New Jersey Devils (22-26-10 54pts) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (30-18-12 72pts)
Good evening Devils fans! Tonight your New Jersey Devils welcome in the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Garden State. There were definitely some changes to the lineup right before game time. One of the biggest news of the day was Devils captain Andy Greene being dealt to the New York Islanders for a second round pick and prospect David Quenneville. Later on, Blake Coleman was dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a first round pick and highly touted prospect Nolan Foote. Also, Devils star center Nico Hischier returns to the lineup after being out with a knee injury since February 1st’s game against the Dallas Stars. Hischier returns to the top line with Jesper Bratt and Kyle Palmieri.
The first period was not a good one for the Devils as they quickly got down 2-0 to the Blue Jackets. Andrew Peeke scored his first NHL goal and Zach Werenski scored his eighteenth goal of the season. Those were the only goals of the period.
New Jersey’s fourth line quickly tied things up 2-2 as they got goals from Joey Anderson and Nicholas Merkley. The Devils second goal would be Merkley’s first National Hockey League goal. Moments later, Kyle Palmieri would break the tie on a beautiful passing sequence between himself Nico Hischier, and Jesper Bratt to give the Devils their first lead of the game. New Jersey would remain ahead 3-2 going into the third period.
However, Kevin Stenlund of the Blue Jackets tied the score 3-3 at the 8:45 mark. There would be no other scoring in the third period which would force overtime between the two teams. Each team had their chances to win the game in overtime however, the goaltending on both sides was the story of this game and kept it tied heading into a shootout.
The shootout would go all the way to the seventh round, where Jesper Brett would be the hero and score the game winning shootout goal. MacKenzie Blackwood was the biggest hero of this game as he made 52 saves in the victory. His amazing performance willed his team to victory as the distractions of today’s trades loomed over the team. The Devils are back in action on Tuesday night as they leave the Garden State to take on the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.
New Jersey Devils
Columbus Blue Jackets
Final Stats: NJ-4 CBJ-3
Shots: 26 55
Hits: 26 11
Power Play: 0/0 0/0
Faceoffs: 45.6% 54.4%