Led by Hischier's two goals, Devils down the league's top team on the road
WASHINGTON D.C. - Nico Hischier continued his impressive play, scoring two goals in the Devils win over the Washington Capitals. Hischier had the first and final goals of the night while wearing the 'A.'
"I feel good out there. Just feels right now that pucks are going," said Hischier. "I just try to bring the team every game something to help them win. When I can score a goal, great. If not I try to do the little things."
New Jersey's penalty kill was strong throughout the night. Not only did the penalty kill keep Washington from scoring during a 5-on-3 advantage, but Blake Coleman scored a shorthanded goal as well.
"[To] not only kill a penalty, but score on the PK, it's huge," said Louie Domingue. "It was one of the biggest keys tonight."
"We know that they have a big time power play and a lot of weapons. To minimize the damage they did was big," said Coleman. "Big kill and solid goaltending, Louis was outstanding."
New Jersey returns home for the second game of their back-to-back as the Devils host the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday night. Puck drop is 7:08 p.m. ET and you can watch on MSG+ and listen on Devils Hockey Network. Tickets Still Available
The Devils opened the scoring five minutes in to the first period. Nico Hischier, walked it in and went low on Holtby. Following the Devils goal, New Jersey had several spurts of quality chances against the Capitals. Several opportunities by the team were just inches away.
The team had a big penalty kill late in the first period, where Louis Domingue had some big saves including one against Alex Ovechkin. In Domingue's first start back from injured reserve, the goaltender stopped 33 of Washington's 34 shots on goal.
"It's well deserved. He put in the time, he's been patient," said Nasreddine on Domingue's performance. "He went down to Binghamton and did a really good job there, very happy for him [tonight], he was a big contributor."
"It felt great," said Domingue following the win. "Talk about a team playing hard tonight in a tough building, against a tough opponent."
Nikita Gusev made the Devils lead 2-0 in the beginning of the second period. Holtby saved Will Butcher's shot but the rebound went to Gusev who was wide open on the left side. Gusev buried it before the Capitals goaltender could recover.
The Devils would get a shorthanded goal in the first half of the second period when Travis Zajac's well-timed pass over to Blake Coleman gave Coleman just enough time and room to get it past the Capitals goaltender for the Devil's third goal of the night.
The Capitals would rebound in the same power play with their first goal of the game. Louis Domingue lost positioning and was down when Jakub Vrana's shot went through.
It wouldn't be long before the Devils regained their three goal lead. Nico Hischier scored his second of the night when his one-timer from the faceoff dot soared past Holtby.
The Devils faced some penalty trouble in the final ten minutes of the third period. First, Hischier was sent off, and a minute later, P.K. Subban was called for delay of game. The team faced 5-on-3 play for just under a minute. The team was able to kill off both penalties and keep the score 4-1.
Miles Wood sealed the win for the Devils, scoring an empty net goal seconds after Washington pulled their goal for the extra attacker.
"Very good offensive team over there, guys were committed to playing good defense," said Interim Head Coach Alain Nasreddine. "I thought we did a really good job tonight, we did a good job not only in our end, but 200 feet away from our net, where we tracked pucks, hunted pucks, and used our speed."
The Devils win splits the series between the two teams after the Devils fell the Capitals 6-3 in December. The two teams will meet again, in D.C. on January 16th.