Tyler Toffoli, Toffoli, Devils, New Jersey Devils
Tyler Toffoli (Photo by Nicole Mehl - JSN)

Tyler Toffoli Drives Devils to Overtime Win

NEWARK, NJ - The New Jersey Devils took down the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, 6-5 in a crucial must-win game in overtime on Monday night at Prudential Center.

Tyler Toffoli was the man of the night as he netted his second hat trick of the season to propel the Devils to secure another two points. He is the first Devils player to hit 20 goals this season.

Vegas scored on the Devils first to open up the scoring in the first period. Captain Nico Hischier tied the game at one, then Curtiz Lazar and Toffoli both found the back of the net to put the Devils up 3-1.

After the Devils went up 3-1, the Vegas Golden Knights had all the momentum and scored the next four straight goals. Right before the end of the second period, Toffoli scored his second of the night to bring the Devils within one.

After a six goal second period, the scoring slowed down as Lazar tied the game 5-5 with 10 minutes left in the game. Lazar’s goal was the only goal scored in the third period.

After two minutes of back-and-forth play, Toffoli ended overtime with his third goal of the night, giving the Devils the win with a score of 6-5.

Although Toffoli stole the show with his hat trick on Monday, the line of Meier-Hischier-Bratt was on full display as they had 17/38 shots on net for the Devils and each got themselves one point.

Bratt was no doubt one of the best Devils on the ice Monday night as it seemed that each time he had the puck, there was a scoring chance in front of him.

“There wasn’t a time that I thought Jesper looked tired on the ice,” head coach Lindy Ruff said.

The newly formed line of Lazar-Haula-Bastian also had a successful night as they were part of two important goals for the Devils.

Despite the win, Vitek Vanecek did not have a strong showing, scoring a save percentage of .884%. Defensive breakdowns also played a key role in letting the Golden Knights score four straight goals.

The Devils desperately needed the two points as the wild card playoff spot was slipping further from them. New Jersey now has 51 points on the season.

The Devils have a tough stretch of games ahead of them as they play the Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche in the next two weeks.

The Devils will visit the Hurricanes on January 25 where they hope to gain another two points in a divisional matchup.

Gabrielle Nordstrom

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