Devils Survive a Third Period Rally and Take Down Ottawa Senators | 04/06/2024

Brendan Smith celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators
Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP

The New Jersey Devils defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on Saturday night at Canadian Tire Centre. Despite controlling play for the first two periods, the Devils had another rough third period, narrowly escaping with a regulation win. With the victory, the Devils improved to 37-36-4 and kept their slim playoff hopes alive. The Senators fell to 33-39-4 and were eliminated from playoff contention.

Game Recap

Period One

The Devils opened the scoring early, at 3:50, with a goal from Erik Haula off a nice feed from Jack Hughes. Brendan Smith added a secondary assist.

Minutes later, Kurtis MacDermid showed off his physical prowess with a decisive victory in a fight with Ottawa forward, Bokondji Imama.

New Jersey extended its lead at 12:36 thanks to a tipped shot from Ondrej Palat, for his 11th goal of the season. Luke Hughes and Alexander Holtz collected the assists.

Just after an unsuccessful power play, the Devils struck again to go up 3-0 at 16:34. Smith continued his offensive outburst with a blast from the blue line that beat Anton Forsberg. Jesper Bratt tallied the lone assist.

Forsberg was replaced in net by Joonas Korpisalo, after giving up three goals on nine shots.

Jake Allen made some late big saves to preserve the three-goal lead going into the first intermission.

The Devils outshot the Senators 10-8 in the period.

Period Two

The Devils started the period killing a double minor penalty that was assessed to Kevin Bahl in a scrum at the end of the first frame.

The Senators scored at 0:33 with the man advantage to cut the Devils’ lead to two. Jake Sanderson beat Allen with a distant shot through a screen. Drake Batherson and Claude Giroux had the assists.

However, the Devils regained their three-goal lead with Nico Hischier’s 26th goal of the season at 11:04. Bratt tallied his 53rd assist of the year with a backhanded dish to Hischier at the net front. Smith added a secondary assist for his first career three-point game.

New Jersey outshot Ottawa 10-5 in the middle frame.

Period Three

The Devils took another early penalty and the Senators capitalized at 3:37. Giroux beat Allen with a one-timer off a pass from Sanderson. Batherson also collected a secondary assist.

Seconds later, Jack Hughes was awarded a penalty shot after he was held up on a breakaway, but he fumbled the puck and couldn’t get a shot off.

At 14:17, Ottawa benefitted off a fortunately timed bounce and line change that sprung Brady Tkachuk on a breakaway, where he beat Allen for his 34th goal of the season. The goal was unassisted.

The Devils’ penalty kill came through late in the game and killed off a crucial two minutes without allowing a shot.

With the Ottawa net empty, Allen came up huge for New Jersey and stole them a regulation victory.

Shots were even at 28 apiece in the 4-3 win.

Takeaways

The Devils put together a very strong first 40 minutes of hockey, allowing just 13 shots through to Jake Allen. However, the third period was, again, a shell of the first two, an emerging trend that the Devils cannot afford to let continue with their playoff chances on the ropes. Against the Senators, they were outscored 2-0 and outshot 15-8 in the final period. In the three previous games, they were collectively outshot 41-20 and outscored 10-0.

Physicality has been another topic of interest in the Devils’ recent play. With the trade deadline addition of Kurtis MacDermid, the Devils have been noticeably more willing to stand up for themselves and their teammates. The change in mentality was on full display in their previous game, where they racked up six fighting majors and four game misconducts against the Rangers. It carried over into the matchup against the Senators, where MacDermid, again, dropped the gloves and numerous other Devils players were quick to defend each other. As the regular season winds down, it’s good to see more of the team playing with some edge.

Up Next

The Devils return to New Jersey to cap off their final set of back-to-backs on Sunday night against the Nashville Predators.

The Predators, also on the second half of a back-to-back, occupy the second wild card position in the west with a 44-29-4 record. They’re coming off a 2-0 shutout loss to the New York Islanders.

This is the second and final meeting of the season between the Devils and Predators. The Devils won the first contest 4-2 on February 13 in Nashville.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

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