NHL Game Recap: New Jersey Devils vs. Vancouver Canucks| 12/6/2024

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a rally late in the third period, the New Jersey Devils fell to the Vancouver Canucks 6-4 on Saturday night at the Rock. The combination of a slow start in the second half of a back-to-back and a growing injury list proved too much for New Jersey, and the Devils dropped to 21-15-2 on the season. Vancouver improved to 25-11-3 with the win.

Game Recap

Period One

The Devils came out extremely flat in the first period of play. Lost puck battles and tired legs kept New Jersey pinned into their defensive zone for most of the period. Young goaltender Nico Daws had an outstanding performance to keep the game tied at zero going into the intermission.

The Devils were outshot 17-5 in the first 20 minutes alone.

Period Two

The second frame didn’t get much better for New Jersey. In the first five minutes of play, they surrendered three quick goals, one to Elias Pettersson and two to J.T. Miller. To make matters worse, Jonas Siegenthaler was injured just before Miller’s goal at 3:33. He was hit on the inside of his foot while blocking a shot and needed to be helped off the ice. He did not return to the game.

The Devils found a bit of life midway through the period when Colin Miller netted his first goal as a Devil at 6:43. Curtis Lazar and Michael McLeod added assists on the play. At 19:37, they pulled within one as Erik Haula scored off the rush from Jesper Bratt and Luke Hughes.

However, any momentum gained was immediately extinguished when Conor Garland scored a wrap-around goal just 12 seconds later. Dakota Joshua and Carson Soucy had the assists.

The Devils were outshot 15-11 in the period.

Period Three

Pettersson scored his second goal of the night at 2:35, extending Vancouver’s lead to 5-2. Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes tallied the assists.

Despite the three-goal deficit, the Devils kept working and eventually broke through at 11:07 with Colin Miller’s second goal of the game. Chris Tierney and Brendan Smith got on the scoresheet as well.

The momentum swung in favor of the Devils as they continued to pressure and quickly scored again at 12:54 to pull within one. Nico Hischier found the back of the net, redirecting a one-timer from Smith. Haula added an assist on the play.

The Devils got a late power play to try and tie things up in the dying minutes of action. As they tried to set up a zone entry, Luke Hughes was wiped out of play with an uncalled trip, much to the displeasure of the New Jersey bench and Prudential Center crowd.

Despite some good chances, the Devils couldn’t cash in on the power play, and Joshua hit the empty net at 18:49 from J.T. Miller and Teddy Blueger. The Devils were outshot 42-25 in the loss.

Injuries Continue to Plague the Devils

Head coach Lindy Ruff revealed that Siegenthaler suffered a broken foot in the second period of the game and will miss time.

His name is the latest to be featured on a long list of critical injuries that have plagued the Devils all season long. In just over a week, they have lost Jack Hughes, Timo Meier, and Ondrej Palat to injuries with no disclosed timetable for return. Dougie Hamilton and Tomas Nosek have also been out with long-term injuries.

Jack Hughes, Meier, Palat, Hamilton, and Siegenthaler are all mainstay players on the roster, and their absence is noticeable on the ice.

Back-to-Backs Remain an Issue

With the loss to Vancouver, the Devils fall to just 1-7-1 in the second half of back-to-back games. Their only victory came in a 7-2 blowout on November 25th over the Buffalo Sabres.

Even with the continuous injuries, the performance in these games has been lackluster, and that was the case again with the Canucks. Especially in the first period, they were unable to match the speed of Vancouver, an element that is usually one of the Devils’ best assets. They lost board battles at both ends of the ice, and except for a few one-off chances on the rush, they couldn’t generate anything.

In game two of back-to-backs, they have also established a trend of allowing flurries of two or three goals in quick succession to make their task even harder.

The three goals in under five minutes were the dagger against Vancouver. In Boston on December 30th, another three goals in five minutes cost them. Against the Ducks, they allowed two goals in roughly five minutes to extinguish any hope of a third-period comeback.

The Devils have a league-leading 16 sets of back-to-back games this season. With seven more sets remaining, they can’t afford to keep surrendering points in the standings because of a few minutes where they give up multiple goals.

Next Up

The Devils have a four-day break before kicking off their road trip in Tampa Bay on January 11th. The Lightning currently sit 4th in the Atlantic division with a record of 19-17-5.

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

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