Three Stars: 1. Taylor Hall 2. Travis Zajac 3. Cory Schneider
The Devils defeated Columbus in the first of four regular-season meetings. New Jersey has won six straight games on the road and are 8-0-1 over their last nine games away from Prudential Center. The clubs will meet three more times (Mar. 5 at NJ, Mar. 7 at CBJ and Mar. 19 at NJ).
The Devils snapped a three-game losing-streak (0-2-1) at Nationwide Arena (Feb. 28, 2015: 2-0).
Tonight, the Devils closed-out their 12th of 18 sets of back-to-back games. The club is 3-5-4 in first games and is 7-2-3 in second games of back-to-backs.
New Jersey improved to 7-5-2 against the Metropolitan Division and to 13-13-5 against Eastern Conference opponents in 2016-17.
The Devils were 1-2 on the power play tonight and are 4-9 (44.4%) with the man-advantage over the last four games.
The club was 2-2 on the penalty-kill tonight and are 17-19 (89.5%) over their last five road games. The Devils surrendered their seventh shorthanded goal against at 11:35 of the third period.
New Jersey was out-shot, 30-32, including 6-13 in the third period.
At 0:25 of the third period, New Jersey requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Boone Jenner interfered with New Jersey goaltender Cory Schneider before the puck crossed the goal line. After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee determined that Boone Jenner prevented Schneider from doing his job in his crease, in accordance with Rule 78.7 which states in part: “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Referee … determines that the goal should have been disallowed due to ‘Interference on the Goalkeeper,’ as described in Rules 69.1, 69.3 and 69.4.” Rule 69.3 states that goals should be disallowed if “If an attacking player establishes a significant position within the goal crease, so as to obstruct the goalkeeper’s vision and impair his ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.”Therefore the original call was overturned.
Taylor Hall led the way for the Devils with two goals (EV, EN) and a season-high eight shots (tie, Nov. 5 at TB). He has a three-game point-streak (2g-2a). It was Hall’s third two-goal game of the season.
Travis Zajac had one goal (PP) and one assist tonight. It was his first goal since Jan. 12 at EDM. The goal tied him with Randy McKay for 11th all-time in franchise history with 151 goals. Zajac needs one assist to tie Bobby Holik (270)for ninth all-time in franchise history.
Jacob Josefson recorded his first goal of the season, the game-winning goal, at 1:49 of the second period. It was his first goal since Apr. 5, 2016 vs. BUF (27 games) and the fourth GWG of his career. Josefson was also 10-15 (67%) in the faceoff circle.
Seth Helgeson scored the first NHL goal of his career tonight (47 games). Helgeson also received a five-minute major for fighting Scott Hartnell in the second period.
Andy Greene, P.A. Parenteau, Ben Lovejoy, Michael Cammalleri, Adam Henrique, Kyle Palmieri, and Steven Santini each had one assist. Henrique has points in his last four game (3g-2a-5pts). Palmieri has four points (3g-1a) in his last three games.
Greene led all skaters tonight with 25:45 of ice-time and had three blocked shots.
Cory Schneider stopped 31 of 32 shots for his 16th win of the season. He has stopped 323 of 348 shots (92.8%).