NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils won their first game since trading Taylor Hall, 3-1 against the Anaheim Ducks at Prudential Center on Wednesday.
Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri, Hall's former linemates with New Jersey, each scored to help the Devils (11-17-5) win their second straight. Mackenzie Blackwood made 26 saves.
The theme around the Devils after Hall was traded to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday for three prospects and two draft picks was that there are now opportunities for younger players to play bigger roles. Hall, voted the Hart Trophy winner as NHL MVP in 2017-18, was leading New Jersey with 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) this season.
[WATCH: All Ducks vs. Devils highlights]
"I think for the young guys coming up it's those close games and finding ways to win or finding ways to close them out," Palmieri said. "Tonight, finding a way to come from behind and find a lead going into the third and come out there and keep playing on our toes. They had a couple looks, but we held the fort, and obviously [Blackwood] stood on his head."
Former Devils center Adam Henrique scored, and Ryan Miller made 17 saves in his first start since Dec. 6 for the Ducks (14-17-4), who have lost two straight.
"It's a little bit of a broken record," Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. "I actually thought we had chances to generate more chances where we actually passed up a few shots. But, again, we've got enough from that red zone right in front of the net to capitalize. For whatever reason, we can't. We've got to really just start believing that we can."
Video: ANA@NJD: Hischier beats Miller with wrister from slot
The Ducks took a 1-0 lead at 3:33 of the first period after forcing a turnover in the neutral zone. Ondrej Kase broke loose and fed Henrique, who finished a 2-on-0.
The Devils tied it 1-1 at 1:28 of the second after Jesper Bratt retrieved the puck following a Ducks dump-in and found Hischier, who scored from the slot for his third goal in five games.
"He's an exceptional player," Palmieri said of Hischier. "I think everyone knows that even when he was playing with Hall and maybe under his shadow a little bit. He's an incredible player and just going to continue to get better."
Palmieri made it 2-1 on the power play at 11:29 by using Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler as a screen to beat Miller for his fourth goal in seven games.
Sami Vatanen extended the lead to 3-1 at 1:00 of the third. Jack Hughes worked the puck off the boards and found Vatanen at the point, where he shot through traffic.
Video: ANA@NJD: Vatanen scores off defender in front
Blackwood made two saves and the Devils blocked three shots (two by defenseman Andy Greene) during a two-minute, 6-on-4 penalty kill after Miller was pulled with 4:03 left in the third.
"Guys I thought did a fantastic job," Devils coach Alain Nasreddine said. "[At] 6-on-4 you're going to need a save here and there, but I don't recall a major scoring chance that they got. We kept everything to the outside, and when we had a chance to clear the puck, we cleared the puck. That was a big turning point because at that point there's still four minutes left in the game, so that was a great job by those guys."
They said it
"[Hall] is one of those rare talents. Obviously playing with him in juniors and seeing what he went through in the NHL, and then having an opportunity to play with him was certainly fun. I texted him the other day and wished him luck. I certainly hope it works out for him." -- Ducks center Adam Henrique on former Devils teammate Taylor Hall
"He wants to be that guy now. I think at this stage of his career with Taylor gone now especially, he is willing to take that next step, and it's nice to see. It's not easy when you're 21 to become that leader. But he's willing to do it, he wants it and he's only going to get better." -- Devils coach Alain Nasreddine on center Nico Hischier
Video: ANA@NJD: Henrique buries Kase's feed on 2-on-0
Need to know
Ducks forward Troy Terry is out 10 weeks with a broken bone below his kneecap sustained by a hit from Philadelphia Flyers forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel in the second period of a 4-1 loss in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Anaheim forward Derek Grant (sprained shoulder joint) is out 4-6 weeks after being injured in that game, and defenseman Jacob Larsson (upper body) is day to day. … Forward Isac Lundestrom played 18:37 and forward Max Jones 14:13 for the Ducks after being recalled from San Diego of the American Hockey League. … New Jersey activated defenseman Connor Carrick off injured reserve, but he did not play. He has missed 24 games with an upper-body injury sustained Oct. 25. … Henrique has four points (two goals, two assists) in five games against the Devils since they traded him to the Ducks on Nov. 30, 2017 in a deal that included Vatanen. ... The Devils are 2-4-1 since Nasreddine replaced John Hynes as coach Dec. 3.
Ducks: At the New York Islanders on Saturday (Nassau Coliseum, 1 p.m. ET; MSG+, PRIME, NHL.TV)
Devils: Host the Washington Capitals on Friday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG+, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)
Video: Balanced attack leads Devils past Ducks, 3-1