Fresh Faces Help Lead Devils to Victory

March 24, 2019 - Devils Army Blog - View Full Article

In what quickly became quite the goalie duel, the New Jersey Devils needed all 65 minutes, plus the shootout, to secure a victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Both goalies were on their A game, as Kuemper made miraculous save after miraculous save, especially in the third where he had 12 of his 31 stops. Blackwood was just as dialed in, making 23 saves and going 5 of 6 in the shootout.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson started off the scoring on the day, putting one through a mass of bodies and beating Blackwood high to give the Coyotes the lead. Stafford tied the game in the closing minutes of the first, snapping one five hole off a beautiful drop pass from Zacha.

The rest of the game became a goalie show, including two pucks that were floating just above Kuemper, and destined to fall, in but were knocked out of mid air at the last minute. In the shootout both goalies remained dialed in. Blake Coleman was finally able to score off a beautiful move, and Zacha would end up putting home the winning goal one round later.

In their first games back, Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri didn’t miss a beat. They both logged heavy minutes (21:08 for Nico, 19:21 for Kyle) and were first and second on the team in possession metrics (70.7% Corsi for Nico, 69.2% for Kyle). With the roster starting to fill up with NHL players again, the speed and offensive zone pressure was back.

Team Stats

Shots: Devils – 32 Coyotes – 24

Powerplays: Devils – 0/5 Coyotes – 0/3

Faceoffs: Devils – 40% Coyotes – 60%

Hits: Devils – 18 Coyotes

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DAB Pregame: Devils Square off With the Coyotes

March 23, 2019 - Devils Army Blog - View Full Article

The Arizona Coyotes come to the Rock for an afternoon matinee in their push for the playoffs. Arizona currently sits just one point out of the final wild-card spot. They will be looking to get back into the win column coming off of a two-game losing streak. New Jersey comes in having lost three in a row and currently sit just five points of last place in the league as the quest for a top draft spot continues. The Devils will have some reinforcements for this game, however, as Nico Hischier, Kyle Palmieri, Miles Wood, Sami Vatanen and Mirco Mueller all check into the lineup this afternoon.

Lineups

New Jersey Devils

Agostino – Hischier – Palmieri

Coleman – Zajac- Noesen

Wood – Zacha – Stafford

Quenneville – Rooney – McLeod

Mueller – Vatanen

Greene – Severson

Carrick – Santini

Blackwood

Schneider

Arizona Coyotes

Grabner – Stepan – Hinostroza

Panik – Richardson – Keller

Crouse – Dvorak – Archibald

Galchenyuk – Cousins – Garland

Ekman-Larsson – Hjalmarsson

Goligoski – Demers

Chychrun – Oesterle

Kuemper

Pickard

Where to Watch

Prudential Center 1:00 p.m.

MSG

FS-A

Player to Watch

Nico Hischier… With so many players checking back into the lineup today, Nico takes his spot back as the number one center. It will be great to see Hischier back out on the ice and being able to play with Palmieri and Agostino on a top line can cause some issues for the Coyotes’ defense.

Derek Stepan… Stepan makes his return after missing 10 games, and the Coyotes could certainly use his presence in the lineup. He currently has 32 points in 64 games, and Stepan does know the Devils rather well from his days with the Rangers.

Prediction

With some much-needed firepower added to the lineup today, look for the Devils speed and pressure to be back on display in this one. It should be a very close game, but I think the first game back with all of these players in the lineup it may take a bit of a re-adjustment period. Coyotes win 3-2.

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