On an afternoon pitting two rivals against one another, the New Jersey Devils came out on top against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Nico Hischier had a two-point afternoon, the 20th multi point game of his NHL career, to lift the Devils to a 3-2 victory.
Damon Severson and Miles Wood also scored for New Jersey to give goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood the offensive support in his return to the lineup.
Here are 10 takeaways from the game:
1. Fresh off the injured reserve list, goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood returned to backstop the Devils against the Flyers, setting up a matchup between two goaltenders in their early 20's. Blackwood is 22 years old, while Flyers netminder Carter Hart is just 20.
Blackwood finished the game making 32 saves on 34 shots in his fourth NHL victory.
2. Marcus Johansson also returned to New Jersey's lineup after a stay on the injured reserve list. Johansson had not played since December 20th, 2018 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Coach John Hynes fit Johansson back in the lineup on the top line with Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri.
Johansson played 17:34 against Philadelphia, including 3:25 of power play time.
3. New Jersey were quick to score against their turnpike rivals, with Damon Severson's sixth goal of the season. Severson was the beneficiary of a heads-up pass from Drew Stafford, as Stafford gave the impression he was going to shoot from high in the slot, he instead found Severson who pinched down near the goal line and went high, blocker-side on Hart for the 1-0 lead 6:32 into the game.
The goal was Severson's first in eight games, while Stafford and Pavel Zacha earned the assists. For Stafford, he has now collected points in three of his last six games, while Zacha has points in two of his last four.
4. Early in the second period, Nico Hischier took just his third penalty of the season, a hooking call against the Flyer'ss Christian Folin. Hischier, though consistently playing big minutes averaging 18:02 minutes a game this season, has the least amount of penalties for all active-roster players who have played at least 40 games this season.
5. Moments after exiting the penalty box, Hischier made it a 2-0 game for New Jersey. He split the Flyers defense, taking advantage of a Travis Sandheim turnover to go one-on-one with Hart. Hischier's 13th goal of the season came at the 5:08 mark of the second period and was unassisted.
The 20-year-old first-line center now has nine points in his last 11 games with five goals and four assists.
6. Miles Wood jumped on a rebound early in the third to retake a two-goal lead on the Flyers. Wood pounced on a rebound in the blue-paint just 1:18 into the final period to cash in and give the Devils a 3-1 lead. Hischier had Flyers netminder Hart distracted leaving a portion of the net empty for Wood.
Blake Coleman and Hischier were credited with the assists on Wood's fifth goal of the season.
7. Hischier's goal, scored on his father Rino's birthday (who was also in attendance from Switzerland!), was his 30th point of the season. He later added an assist for his 31st point of the year. He joins Kyle Palmieri (36) and Taylor Hall (37) as the only Devils to reach the 30-point mark so far this season.
8. Through the first 122 games of Hischier's NHL career he has scored 33 goals. The last New Jersey Devil to record 33 goals through their first 122 games was John Madden in the 1999-2000 NHL season. (Credit: Craig Seiden, NJ Devils Statistician)
9. Though the Devils did not need to rely on their power play, it could have given New Jersey a cushion to play with against the Flyers. Alas, New Jersey's power play has run dry over the last 10 games, going 0-for-5 against the Flyers on Saturday afternoon for a 0-for-18 streak.
On the flip side, the Devils penalty killers continue to be one of the best in the league, going 4-for-4 on Saturday afternoon.
10. Blake Coleman led all Devils with six of the Devils 26 shots on goal.