had not lost to the Montreal Canadiens in seven straight games. They were facing
the Habs for the third time this year and, due to the flu, were missing Carey
Price. They would get Charlie Lindgren instead, a goalie they lit up the last
time they saw him. All signs pointed to a New Jersey win tonight. Instead, they
squandered a three-goal lead and lost 5-4 in a shootout.
The flu bug,
as mentioned, had hit the Canadiens. They were missing, in addition to Price,
Jordan Weal and Victor Mete who were both ill. PK Subban was out for the Devils
also with an illness while Nico Hischier – who left the Dallas game in the second
period to receive stitches in his knee, and then returned to finish the game
and score the game-tying goal – was out tonight. The Devils were also without
Sami Vatanen, who got injured on Saturday while blocking a shot.
Hischier and Vatanen are listed as day-to-day.
this, there were some vacancies in the Devils’ lineup. Missing two defensemen
and a forward, Mirco Mueller slotted back in on D along with Colton White, who
was recalled from Binghamton of the AHL. Up front, Joey Anderson, also called
up from Binghamton and making his New Jersey season debut tonight, replaced
Nico. Also, with Hischier out, Jack Hughes moved up to center the top line
between Jesper Bratt and Kyle Palmieri. Anderson skated on the fourth line with
John Hayden and Kevin Rooney while on D, White was on the third pairing with Connor
Carrick. White wore number 2 while Anderson moved from 49 to 14.
Lindgren was in net for Montreal. This was the third meeting between these
teams this year and the third Canadiens goalie between the pipes. The Devils saw
Keith Kinkaid in the first game and Price in their second meeting back on
Thanksgiving night in November.
made 20 stops on 24 Devils shots for an .833 save percentage. The Devils had
Louis Domingue making his second straight start and he turned aside 32 of the 36
shots he saw for an .889 save percentage on the night.
Miles Wood kicked
off the scoring 9:17 into the game when Bratt got the puck up ice and Wood
touched it and it got away from him. He then beat Canadiens’ defenseman Christian
Folin to the loose puck and shot from a weird angle almost at the goal line. The
puck beat Lindgren to make it 1-0 Devils. Mueller had the secondary assist on the
1-0 through the first intermission and, 1:51 into the second, Palmieri doubled
the Devils lead. This came on the power play as Montreal’s Shea Weber was off
for tripping. Palmieri had drawn this penalty and then, about five seconds in, Blake
Coleman tapped a puck won off the faceoff back to Damon Severson at the point. Severson
found Palmieri cutting backdoor towards the net and made a nice tape-to-tape
pass to him. He then sniped one by Lindgren to extend the Devils’ lead to 2-0.
the faceoff following the goal, at 1:54, Dale Weise and Hayden got into it, drawing
the first fighting majors of the night.
two nice saves from Domingue midway through the second at around the 6:23 mark,
Bratt made it 3-0 Devils. At 6:44, with play at four-on-four (an Artturi Lehkonen
tripping call and a Severson hook set this up), Bratt made a slick backhanded
pass to Will Butcher through the neutral zone. Once in the Montreal end,
Butcher slipped one to Pavel Zacha, who then found Bratt trailing. Bratt was in
alone on Lindgren and kind of flubbed a wrist shot that somehow trickled by
Lindgren to triple the Devils lead. It was not pretty, but to paraphrase MSG’s
Steve Cangialosi, it will look like the hardest shot in the world in tomorrow’s
The game’s second
fight came at the 12:29 mark when Nick Cousins of the Habs looked to spark them
by fighting Rooney.
