After a dominant win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, the New Jersey Devils saw a completely different outcome the following day against the Anaheim Ducks. They lost 5-1, and the Ducks picked up their first regulation win in over a month. Former Devil Adam Henrique had himself a memorable night. He notched his first career hat trick and created wide-open opportunities for himself in front of Akira Schmid.
There were a lot of storylines to follow: the Devils continuing to struggle during back-to-back games, the possibility of a John Gibson trade, and the number of penalties that were assessed. Henrique's career outing in front of his old team stole the show. Before that game, Henrique had only scored three career goals against the Devils during a six-year span (November 2017 - January 2023). Pucks & Pitchforks spoke with Henrique postgame about his career night during his yearly homecoming to the Prudential Center.
"This place [New Jersey] was special for me for a long time. A lot of great memories and a lot of great people here over my career. So, I always enjoy coming back here, seeing everybody, and playing in this building. It's kind of funny that the first one came here. "- Adam Henrique
New Jersey still holds a special place in Henrique's heart, and the feeling seems reciprocal amongst Devils fans mainly because Henrique had one of the biggest shots in Devils' history, which was his game-winning goal in overtime against the New York Rangers during the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. As a result, he helped the Devils clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. Eleven years after that magical moment, Henrique still admires the Devils and the direction that their team is heading in.
"They [The Devils] are dangerous on transition. There's a lot of high-end talent over there...They've got a great team. A lot of great young players and some good veteran mixes in there. "- Adam Henrique
After a full day's rest, the Devils will look to bounce back against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. The race in the Metropolitan Division is tight, and there's not much room for error. Lindy Ruff acknowledged the matter during his postgame press conference.
"When you go down by a couple, the risk level goes up. If we would've gotten ahead, then the risk level goes down...We got to play the game the right way. "- Lindy Ruff