The New Jersey Devils took down the big bad Colorado Avalanche

The New Jersey Devils took down the big bad Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
Feb 6, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Erik Haula (56) celebrates his
Feb 6, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Erik Haula (56) celebrates his / Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche are one of the best teams in the NHL. Once again, they are in a race for the top spot in the Central Division. After an overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, they had a second leg of a back-to-back on Tuesday. 

They paid a visit to Newark to play the New Jersey Devils. This was New Jersey’s first game back from the bye week/All-Star break. They have been on the playoff bubble all season long thanks to injuries and inconsistent play from their goaltenders. 

The Devils did what they do best and went down 1-0 for the 35th time in 48 games. Mikko Rantanen scored for the Avalanche. However, it took them less than a minute to get it tied as Chris Tierney deflected a Simon Nemec shot. 

Early in the second, Colorado scored but the Devils challenged for goaltender interference. They won the challenge and the game stayed tied at one. That is until Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier made a brilliant play to make it a 2-1 game. 

Dawson Mercer added a third goal eventually and they took a 3-1 lead into the final period. Colorado, however, leads the league in 3rd-period comebacks and they showed why in this game. 

The New Jersey Devils played a challenging Colorado Avalanche team

Cale Makar and Sam Girard scored goals 29 seconds apart to get the game tied just under halfway through the third. It was hard to think that the Devils could pull out a win after that. The Avs dominated play for most of the third period following that sequence. 

Some good fortune came New Jersey’s way later in the third though when Nico Hischier found John Marino in front of the net. He didn’t miss his fourth goal of the season. Erik Haula threw one into the empty net at 19:58 of the third and the Devils secured a 5-3 victory

The Avalanche, an elite team, worked very hard to get this thing tied back up after playing like garbage for almost the entire second period. They gave themselves a chance to win but it was all for not in the end. 

Vitek Vanecek was excellent in this win for the Devils. Things were a little sloppy when they gave up two quick goals but he made up for it later. That includes a huge stop on a Nathan MacKinnon breakaway when the game was tied at three.

Speaking of MacKinnon, he went pointless in this game. That snapped a 14-game point streak for him. The Hischier line and the defensive pairing of John Marino and Luke Hughes did a wonderful job shutting him down. The save by Vanecek played a big part as well. 

Tomas Nosek made his return to the lineup after being away for three months. Jack Hughes practiced with a regular jersey ahead of the game but he did not return to the lineup yet. That very well could come in their next game. 

Speaking of their next game, it will be at home against the Calgary Flames on Thursday. The Devils will come in at 25-20-3 (53 points) hoping to stay close in the race. They should be feeling good about themselves after beating this outstanding star-studded Avalanche team.