New Jersey Devils Comeback to Rock The Rangers In OT

New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson (28): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson (28): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

As the puck passed Igor Shesterkin off the tape of the New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson, the veteran helped not only beat the New York Rangers but snapped an eight-game home losing streak. He also helped add relief after the Devils were too close to their rivals in the standings.

This game was a bit awkward because the Devils had so many shots on Shesterkin and couldn’t capitalize on a 5v3 power play. However, fortunes began to favor the New Jersey Devils when Jack Hughes intercepted a pass and scored a clutch goal to build positive energy.

Jesper Bratt bombed one from near the circle that went so fast that it flung out of the net quickly. Jack Hughes then tied up the game and figured out that Shesterkin was not feeling as solid in the net and not closing games out as he did earlier in the first half of the game.

Adding Firepower

What most Devils fans are looking for is that finisher. That is a topic of concern for the Devils. New Jersey is looking at a finisher on the wing, but the one variable is how the Devils value their asset(s) in a potential trade.

If the Devils can get some secondary scoring from key players this week, it will be easier for GM Tom Fitzgerald to work a deal out before March 3rd. Another note is that if Ondrej Palat gets back to scoring, being a key leader again will make it easier with John Marino back in the coming weeks. Marino has missed action for a little while and is skating on his own.

Defensive Roles & Game Score

Once Marino returns, it is possible that Kevin Bahl will spend the rest of the season in Utica. He must refine his play style to avoid the high-danger chances against. He also needs to find better puck control. Nikita Okhotiuk looked sharp again, replacing Bahl, and played aggressively, throwing hip checks while taking up time and space.

It was a below-standard defensive game for a team like the Devils, but the same goes for the Rangers. Both teams faced defensive breakdowns. Jack Hughes and even Nikita Okhotiuk had big offensive impacts, along with a guy like Palat coming back in his second game. Tomas Tatar, Mercer, and Brendan Smith helped in the offensive and defensive zones to help keep the game winnable.


The Devils can take a point or two from Carolina and take advantage of an NHL Draft Lottery prime Ducks that would be 3 or 4 points there. As long as the Devils keep winning more away games. Meanwhile, at home, while adding more to their three of four lines, goaltending like Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid need to play their game.

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The Devils are currently at a win percentage of .662 and have improved year over year vs. a .384 win at 63 points. New Jersey is positioned in a way where they added prospects to young veterans, older veterans, and experienced playoff veterans like Palat, Hamilton, Haula, and Marino, that have the mindset to be winners. Winners that build a winning environment on and off the ice hold the younger group together, making each day more important and fun to go out and win.