NHL Game Recap: New Jersey Devils vs. Ottawa Senators|12/30/23

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Devils put together a complete 60-minute effort in Ottawa on Friday night to earn a third consecutive victory. With the win, the Devils climbed to 19-13-2 and moved back into a playoff position. The Senators dropped to 13-18-0 and sit last in the Eastern Conference.

Game Recap

Period One

In a scene that has become quite familiar for Devils fans, New Jersey again surrendered the first goal of the contest. Drake Batherson scored at 9:47 from Brady Tkachuk following a turnover in the Devils zone.

From that point forward, the Devils controlled much of the play, and it was reflected on the scoreboard. At 13:10, Jack Hughes netted his 15th goal of the season on the power play. Luke Hughes and Jesper Bratt collected the assists.

The top power-play unit struck again at 19:52. This time, it was Bratt hitting the net with assists for Jack and Luke Hughes. The Devils outshot Ottawa 9-6 and took a 2-1 lead into the intermission.

Period Two

The Devils kept the momentum in the second period as Dawson Mercer extended their lead at 7:17 with a strong drive to the net to score top shelf on Joonas Korpisalo. The goal was unassisted. Then, at 14:47, Tyler Toffoli wired a shot from the high slot to make it a three-goal game. Bratt and Jack Hughes each added another assist to their nightly totals.

Period Three

Following a penalty kill early in the third, Nico Hischier sprung Brendan Smith on a breakaway, where he scored his first goal as a Devil. Bratt tallied another assist on the play. At 13:25, the Senators pulled back within three after a shot from Jacob Bernard-Docker ricocheted off Smith and past goaltender Nico Daws. Erik Brannstrom and Angus Crookshank had the assists.

In the dying minutes of play, Luke Hughes capped off the night at 17:28 with a one-timer that beat Korpisalo’s short side. Alexander Holtz and Chris Tierney assisted on the goal. That also marked Tierney’s first point as a Devil. The Devils outshot the Senators 30-27 in a much-needed comfortable victory for the team.

Special Teams Show Up and Show Out

The Devils’ power play, which was dominant in the early portions of the season, had gone ice-cold in December. However, it was much more effective against the Senators, scoring on two of four attempts. On the other hand, the Senators currently have the worst penalty kill in the league, operating at 71.3%. Despite that, it was still good for the Devils to convert on their power play opportunities and hopefully regain momentum with the man advantage.

The penalty kill for New Jersey continues to show improvement from the early stages of the season. Though it only ranks 20th in the league, it has been a strength of the team in the past few weeks of play. They successfully killed all four penalties against the Senators and haven’t surrendered a power play goal since December 17th against the Anaheim Ducks.

Players Gonna Play

The stars came to play for the Devils in a game where they needed a strong showing. Jack and Luke Hughes both had three-point nights, with a goal and two assists apiece. Bratt had himself the second four-point game of his NHL career, including his 200th career assist. Hischier, Mercer, and Toffoli were all on the scoreboard as well, which is exactly what the Devils wanted to see from their leaders.

Goaltender Nico Daws had a very strong showing in his first game with the Devils since 2022. He had hip surgery in the offseason and since his return to play, he has won each of his three starts in the AHL with the Utica Comets, and now his start in the NHL. He saved 25 out of 27 shots, including multiple breakaway attempts, and posted a .926 SV%.

Up Next

In their last game of 2023, the Devils take on the Boston Bruins on December 30th in the second game of their eighth set of back-to-backs. The Devils have struggled with back-to-backs all season, with a record of just 1-5-1 on the back halves. This is a huge opportunity for them to change that narrative heading into the new year.

The Bruins lead the Atlantic division, with 46 points and a record of 20-7-6. They are also 10-2-3 in TD Garden. This is the second meeting of the season between the Devils and Bruins. The Devils won the first match 2-1 in overtime.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion: This Season Showed Daniel Brière Can Be Trusted

This season was one for the books for the Philadelphia Flyers. Moments fell on a spectrum of multiple ups and downs. They carried out two five-game win streaks. A prospect refused to sign. Ivan Fedotov arrived in America and touched NHL ice. A goalie controversy that thrusted Sam Ersson into the spotlight. Owen Tippett blew […]

Read More

Winnipeg Whiteout Facing Colorado Low in Playoff Opener (QF: Game 1)

It’s time for playoff hockey! The Winnipeg Jets take flight tonight to face the Colorado Avalanche at the Canada Life Centre in game one of the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Quarterfinals. See how your Winnipeg Jets shape up tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. Details for Tonight’s Game TV: SportsnetRadio: 680 CJOBWestern Conference Quarterfinals Game One: […]

Read More

Golden Knights vs. Dallas Stars: Finding Value and a Lock in Series Props

It is playoff time! The only thing better than celebrating a Vegas Golden Knights victory is heading to the window after the game to cash a ticket! Here’s a list of betting props from DraftKings Sportsbook that I like. Series Winner, Golden Knights, +120 This is bizarre, and also a homer pick. I can not […]

Read More