COLUMBUS, OH - They hoped they had learned a lesson from their shutout loss in Arizona: Compete, and good things will happen.
That's exactly what happened for the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night. Visiting the Blue Jackets, and with help from a three-assist night for Nico Hischier, the Devils took two points from their divisional opponents in a 4-1 victory for their 35th and 36th points of the season.
Here are 10 takeaways from the game:
1. Steven Santini returned to the lineup after two games as a healthy scratch. Santini was paired with Will Butcher on the right side, while his previous partner, Andy Greene, continued to be paired with newcomer Sami Vatanen.
Ben Lovejoy sat out as a healthy scratch after he played the last nine consecutive games.
Santini finished the night having played 17:31 in his return to the lineup.
2. When it came to the lines, coach John Hynes made a couple switches from the previous game against Arizona. Perhaps an attempt to try and get some of his veterans going, after having a conversation with his vets on Monday afternoon.
Stefan Noesen was bumped up to second line duty, on Travis Zajac's right wing with Johansson on the left. Drew Stafford played on Blake Coleman's right wing along with Brian Gibbons.
The line of Johnasson-Zajac-Noesen found chemistry fast, en route to a collective four-point night for the line.
3. The switch seemed to spark Zajac. He scored his first goal and point of the season. Zajac picked up a loose puck in front of Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky for his first goal of the year. At 4:24, Zajac gave the Devils a 1-0 lead on the Blue Jackets. Johansson and Noesen both picked up assists.
See the goal below:
Zajac broke a goalless streak for the Devils of 78:13, after being shut out by the Coyotes on Saturday night. Prior to Zajac's goal, the last goal scored by the Devils was Brian Boyle's marker at Colorado last Friday.
4. Taylor Hall gave the Devils a 2-1 lead at 4:47 of the second frame. While it was Hall who was credited for the goal, Hischier had the vision of the play with a slick cross-ice pass to Hall between two defenders. Hall came flying down his wing, and scored on Bobrovsky stick side.
Check out the highlight assist and goal below:
The goal was Hall's ninth of the season, trailing only Brian Gibbons' 11 for the team lead. Hall continues to lead the team with 28 points.
5. Cory Schneider said before the game that this would be a measuring stick matchup and the Devils would need to bring their all against "one of the hottest teams in the league." And bring his best, he did. Schneider stopped 41 of 42 shots, earning not only the victory and two points but also win No. 100 in a New Jersey Devils uniform.
Overall, Schneider has a record of 155-129-49 in 350 games.
6. With 45 seconds left in the second period, Noesen gave the Devils a two-goal lead. Off a hard Miles Wood shot swooping into the left circle, Bobrovsky juggled the puck and Noesen picked up the loose puck in the crease to tap it home for a 3-1 lead New Jersey would take into the third period.
7. The Devils' penalty kill came to play in Columbus. The Devils were handed six penalties, which they had to kill against the Blue Jackets. They surrendered just six shots, all of which Schneider stopped.
8. Hischier had a big night, picking up two assists in a game including a highlight reel goal where he displayed great patience on Taylor Hall's ninth marker of the season. The rookie assisted on the Devils' second and third goals.
9. Jesper Bratt was not to be outdone by fellow rookie Hischier. Bratt had a two-point night with an assist on the Devils' second goal, and scoring New Jersey's fourth of the night.
10. The Devils ended their three-game road trip with a record of 2-1-0.