The New Jersey Devils dominated play on Friday night, but the New York Islanders got plenty of opportunities because of some defensive miscues and a slightly below-average performance from Akira Schmid. The Devils needed overtime, but Jack Hughes came up clutch with a ridiculous snipe to end the game.
It started with the power play, where the Devils scored four goals on the night. The Islanders came in, stopping all five power plays they faced against the Coyotes and Sabres. They allowed four goals on five opportunities on Friday night. It was the only way the Devils could beat Ilya Sorokin, who stopped all nine high-danger chances at 5v5.
The stats show the Devils dominated this game outside of the defensive lapses. They recorded way more chances and quality chances. The first two periods could have been a blowout without Sorokin in net, but he kept the Islanders in the game, and they scored with just over a minute left in the game to make it 4-4.
Let’s go over each Devils goal because they were all pretty ridiculous. It all started with Dougie Hamilton, who’s picking up where he left off last season. He scored his third goal of the year, which leads all defensemen in the NHL as of this writing. It was a rocket of a shot, and it broke the ice for the Devils, tying the game 1-1.
The second goal was the first in a Devils uniform by Tyler Toffoli. He was holding his stick a little tight in the first three games, and it led to some unlucky opportunities. However, getting his first goal in a new city was exactly what he needed. It coming off another snipe was awesome.
The third goal of the game came from another defenseman. This time, it was Luke Hughes’ first of the season. It was pretty remarkable since it came right after a pretty devastating play in the defensive zone that led to a goal. For Luke Hughes to bounce back that quickly, it might mean he has his brother’s irrational confidence, which is imperative in becoming a superstar in this league.
Then, it was Jack Hughes’ turn to join the action. He already had two primary assists on the night, but his Hart Trophy case could not be made on assists alone. With the Devils tied 3-3, Hughes got to work on the power play. He found space without Sorokin noticing him, and was able to tip a pass in past the superstar goalie.
Like the post says, Hughes is inevitable. And when the Devils went to overtime, he proved that. While he got stopped on his first shift in OT, he got a second one, thanks to Timo Meier. Meier made the savvy move, taking the puck out of the zone so Hughes could jump back on the ice. It was clearly the right move.
Hughes clearly saw something because he attempted that snapshot multiple times. Eventually, it worked. Jack Hughes is one of the best players in the game. He now has 10 points in four games, leading the NHL in points. It’s early, but Hughes might actually jump into that upper echelon of players with Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon this season.
It was a phenomenal game from the Devils after a slow start to the season. Now, they can move on to their next game against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday evening. We will have a watch party for that game, so come out and hang with us!
For now, relish in the Devils win. Thank goodness Jack Hughes is a New Jersey Devil.