Miles Wood's hat trick leads the Devils to a victory over their rivals, the New York Islanders, for New Jersey's second straight simulated win.
Disclaimer: This game was simulated using EA Sports NHL 20 and aired live on the Devils social media platforms
NEWARK, NJ - In a rivalry match up at Prudential Center, the Devils defeated the NY Islanders 8-6. Miles Wood led the Devils in goals with a hat trick, including the empty net goal in the final seconds to secure the win.
"I feel like really good about it," said Wood when asked about his game recently. "It's been a good few games here, and hopefully we can keep it up."
The first period was full of special teams action, starting just nine seconds into the game. The Devils went on the penalty kill after Kyle Palmieri was called for tripping. Although the Islanders power play units peppered Cory Schneider with shots, the Devils goaltender kept New York from getting on the board.
The Devils got on the board first five minutes in to the first period. Kevin Rooney passed from the face-off circle right to Travis Zajac who quickly shot before the Islanders goaltender could readjust his positioning.
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Thirty seconds later the Devils scored again, and this time it was Kyle Palmieri. Palmieri worked around the net, shot, grabbed his own rebound and shot again, this time getting past the Islanders goaltender.
The Devils 2-0 lead was short-lived as Matt Martin cut the Islanders deficit in half, 36 seconds after Palmieri's goal. Brassard's shot went wide of the net, and Martin, who was right in front of Schneider, grabbed the puck and shot blocker side.
New Jersey had their first power play opportunity with 13:36 on the clock as the Islanders were called for holding. The Devils saw some close chances during their man-advantage but were unable to score.
Right as the Devils power play was ending, Jack Hughes was called for high-sticking. It was 4-on-4 play for two seconds before the Devils went on the penalty kill for 1:58. During the penalty kill, Cory Schneider continued to stay strong against the Islanders shots. Following the Islanders man-advantage the score remained 2-1 in favor of the Devils.
Nico Hischier was called for hooking with just under nine minutes in the first period, putting New Jersey on the penalty kill. Although the Devils were able to kill off the penalty, three seconds into even strength play, Pavel Zacha was called for hooking.
Halfway through their second straight power play, the Islanders tied up the game at 2. Josh Bailey went up ice on a breakaway and at the last second, passed to his teammate Jean-Gabriel Pageau who was crashing the net.
The Devils had their second power play opportunity of the night in the last four minutes of the period. New Jersey saw some good chances in the first minute of the power play. Then, with 59 seconds left in the man advantage, the Islanders were called again this time for charging.
20 seconds later, Jack Hughes scored the Devils third goal of the night on the power play. Zajac tried a shot on goal, but that was blocked. Right following the attempt, Hughes crashed the net and put the rebound away. The Devils remained on the power play following the goal until Nikita Gusev was called for tripping making it 4-on-4 play for 1:10.
In the final minute of the first period, the Devils were called for another tripping call sending Kuokkanen to the box, making it 4-on-3 and then 5-on-3 play to end the period. At the end of the first period, the Devils had a 3-2 lead over the Islanders. The Devils spent 3:49 with a man-advantage in the period, and 7:43 on the penalty kill. The Islanders outshot the Devils 34-28 after the first 20.
The second period started with the Islanders up with a 5-on-3 advantage. The Devils were able to kill off both penalties and held their 3-2 lead over New York.
Both teams were able to stay out of the box until Brock Nelson of the Islanders was called for a charging minor with just over eleven minutes left in the second period. Miles Wood scored a power play goal, when he went top shelf after a cross-ice feed from PK Subban. This was the Devils second power play goal of the night.
The Devils went back on the power play when Noah Dobson was sent to the box for tripping halfway through the second period. New Jersey was unable to score during the man-advantage.
Jesper Bratt scored the Devils fifth goal of the night with 3:51 left in the period. PK Subban threw the puck on net, it bounced off Varlamov and then Bratt, open to the left of the goal, buried the rebound. This score would hold for the rest of the second period, and the Devils would hold a 5-2 lead. Schneider stopped all 31 shots he faced in the second period, while the Devils scored two goals on their 28 shots on goal.
The Islanders scored in the first three minutes of the third period when Ryan Pulock's shot from the top left of the face-off circle goes through traffic, deflected off a Devils defender, and went past Schneider.
Miles Wood scored his second of the night in an odd man rush situation. Kyle Palmieri and Wood split the defender, and Palmieri shot. Although it's stopped by the Islanders goalie, Wood is there to finish the play and score on the rebound. The Islanders responded a minute and a half later when Brock Nelson scored making the score 6-4 Devils.
In the final ten minutes, both teams saw their first special teams action of the third period. First Kuokkanen was called for tripping. Then a minute later Josh Bailey was called for hooking, resulting in 4-on-4 play for a minute. The Islanders scored in the final seconds of the 4-on-4 play, making it a 6-5 game. The goal was Jean-Gabriel Pageau's second goal of the night.
Travis Zajac went on to score his second goal, right as the Devils power play expired, on an odd man rush. Kyle Palmieri shot, the puck went between Varlamov's legs and Zajac swooped in to tap the puck in, making it a 7-5 lead for the Devils.
In the final five minutes of the game, Islanders Nick Leddy scored unassisted to cut the Devils lead to one, making the score 7-6 Devils. Jesper Bratt was called for a slashing minor with just under three minutes left in the game. The Devils penalty kill unit came up strong once again, keeping the Islanders from scoring the equalizer.
With eight seconds left on the clock, Miles Wood scored an empty net goal to secure the win and earn a hat trick. Wood finished the night with three goals and one assist for four points.
Kyle Palmieri tied Miles Wood with four points on the night. He had one goal and three assists. Travis Zajac had two goals and one assist on the night.
Cory Schneider, in his second straight start, stopped 93 out of the 99 shots he faced.
"[Schneider] is close to 200 shots now in two games, which is kind of crazy," said Wood post-game. "[He's] playing well and I'm really happy for him."
The Devils had six power play opportunities tonight, and scored twice on the man advantage. The Devils penalty kill only allowed one goal on the Islanders eight power play chances.
"I feel like the team is playing well right now, it was a big win against a playoff team," said Miles Wood. "Hopefully we can play well down the stretch here, and see if we can't get a few more wins."
Up next, the Devils host the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final game of their 3-game homestand.