On Tuesday night, the New Jersey Devils took on the Winnipeg Jets at the Canada Life Centre. The Devils previously lost center Jack Hughes and are still without Nico Hischier. Both teams are currently on a losing streak, and both seem to be struggling in different areas. The Devils came out for warm ups hoping to leave Winnipeg with two points and some momentum for the upcoming rivalry game November 18th.
Expectations were high for the Devils, because head coach Lindy Ruff made big adjustments to the team's lineups in hopes it would turn things around. Ruff put Luke Hughes on a line with Dougie Hamilton since they are both offensive defenseman. This defensive change would increase the team's chance of scoring.
The 1st period started with the Devils seemingly playing tighter as a team but still having a hard time finding the puck. This awkwardness showed, as the Jets seemed to be dominating. Throughout the first period, goaltender Akira Schmid showed off his skills by making nine big saves that would keep the Devils in the game. Brendan Smith would also trigger the first penalty of the game to give his team a chance to score.
The 2nd period would start with the Devils really stepping up as they continued to take many shots on net in hopes of grabbing a lead. Even with the Devils' new found momentum, they would fall short as their defense would let Kyle Connor get the puck from Josh Morrissey and Alex Lafallo and would score, putting the Jets in the lead. They would continue their attempts to tie the game.
The Jets would dominate the Devils once again and during the Jets' power play, Cole Perfetti would score from Kyle Connor and Josh Morrissey. The Devils would seemingly lose momentum until Timo Meier would bring hope back and score from Jesper Bratt and Ondrej Palat. John Marino would send the puck into the back of the net from Curtis Lazar and Luke Hughes.
The Devils would show life as they were now tied and ready to grab the lead. Their life would then fade as Nikolaj Ehlers would take advantage of a half open net and would score from Cole Perfetti and Dylan Samberg, The Devils would leave the ice once again without the lead.
The Devils would enter the ice for the 3rd period hoping to tie it up. They would start the period with a power play which would add momentum to their play and give them more scoring opportunities. The Jets would attempt to match the energy the Devils had but it just seemed unreachable at the moment. Even with the momentum the Devils needed Winnipeg would find a way to crush it with another goal from Kyle Connor who seemed to be searching for a hat trick.
The Devils fuel would slowly fall again as the team would let up passes, these mistakes would cost them another goal from Morgan Barron. They would seem to be almost lifeless the next few minutes as they desperately tried to save the game. Dawson Mercer would show his attempts as he scored from Dougie Hamilton and Erik Haula.
The Devils would then pull their goaltender in hopes of scoring again to save the game, but that decision only made things worse as Ehlers would take his second of the night on an empty net. They would retreat to the locker room frustrated and defeated with the 3-6 loss. The Devils now have a 5-5-0 record, which for the young team is very disappointing.
It is time for the young stars who have yet to show their talent to show up and play in a way that will help this team come together and perform they way they are expected.
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