NEWARK, N.J. - With a day off on Monday, Devils forward Kyle Palmieri said the team used it as an opportunity to reset and regroup after a difficult seven-game road trip. That re-set proved useful, as against the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night, the Devils claimed victory.
In the comfort of Prudential Center for the first time in November, the Devils posted a 4-2 win with the reigning MVP, Taylor Hall, registering a four-point night.
Here are 10 takeaways from the game:
1. Pavel Zacha returned to the Devils lineup after a four-game stint in Binghamton. While in the AHL, Zacha earned five points while centering the top line. Tuesday night, Zacha spoke about building his confidence while in the AHL and wanting that to translate to his NHL game. Zacha centered the second line with Marcus Johansson and Jesper Bratt on his wings.
2. Forward Nico Hischier missed the first game of his career. He played in all 82 games during his rookie season, plus another five in the playoffs, and has taken part in all the Devils 15 games to start this season. He was listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury Tuesday morning.
3. There were chants of "Marty! Marty!" before the opening faceoff, as fans were excited to have former Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur in the building. He was part of a pregame ceremony to honor his Monday night induction in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Brodeur took part in the ceremonial puck drop with Devils captain Andy Greene and Brodeur's Team Canada teammate and captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby.
4. It didn't take long after the Brodeur ceremonial puck drop for the Devils to get on the board. Just 29 seconds into the game, Brodeur's former teammate Travis Zajac tapped the puck into an open net. Pittsburgh netminder Casey DeSmith was caught unable to corral a loose puck, which Zajac scooped up and potted for his seventh of the season.
5. Taylor Hall assisted on the Zajac goal, marking his 100th assist as a member of the New Jersey Devils. Damon Severson also assisted on the goal.
6. Severson recorded his second multi-point game of the season. After he was credited with two assists against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, Severson followed up that performance with a goal and an assist on Tuesday against the Penguins.
Severson gave the Devils their second lead of the game at 8:06 of the second period. Hall found Severson in the slot, who ripped it past DeSmith for his third goal of the season.
7. The Devils and Jesper Bratt thought they had taken a 3-1 lead on the Penguins with 5:40 to go in the second period when Bratt was sprung on the breakaway and cleanly beat DeSmith stick side. While Bratt was streaking down the ice, Pittsburgh's Phil Kessel and New Jersey's Brett Seney were tussling on the ice. Despite Bratt beating DeSmith, the refs deemed it 'no-goal' as the whistle had already blown the play dead.
8. Taylor Hall completed a four-point night when he scored the Devils go-ahead goal at 8:07 of the third period, as well as the empty net goal with just seconds to play. 4:03 after the Penguins tied the game at two, on a Jake Guentzel goal which the Devils challenged for goaltender interference, Hall and his line mates, Zajac and Palmieri, connected to send Hall in on a semi-break. The goal was Hall's fourth of the season.
Palmieri and Zajac were credited with the assists. For Zajac, it was the 300th of his NHL career, all with the Devils.
9. Defenseman Ben Lovejoy accounted for six shots of the Devils 35 on Pittsburgh's DeSmith. That total included five in the first period alone, already surpassing his season-high of four shots on net set earlier this month in Pittsburgh (Nov. 5). The six shots on net matches a career high by Lovejoy, which he has accomplished twice before.
10. Tuesday's game against the Penguins was just the first of four games that will be played at Prudential Center in the month of November.