GAME STORY: Devils 3, Ducks 0
Cory Schneider stopped all 34 shots he faced and the Devils scored a goal in each period on their way to a 3-0 win over Anaheimby Marc Ciampa / NewJerseyDevils.com
ANAHEIM, CA - The Devils scored once in each period with Pavel Zacha netting a pair of goals and Nico Hischier adding one while Cory Schneider turned away 34 shots for the shutout as the Devils defeated the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 at Honda Center on Sunday.
Devils had the advantage in terms of possession and zone play throughout most of the opening period despite both teams playing even strength until Sonny Milano was called for a penalty with 4:10 to go in the period.
On the ensuing power play, the Devils went to work with some great chances and it eventually paid off 1:16 into the man advantage on a goal by Pavel Zacha.
Zacha took a nice backhand feed off the rush by Jesper Bratt and put it into the open cage to put the Devils on the board first.
Shots on goal after one were 12-5 for the Devils.
Carter Rowney hauled down Nico Hischier as the Devils forward drove to the net, resulting in another Devils power play 3:11 into the middle frame and again, the Devils capitalized.
This time it only took 37 seconds. After receiving another great pass from Bratt, Zacha rifled a shot from the left circle past Gibson for his second of the game.
"They have chemistry now. They feel good, they feel confident and you can really see that but what I really enjoy is their compete and battle level on 50/50 pucks. That's how you create offense in this League," said Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine.
Nico Hischier echoed the thoughts of his coach.
"I know 100% they're both great players. They've got such good chemistry out there and you see them producing, playing with a lot of swagger. It's fun to watch them," Hischier began. "Jesper's a complete player. I'm laughing because I wouldn't want to defend him because he's so shifty. He can protect the puck and is such a good skater."
Near the midway point of period two, shots on goal were 12-8 for the Ducks; 20-17 Devils overall in the game.
Ducks had some good chances to score in the latter half of the middle frame. Danton Heinen got in behind the Devils defense and backhanded the puck on goal but Cory Schneider made a great save with 6:27 to go.
Eighty seconds later, Schenider made another big stop, sliding across to get a pad on a wraparound attempt from Rowney.
Video: Condensed Game: Devils @ Ducks
Then with three minutes to go in the second, Ryan Getzlaf broke in all alone on Schneider but his shot was turned away.
"Making the key saves at the right times, up 2-0 late in the second, it's big for momentum and big for our room to have that confidence," said Schneider. "It's fun to play that role, make important saves again and contribute to a game like that."
Nasreddine also referred to this stop and others as key in preserving the team's win.
"The game was pretty tight and he made those big saves. We said it about Blackie a lot and here Schneids is doing the same thing," he said. "He made some huge saves today."
Midway through the third, Schneider made an outstanding glove save on a one-timer by Christian Djoos from the left circle. On the play, Josh Jacobs was called for high sticking to give Anaheim its first power play of the game.
Shorthanded, Travis Zajac and Joey Anderson skated in on a two-on-one. Zajac's shot was steered away by Gibson.
With two seconds left in the Jacobs penalty, Rooney was called for slashing to extend the Ducks man advantage but Devils were able to kill that one off as well.
Four seconds after the penalty expired, Connor Carrick's shot from the point was tipped by Nico Hischier to put the Devils up by three. It was Hischier's first point after going scoreless for six games.
"It's gonna happen sometime for sure," Hischier said of breaking his slump. "The thing is, you've got to find a way to help the team in other ways if you're not scoring and not producing. It feels good to score again but we won, that's important."
Shots on goal in the game were even at 34-34.