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Blue Jackets take down Devils

New Jersey falls to Columbus, 4-1

by Amanda Stein @amandacstein / newjerseydevils.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets just seem to have the New Jersey Devils number. 

On Tuesday night, playing in the second half of a back-to-back scenario, the Devils dropped their game to the Blue Jackets, 4-1, after falling behind 3-0 after the opening 20 minutes. Blake Coleman was the lone Devil to score, as New Jersey remains winless this season against their Metropolitan division rivals. 

Here are 10 takeaways from the game:

1. The Devils were playing without two of their top six forwards against the Blue Jackets. While Taylor Hall has been out the last 10 games with a lower body injury, forward Miles Wood was also added to the list of injured players. Wood went down with an injury in the Devils prior game against Chicago and while he made the trip to Columbus, he was held out of the game.

In Wood's absence, coach John Hynes needed to change up his forward lines and inserted call-up Blake Pietila into the game. The Devils forward lines looked as follows: 

Johansson-Hischier-Bratt
Coleman-Zajac-Palmieri
Seney-Zacha-Stafford
Boyle-Rooney-Pietila

2. After serving as the Devils backup goaltender for the last couple of games, Keith Kinkaid was given the reigns in net against Columbus. Kinkaid made 29 saves on 33 shots in the loss.

3. The Devils found themselves behind the eight-ball early in the first period. On the Blue Jackets second shot of the period just 45 seconds in to the game, Columbus' Cam Atkinson tipped a shot past Kinkaid to give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead. 

This was the third time this season that New Jersey have allowed a goal to their opponent in the open minute of the game. The last time the situation occurred was November 18th, 2018 when the Devils gave up goals to Carolina at the 22 and 30 second mark. 

4. While the penalty kill has been one of the brightest spots for New Jersey over the course of the season, it was another area where the Devils struggled against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. The Devils penalty killers went 2-for-3 against Columbus, giving up a power play goal to begin the second period, with just 20 seconds ticked off a Severson holding penalty. 

5. The Devils were finally able to break through Columbus' Joonas Korpisalo at the 18:24 mark of the second period. Blake Coleman got his stick on a shot from the point by Mirco Mueller to direct the puck past Korpisalo. Mueller unleashed a bomb of a shot that required quick hand-eye coordination by Coleman for his 17th goal of the season. 

Tweet from @NJDevils: Hope the boys all drank some pickle juice during the intermission. Third period starts now. #NJDvsCBJ@MSGNetworks | Devils Hockey Network pic.twitter.com/a2eZLWykkT

Ben Lovejoy and Mueller were given the assists. 

6. For Coleman, he continues to put together a very strong season. He now has seven points (five goals, two assists) in an NHL-career high five-game point streak.  

7. The Devils power play came up short against the Blue Jackets, going 0-for-2 in Columbus. New Jersey's power play has alluded them against Columbus in recent years. The Blue Jackets have given up just a single power play goal to New Jersey in their past 10 contests (21-of-22). The Devils penalty-kill went 2-for-3 against Columbus on Tuesday night. 

8. The night was a particularly difficult one for defenseman Damon Severson. After taking a four-minute penalty (holding, unsportsmanlike conduct) the begin the second period, Hynes elected to sit Severson for the remainder of the period. Severson did not see a shift again until the start of the third period. In total, Severson played a season-low 12:12 through 60 minutes.

9. The Devils threw 30 shots at Columbus' Korpisalo, with Kyle Palmieri and Drew Stafford leading the way with four shots each. On defense, both Mirco Mueller and Will Butcher finished the night with three shots each.

10. The Devils have just two games remaining before the All-Star Break/Bye-Week. They'll continue the road trip with a stop against the Islanders on Thursday night where the teams will play at Nassau Coliseum, before hosting the Anaheim Ducks and former Devil Adam Henrique for a Saturday matinee.  

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