Zacha had the primary assist (his second of the night) and Damon Severson had the secondary.

The Devils were now leading 2-1. Just prior to Hall’s second goal, Kyle Quincey made a nice defensive clear of the puck from Cory’s crease. It negated a what would have been a definite Arizona goal off of a scramble in front of the Devils’ net.

The Devils would build up a 3-1 lead at 14:03 of the second period when Yohann Auvitu and Devante Smith-Pelly kept the puck alive in the Coyotes’ zone on the forecheck. The puck then bounced to Reid Boucher who fired it on net, it went in off of Adam Henrique and Henrique was credited with the goal. New Jersey now had a two goal lead for only the second time this season – they had one in the Tampa Bay game, but ended up losing that game.

And it would look like history would repeat itself in the third period when Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored his first of two from Michael Stone and Max Domi at 7:51.

Then, at 13:06, Quincey was called for interference against Martinook and the Coyotes went on the power play. Ekman-Larsson would capitalize off assists from Hanzal and Stone. This goal was only the second power play goal the Devils have given up this young season.

This came after the Devils had a few chances to add to their lead, including a nice pass from Hall to Kyle Palmieri that was just ahead of Palmieri’s stick causing him to roof the puck over the net.

The tide would turn permanently in the Devils’ favor when Connor Murphy was called for a questionable high-sticking infraction against PA Parenteau. On the ensuing power play, Damon Severson passed through the neutral zone to Taylor Hall who connected to Travis Zajac, who fired and beat Peters to give the Devils a 4-3 lead. It was a controversial power play, but the Devils took advantage.

The controversy would continue when Zajac scored his second goal of the game: an empty netter after Arizona had pulled Peters for the extra attacker. A clearing attempt by the Devils hit linesman Scott Driscoll while he was trying to get out of the way, and bounced to Zajac’s stick. He then potted the puck in the empty net. Ben Lovejoy notched the lone assist on the goal, his first point as a New Jersey Devil.

Time would expire and the Devils would come away with the 5-3 win, their third home win in as many tries this year (their first 3-0 start at home since 2002-03) and their first game that did not end with a one goal decision.

Next up for the Devils: the Chicago Blackhawks come into Newark on Friday. Although the Hawks are playing at NHL .500 right now, they are still a challenge for the Devils and a good measuring stick. We will see how the Devils can do against a Chicago team that is not playing to the best of their abilities right now, but can get on a roll at any time.

Devils Blank Coyotes in the Desert

The Devils needed a win to even out their four game road trip and fly back to Jersey on a good note. They got that and more. Cory Schneider was on top of his game in the 2-0 shutout and Kyle Palmieri showed a ton of guts in the bookend win in Glendale.

The game was moved from a 9 PM Eastern Time start to a 2 PM Eastern start due to the Arizona Cardinals-Green Bay Packers NFL playoff game tonight at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Gila River Arena and the football stadium are part of a complex in Glendale and they needed the parking spaces available for the playoff game.

The Devils got some key names back off of the injured list: Jordin Tootoo and John Moore were back in. Reid Boucher and Brian O’Neill were also called up from Albany. While O’Neill was a healthy scratch along with Stefan Matteau and the suspended Bobby Farnham, Boucher was in the lineup. The Devils dressed eleven forwards for the tilt. Eric Gelinas was moved up to forward and played on the fourth line with Tootoo and Stephen Gionta.

In net, Schneider got the nod for the Devils. He was equal to all 38 Arizona shots he saw and the Coyotes did fire a lot of rubber his way, not just on net, but peppering the crease area with shots that did not count as shots on net (going wide and such). For Cory, it was his fourth shutout of the season.

For the Coyotes, Louis Domingue, from Marty Brodeur’s hometown of St-Hyacinthe, Quebec) was supposed to get the game, but Arizona coach Dave Tippett decided to go with Anders Lindback instead. Lindback made 14 saves on 16 shots.

Much like the game in Colorado, the game winner came early. This time, however, the Devils were on the right side of it. Travis Zajac blocked a Coyotes shot in the Devils zone and poked it into the neutral zone to Lee Stempniak, who played give-and-go with Boucher, who buried a shot past Lindback stick side. It was Boucher’s fourth career NHL goal and his first on his first shot in his latest stint in the big leagues. Boucher led the AHL in shots and showed that he is not afraid to pull the trigger in the NHL. Boucher had flown in late last night to Arizona from Providence, Rhode Island where he was playing a game with the Albany Devils against the Providence Bruins.

From there, the teams settled in.

There was a scary moment for the Devils when Kyle Palmieri left late in the first period while the Devils were on the power play. He seemed to be clutching his left shoulder. He would return in the second period, but would have another scare in the third when he blocked a Coyotes shot in the knee. He would end up being OK, but his gutsy performance helped propel the team. Palmieri spent the entire game battling with Arizona star Oliver Ekman-Larsson, taking a high sticking penalty against him in the second.

