Secondary Scoring Helps New Jersey Devils Down Winnipeg Jets

Feb 19, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils center Dawson Mercer (91) skates with the puck while being defended by Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey (44) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 19, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils center Dawson Mercer (91) skates with the puck while being defended by Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey (44) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New Jersey Devils defeated the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night at the Prudential Center. The victory extended a six-game home winning streak for the Devils, a streak that started with January 7th’s overtime win against the Rangers. The Devils built on their excellent February, in which they collected 11 of a possible 14 points. This team’s push toward the playoffs is getting help from every line at the right time.

Dawson Mercer, a key cog in the Devils’ victory against the Jets on Sunday night, is coming around after an up-and-down season. His two-goal effort against the Jets extended his goal streak to three games and has brought his season goal total to 15, good for 5th on the team. Mercer’s two-way game has mightily improved in his second year with the Devils, and his offense has been prevalent of late. This is a promising sign for the Devils, who have been seeking secondary scoring this season. Mercer is showing the tools to be a key contributor to this team now and for years to come.

Fabian Zetterlund scored the equalizer at 5:02 of the third period for the Devils on Sunday night. Zetterlund has shown some promise in his game at both ends of the rink since being a healthy scratch in January. Zetterlund’s name has been on the scoresheet in six of nine games since returning to the lineup.

Coach Lindy Ruff clearly trusts Zetterlund’s game, as he has found himself playing between 13-15 minutes per game. It seems that Zetterlund is starting to find his true identity on this team and has done well in his recent role. Zetterlund, like Mercer, is still young at 23 and can develop his game further. He can be a key secondary scorer for this Devils team moving forward.

Miles Wood contributed the eventual game-winning goal on Sunday night, receiving a sweet feed from Michael McLeod behind the net and beating Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck five-hole. Wood has been a sore subject for this team since his production hit one of the worst possible standstills offensively. Wood, whose name has been brought into trade conversation recently, scored just his 9th goal on Sunday, a largely underwhelming number for a player with his ability.

The game-winner was a feel-good moment for Wood, who scored just his second goal in his last 27 games. Who knows what will happen with Miles Wood, he may or may not be on this roster come post-trade deadline, but if he is still in New Jersey, the Devils will be seeking much more offensive production than he has supplied so far this season. Hopefully, that goal on Sunday night will spark Wood.

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This win against a very solid Winnipeg Jets team must feel good for the Devils as they inch closer to a playoff spot. The Devils are playing well, and the excitement and buzz at the Rock are back. Something special is brewing in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils are here, and they’re here to stay.