Photo Credit: Dave Janosz

A Rocky Night At The Rock: Devils Fall to Red Wings


The New Jersey Devils opened the 2022-2023 season on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center falling to the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. The Devils are one of the younger teams in the NHL, with some veteran experience on their side. New Jersey had a productive off-season acquiring 2x Stanley Cup Champion LW Ondrej Palat during this free agency from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Devils also acquired LW Erik Haula from Boston, and Goalie Vitek Vanecek from the Capitals.



Saturday at the Prudential Center was packed for the Devils' home opener against the Detroit Red Wings. For the Red Wings, this was their second game of the 2022-23 season. A 3-0-win vs the Canadians got the Red Wings to 1-0 heading into Saturday’s game. Detroit’s Dylan Larkin was looking to tack another great season after leading the team in Points (69) and Goals (31) categories. For New Jersey this seems to be a breakup year for the young 21-year-old Jack Hughes. The captain Nico Hischier was announced in the lineup after recovering from an injury.

Right of the bat the Devils were hot, 4:45 off the 1st period defensemen Dougie Hamilton rides the blue line and shoots a wrister that gets behind Husso to put the Devils up on the board 1-0. The goal was assisted (3) by Jesper Bratt and for the second year in a row Hamilton has scored on opening night for the Devils. The Devils' power play kill unit followed through this period stopping DET on both counts forcing them to go 0/2. The second time around, they did not allow the Red Wings to get a shot on goal.


As the second period got underway, the Red Wings started to cause some trouble for the Devils. Detroit started their attack on the offensive front by tying the game with a wrister from Ben Chiarot scoring his first goal of the season. A few minutes later in the period at the 15:26 mark, Jakub Vrana scored one rushing from the left side to put the Red Wings up 2-1.

Not so fast however, the Devils responded right after the faceoff with Miles Wood putting one behind the net to tie the game 2-2. This was Miles Wood's first goal of the season assisted by Fabian Zetterlund at the 15:16 mark. Later in the second period, the Devils went on the power play for the first time on Saturday. They would go on another power play with the 4-on-3-man advantage after a DET hooking call at the 12:03 mark.

The Devils finished the second period sloppy allowing four unanswered goals, and some ugly time in the penalty box. Detroit had only 13 shots on goal this period but found the net four times. In the last two minutes, Detroit’s Moritz Seider and Dylan Larkin both found the back of the net to put the Red Wings up 4-2. The Devils' inability to stay out of the box this period didn’t help which was twice in the second period. A lot of sloppy play and turnovers, disadvantage strength, and last-minute defensive poor play put the Devils down by two.


Only two minutes into the third period, Tatar headed to the box for the second time in the game for roughing to put the Red Wings on the power play for the fourth time. With 6:49 off the 3rd period, both Mercer of the Devils and Sundqvist of the Red Wings headed to the box for roughing creating 4 on 4 even strength. Detroit scored again with Dominik Kubalik scoring his first goal of the season to make it 5-2 Red Wings. Fans at the Rock were not pleased, and boos began to rain down. Hughes rounded up only seven shots on goal on 21:34 total ice time in the game.

It was a rocky opening night for the Devils as they dropped consecutive games to start the 2022-2023 campaign, allowing five goals in back-to-back contest. The last time the Devils dropped consecutive games in regulation to begin a season was Oct 9-10, 2015, after suffering a 3-1 loss to Winnipeg and 5-3 defeat to Washington. The Devils are now 23-12-13 all time for home openers. They were outshot by Detroit 39-21, won 55% of the face-offs and were 4/4 on the penalty kill, yet still fell to the Red Wings 5-2.

The Devils' next game will be home at the Prudential Center on Tuesday Oct 18th at 7 pm ET as they host Trevor Zegras and the visiting Anaheim Ducks.