Meier Leads Devils to Much Needed 4-1 Victory over St. Louis Blues | 03/07/2024

Timo Meier scores a hat trick on Binnington
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-1 on Thursday night at the Prudential Center. Riding a hat trick from Timo Meier, the Devils put together a complete effort at both ends of the ice to earn an essential two points in their playoff push. With the victory, the Devils improved to 31-28-4 while the Blues dropped to 32-28-3.

Game Recap

Period One

The Devils opened with an early grade A chance off a bounce directly to Nico Hischier, but Jordan Binnington came up with a massive save.

Timo Meier continued his excellent play for New Jersey with a power play goal at 13:24 to give the Devils a first-period lead. Hischier found Meier at the net front, and he backhanded the puck over Binnigton’s shoulder. Jack Hughes also added an assist.

Meier followed up his goal with another strong shift where he laid a heavy hit and put a dangerous shot on net. He didn’t miss on his next shot and gave the Devils a 2-0 lead at 16:04 with his second goal of the period. Ondrej Palat and John Marino collected the assists.

The Devils finished with a successful penalty kill in a period that they dominated. They outshot the Blues 16-5 in the frame.

Period Two

The Blues pulled within one at 9:03 on just their 12th shot of the game. The puck ricocheted off the goalpost and right to Brandon Saad, who beat Nico Daws. Scott Perunovich and Marco Scandella added the assists.

Then, at 16:40, hats rained down on the Prudential Center ice as Meier completed his hat trick with a snipe from the slot after coming off the bench. Palat and Hischier collected the assists.

The Devils were outshot 11-10 in the period but carried a two-goal lead into the final frame.

Period Three

It was a tightly contested final period of play with no scoring for the majority of the frame. At 19:01, Erik Haula hit the empty net to seal the victory for New Jersey. Meier added an assist for his fourth point of the night.

The Devils outshot the Blues 33-24 in the victory.

Takeaways

Timo Time has Arrived

Timo Meier, who had a slow start to his career in New Jersey due to injuries, seems to have found his footing when the Devils need him most. He has scored in four consecutive games and has nine points in his last five contests. A notable change came when he was moved from the third line, where he spent most of the season, into the top six. The elevated ice time and line combinations heavily contributed to the uptick in his scoring. Against the Blues, he was also moved to his natural position at right wing and got time on the top power-play unit, where he excelled.

The Palat-Hischier-Meier line as a whole was dominant over the course of the game. While on the ice, they had 25 chances for and only allowed nine against. Furthermore, the Devils outscored the Blues 2-0 in the 12:21 that the combination was active.

Defense and Goaltending Stand Tall

Defensive lapses and subpar goaltending have largely defined the Devils’ season so far. Against St. Louis, both performed very well. The defensemen were strong in their puck battles and gave the Blues’ forecheckers a hard time, allowing only three high-danger chances against. When shots did make it through to Daws, he made the saves the team needed. He stopped 23 of 24 shots for a .958 SV% and had a .78 GSAx.

Up Next

The Devils continue their homestand on Saturday when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes in an important divisional matchup.

The Hurricanes sit second in the Metropolitan Division with a 37-19-6 record. They are coming off a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

This is the third and final meeting of the regular season between the Devils and Hurricanes. Carolina has taken the first two contests, 3-2 on January 25th and most recently, a 1-0 overtime victory on February 10th.

Puck drop is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on ABC and ESPN+.

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