The game started off like many of the Devils games this season, being down 1-0 early on. Michael McLeod tied up the game a few minutes after the Islanders scored, getting his fourth goal of the season. McLeod has proven to be an important key to the Devils success and has found himself scoring important goals.
Earlier in the second period, Tyler Toffoli and Jack Hughes were able to find Dawson Mercer in an impressive end to end goal. The Devils seemed to have the momentum until Islanders star Mathew Barzal was found all alone behind the defense, finding the back of the net on the breakaway. That seemed like it was going to be the turning point of the game as the Islanders scored two more times in the span of five minutes, putting them up 4-2. That was the end of Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek’s night, putting Akira Schmid in net.
As the third period began, the Devils had a tough hill to climb, but nothing is impossible in Jersey. Hughes netted one early in the third period, giving the Devils the spark they needed as they were only down one goal. Hughes added three more points to his season, as he now has an impressive 26 points in 15 games so far this season.
Nico Hischier continued to make a difference in his return from injury. The captain found the back of the net on the power play with a little under 10 minutes left, tying the game. Hischier has two goals in two games after missing a month of play.
The game seemed like it would be going into overtime until the Devils found themselves in the offensive zone. Curtis Lazar, who has done everything right for the Devils recently, was awarded with the game winning goal.
"For us to come back and get that in regulation, we would take the points anyway we could, but that's a pretty gutsy win out of us," Hughes commented.
Schmid came into the game and saved nine out of nine shots, giving the Devils the extra push they needed to complete the comeback. He now has a career .980 save percentage when coming into the game in relief.
Brendan Smith continued to show why he should remain in the lineup as he picked up another point and showed his physical side. He dropped the gloves again tonight, sending Anders Lee to the locker room. Smith has had two fights in the past two games, something fans like to see.
Dougie Hamilton did not start the third period as he suffered an upper-body injury and head coach Lindy Ruff simply said,“he couldn’t play.”
The Devils play the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center at 7 p.m. Another divisional matchup and an important two points on the line as the Devils look to continue their win streak.