The New Jersey Devils took on the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night. Each of these teams has high expectations this year and should be right there near the top of the division when the season comes to a close.
When they play each other, there are always high expectations. There are some really exciting players on both sides in this matchup. This game did not disappoint in any way.
One of the things ailing New Jersey, despite entering the game 4-2-1, was the starts to their games. They have been playing better in the first period as of late but they had yet to score the first goal of the game.
Well, low and behold, they finally did it in game number eight. Jesper Bratt scored for New Jersey and gave them a 1-0 lead. It was a great play that led to them finally having the first marker of a contest. Now, they don’t have to think about that anymore going forward.
The New Jersey Devils and Minnesota Wild ended up having a great game.
The Wild tied it later in the first thanks to a goal scored by Pat Maroon. He made an incredible play and you just have to tip your cap on a play like that. The Wild eventually took the lead early in the second period when Ryan Hartman scored a power-play goal.
New Jersey takes too many penalties and they haven’t been great on the penalty kill through eight games. However, they are also super elite on the power play. They kept that going when Tyler Tofolli tied it on the power play later in the second.
44 seconds later, Erik Haula scored at even strength to give the Devils the lead back. Jesper Bratt would score his second goal of the game late in the second via that amazing New Jersey power play.
The Wild would get back within one when Jake Middleton scored but the Devils hung on for the 4-3 victory. It was a huge win for them as they are now 5-2-1. It is a good start for a New Jersey squad that hasn’t even played as well as we know they can yet.
One player that deserves a little extra praise is Luke Hughes. He had two assists in the game so he is now up to six points (1-5–6) in eight games. He is tied with Bobby Orr Brink of the Philadelphia Flyers for second in league scoring.
As a defenseman, he even has more points than Connor Bedard of the Chicago Blackhawks who is an absolute star. It has been a remarkable start for Hughes.
Hughes gets the awesome job of the quarterback on power play one. He’s zipping it around with brother Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, and Timo Meier on a regular basis. He is going to continue stacking up tons of points in this role.
Jack Hughes didn’t record a point and they still won. That is great news because it is impossible for one player to carry all year long. They were also without captain Nico Hischier because of an injury so getting by without him is also impressive.
The Devils and Wild are now both off until Thursday night when they play against each other again. This time, it will take place in Minnesota so the Devils will be the team hitting the road this time. We’ll see how each team responds to this game against each other a handful of nights later.