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Rookies run wild in New Jersey's season debut

10 Takeaways: Devils defeat Avalanche 4-1 at The Rock

by Amanda Stein @AmandaCStein /

The New Jersey Devils opened their 2017-18 campaign on Saturday afternoon against the Colorado Avalanche at Prudential Center. With three rookies in the lineup, the Devils won, 4-1, for their first two points and first win of the season.

Here are 10 takeaways from the game: 

1. Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt and Will Butcher all played in their first Devils regular season game - and first NHL game - Saturday. Coincidentally, Butcher played his first game against the team that drafted him back in 2013. 

2. Hischier stepped out onto the ice for the first time to chants of "Ni-co! Ni-co! Ni-co!" just 38 seconds into the game. He did not look out of place, finishing with 15:44 of ice time. 

Tweet from @NJDevils: A new era of #NJDevils hockey begins NOW on @MSGNetworks PLUS!#RedDawn#COLvsNJD

3. It was a remarkable first NHL game for Butcher. He is the first player in Devils franchise history to record three points in his NHL debut. His first shift was as the second power-play unit quarterback, when Taylor Hall drew a penalty. Butcher's wrist shot was tipped by Adam Henrique and past Colorado netminder Jonathan Bernier for a 1-0 lead. Butcher picked up the primary assist, while Kyle Palmieri had the secondary one. 

Tweet from @NJDevils: First goal of the 2017-18 season for @AdamHenrique.First assist of @WillButcher4's @NHL career. #COLvsNJD

4. Jimmy Hayes scored in his Devils debut, putting a backhander past Bernier for his first goal of the season. Hayes was in training camp on a professional tryout and earned himself a contract and spot on the roster with his strong play. Butcher and Palmieri again picked up power-play assists on the goal.  

Tweet from @NJDevils: Credit @KylePalmieri and @WillButcher4 with the ���� on @Jimmy10Hayes' PPG. Butcher has two assists so far today. #COLvsNJD

5. Jesper Bratt scored in his NHL debut. The 19-year-old forward from Stockholm, Sweden scored to give the Devils a 3-1 lead late in the second period. His mom and dad were in the crowd to watch their son record his first NHL point in his first NHL game.

Tweet from @jessespector: Jesper Bratt has scored his first NHL goal. Here's my story on the 19-year-old making his debut today:

Tweet from @NJDevils: Jesper Bratt scores his first @NHL goal in his first career game and no one at @PruCenter is more proud than mom and dad. #COLvsNJD

6. Tempers flared in the second period when Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson caught Palmieri with his knee along the boards. Johnson was called for kneeing while Palmieri was helped off the ice and went to the locker room. Palmieri did not return to the game. 

7. Coach John Hynes said earlier in the week he would be rotating who wore the A's on their jerseys through the first half of the season. For opening afternoon, Hall and Palmieri were selected as the first players to don the 'A' on their chests.

8. Hynes was forced to change up his top two lines when Palmieri and Drew Stafford left the game due to injury. Hayes was bumped up to the top line in the third period when Palmieri left the game. Stefan Noesen played on Hischier's right wing along with Marcus Johansson when Stafford left the game. 

9. Midway through the second, Johansson picked up a double minor for high-sticking. The Devils were up 3-1 at the time, and not only killed off the four-minute penalty but took a 4-1 lead when John Moore scored shorthanded. 

10. Goalie Cory Schneider had a strong outing in the opener, stopping 40 of 41 shots to register his first win of the season.

Video: 10/7 NJD vs. COL Postgame: Jesper Bratt

Video: 10/7 NJD vs. COL Postgame: Nico Hischier

Video: 10/7 NJD vs. COL Postgame: Will Butcher

Video: 10/7 NJD vs. COL Postgame: Cory Schneider

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