Travis Zajac and Brad Richardson would drop the gloves at 18:13 of the second. For two guys who do not usually fight, it was a spirited bout, as both men held their own. It came when Zajac felt that Richardson was cheating on a faceoff in the Coyotes zone and they tied up once the puck was dropped. Some cross checks were exchanged and the two went at it.

The Devils would double their lead just 18 seconds into the third when Adam Larsson dumped the puck in deep. Joseph Blandisi retrieved it on the near side of the Arizona net and found Palmieri on the other side. Palmieri slid it past Lindback’s skate and the Devils led 2-0.

And that would be it. The Devils bookended two losses with two wins on the four game road trip and now return home to face a Calgary Flames team playing at NHL .500 with twenty regulation wins and twenty regulation losses. Calgary, much like Arizona, has some young guns up front and really make life miserable for a defense. If New Jersey can contain them the way they did the Coyotes, they will be OK. The Devils showed that they still have life, now they need to follow up when they take on the Calgary Flames at the Prudential Center on Tuesday.

Zajac Has 3-Point Night as Devils Defeat Coyotes in OT

The Arizona Coyotes came into Newark boasting a young, dynamic lineup with such standouts as Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Max Domi (son of former NHL tough guy Tie Domi) and former Rangers prospect Anthony Duclair. While those young guns were able to get a point on the night for Arizona, ultimately it was the Devils who would prevail on the strength of a three-point night for one of their veterans.

Things got off to a slow start with nothing of note happening in the first period. Jordin Tootoo took exception to some of the Coyotes physical play and two seconds into the second period, would scrap with Kyle Chipchura. Tootoo’s fight gave the Devils their second in as many games and would wake up the teams and the crowd.

However, it would take until the final minutes of the period for any puck to reach the back of the net. Kyle Palmieri was called for interference against Ekman-Larsson at 18:51 and the Devils were set to go on the penalty kill. In a relatively penalty-filled game, the second was particularly whistle-laden.

With the Devils killing off the Palmieri interference penalty, Adam Larsson was able to spring Jacob Josefson who was joined by Travis Zajac for a two-on-one. Josefson fed Zajac, who deposited the puck behind Coyotes’ goaltender Mike Smith for a short-handed goal, the Devils’ first of the season and a 1-0 lead. This was the first time the Devils had led in a game during the young 2015-16 season.

The Coyotes would still have some time left on the power play as the third period started and a fresh sheet of ice. Martin Hanzal connected with Max Domi who was able to pass it to Anthony Duclair streaking across the slot and the Coyotes tied the game at one 47 seconds into the third. Palmieri’s penalty had broken a tie with a short-handed goal for the Devils and then tied it back up as it yielded a power play goal for Arizona.

Early in the third, the Devils would get into some penalty trouble thanks to Max Domi. Domi was able to draw a hooking call against Brian O’Neill and a tripping call against Andy Greene all within a span of about a minute and a half, putting Arizona on a 5-on-3 power play. The Devils would kill off both penalties and survive the Coyotes onslaught.

New Jersey would take the lead back less than seven minutes later when Zajac dropped the puck to Mike Cammalleri coming into the Coyotes’ zone and Cammalleri would snap it high over Smith’s blocker and the Devils took a 2-1 lead. It was Zajac’s second point of the night and he was not done yet.

With about a minute left in the game, Arizona coach Dave Tippett pulled Smith and the Yotes capitalized. Mikkel Boedker shot through a maze of players and the puck ended up ricocheting in off of Devils defenseman David Schlemko. With the game tied, the Devils would be headed to three-on-three overtime for the third consecutive game.

The game winner came when Adam Larsson was able to stand up the Coyotes puck carrier at the Devils blueline and create a three-on-one odd man rush for the Devils. Larsson’s pass to Lee Stempniak was mishandled and dribbled to Zajac on the far side of the Coyotes’ net. He quickly gathered and sent it back to Larsson who buried it in a wide open Arizona goal, as Smith had committed to Zajac.

Travis Zajac had gathered his third point of the night, finishing with two assists and a goal (and would be named the second star of the game) and the Devils had won their second straight. They had not had a multiple game winning streak since March of last season.

The game’s third star, Cory Schneider, was brilliant as usual, making 18 saves on the night and again keeping the Devils in the game when things looked bad for the team.

The Arizona Coyotes are a good, young team that has a definite chance to make the playoffs this year in the Western Conference. The Devils handled their young players well and were able to come through with the win. Now they need to continue to build on it. Next up they hit the road for a pair of games: going to Ottawa on Thursday and Buffalo on Saturday.

These will be good tests for New Jersey, as Ottawa has been playing well and Buffalo, led by last year’s second-overall pick in the Draft, Jack Eichel, are a team not unlike Arizona. Hopefully for the Devils, they will be able to contain these opponents and corral their first win in regulation for John Hynes.