And spark them
began when Joel Armia scored unassisted and shorthanded at the 13:08 mark of the
second. It came off of a Palmieri turnover in the neutral zone. Max Domi had gone
off for slashing at the same time as the fight, putting New Jersey on the power
play and the Devils got a little bit sloppy. Armia, with Severson on his back,
skated into the Devils’ zone and banked a shot off of the post and in to make it
would cut the Devils lead to one at 17:06 of the second when Nate Thompson got
the puck just inside the Devils blue line. He then skated in on Domingue,
cutting towards the net and protecting the puck with his leg as he drove in on
Butcher. He beat Domingue and it was now 3-2 Devils. Ryan Poehling had the lone
assist on the goal.
ended the second period by making a nice point-blank glove save on Domi, but the
Canadiens had the momentum as we headed off to the third period.
into the third, Cousins scored to tie the game at three. It happened when Domi
barreled into the Devils zone and created a turnover deep. Brett Kulak, a
defenseman, jumped up to get the puck to Cousins in front of the net. Cousins
scored to tie the game.
would take a 4-3 lead when Folin scored at the 9:35 mark of the third. This one
occurred when the Habs pressured the Devils in their zone, not allowing them to
clear. Folin got the puck at the point and wristed one that redirected off of
Travis Zajac’s stick and a leg in front, bouncing around and into the Devils’
net. Tomas Tatar had the primary assist while Phillip Danault had the secondary
on the goal that made it 4-3 Montreal.
Devils were not done either. Domingue was pulled with just over a minute to go
in regulation. Then, at 18:51, the Canadiens got hit with a too many men on the
ice bench minor setting up a potential 6-on-4 advantage for the Devils.
They won the
faceoff in the Montreal zone and Domingue took off for the bench. The Devils
had the two-man advantage and, with exactly 20 seconds to go in the game, the
Devils got the puck on net. There was a mad scramble as Wayne Simmonds,
Palmieri and Coleman collapsed down on the goal mouth. Palmieri finally put the
puck in to notch his second of the night and to tie things up for New Jersey. Coleman
(primary) and Hughes (secondary) had the assists on the goal.
power play goal, the Devils went 2-for-5 on the night with six shots. They also
had a pair of shorthanded shots. Montreal was 0-for-2 with two power play shots
and four shorthanded shots – one of which they scored on.
ended, we were off to overtime for the fourth straight Devils game. The OT
period did not settle things, however, and it was off to a shootout.
In the first
round, Nikita Gusev lost control of the puck and could not get a shot off and Armia
was stopped on a nice glove save by Domingue. In round two, Palmieri was stopped
as he too sort of lost control of the puck and Ilya Kovalchuk was up for the
Habs. He scored putting the game on Hughes’ stick. His shot was stopped by
Lindgren and the Canadiens had the win.
Cangialosi, the trade with the Atlanta Thrashers that made Kovalchuk a Devil
happened ten years ago today. What a fitting way to mark this anniversary. Also,
coincidentally, Kovalchuk, while with the Devils, set the NHL record for shootout
goals in a season (2011-12), which just happened to be the subject of tonight’s
MSG trivia question.
was getting booed all night by the Prudential Center faithful and, when he
scored in the shootout, quieted the crowd by putting his finger to his lips and
doing the “shhh” pantomime.
won 46-percent of the game’s faceoffs with Hughes doing well in leading the
centers with a 57-percent winning clip on his faceoffs. The Devils were outhit
by a significant margin at 27-7. They did lead by a lot in blocks at 24-5,
however. They also had nine turnovers to the Habs’ three.
Severson led all Devils skaters with 29:24 of ice time (including 5:04 on the
power play and 1:41 killing penalties) while Coleman led the forwards with 23:03
(4:10 on the power play and 1:44 shorthanded).
his Devils season debut, had two penalty minutes (a third period high-sticking
penalty) and a hit in 11:06 of ice time (which included 47 seconds on the PK). White
registered a minus-1 plus/minus rating and had two blocked shots and a giveaway
in 10:34 of total ice time.
in shots on goal with eight, Hayden led in hits with four, Andy Greene led in blocks
with four and Hughes, Simmonds and Rooney led in takeaways with two apiece.
Next up, the
Devils head down the Turnpike to take on the Flyers. This will be the Devils
final meeting with Philadelphia this season. We will see you then right here.