Janne Kuokkanen’s First NHL Goal Helps New Jersey Devils Earn Point

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 28: Janne Kuokkanen #59 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Prudential Center on January 28, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 28: Janne Kuokkanen #59 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Prudential Center on January 28, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

When you pull Nico Hischier, Travis Zajac, Sami Vatanen, and Mackenzie Blackwood from the New Jersey Devils and ice the team without them, they are at a disadvantage compared to if they were in the lineup. So far, the Devils have treaded water thanks to the players that have played in the lineup. They lost to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday afternoon by a score of 4-3 in the shootout. It was a tough game, but there was a big moment in the game that led to them getting the point.

The New Jersey Devils secured a point thanks to Janne Kuokkanen’s first NHL goal.

The New Jersey Devils’ success in 2020-21 starts and ends (so far) with the Jack Hughes line. Right now, he is going so well with Jesper Bratt and Andreas Johnsson. Ty Smith has been sensational as well. All were part of at least one goal for New Jersey in their shootout loss to the Sabres and that needs to continue this season. It will more than likely get even better once Nico Hischier is back from his injury.

One thing that has been a pleasant surprise has been the play of their fourth line. Michael McLeod plays in the middle with Janne Kuokkanen and Nathan Bastian on his wings. In this game, after going down 3-2 because of an absurd penalty call, Kuokkanen scored a massive goal late in the game. His first NHL goal tied the game for the Devils. That allowed them to get the game to overtime and earn a point as a result.

There were chances for both teams in overtime, but Jack Eichel scored the only shootout goal to give the Sabres the win. Of course, it is nice to get the point and it would have been nicer to get two but the way they got there is encouraging. Johnsson also scored his first goal as a Devil but we knew that was coming as he is a former 20 goal scorer. For Kuokkanen (and the New Jersey Devils), this is great news.

New Jersey’s fourth line has been its second-best line. With Kuokkanen’s goal, all three of them have one each this season. It was assisted by McLeod and Bastian which is a good sign for this team. If they have a fourth line that can contribute offensively, they can be a pretty deep group once Zajac and Hischier are back.

Hot. Brian Boyle is an intriguing short-term option for NJD. light

The Devils are back in action at the same time tomorrow at the same place against the same team. They are going to need the exact same effort with a little bit more finishing touch to their chances. If this game was a sign of what you can expect tomorrow, it is going to be very entertaining once again.