The first meeting between the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders was unsuccessful for Jersey’s team. The Devils offense could not get past Semyon Varlamov and could not contain the Islanders’ first line and powerplay. After a losing battle with the Islanders on Thursday, the Devils took on the challenge again today. Scott Wedgewood would get a second chance at victory against the Islanders. The Devils debuted Nicholas Merkley for the first time this season and placed Jesper Boqvist on the taxi squad. Lindy Ruff did not like the way his team played their first game against the Islanders and added some changes to better their play.
The Devils came out on the ice and registered a couple of solid scoring chances. At the 12 minute mark of the period, Damon Severson committed a high-sticking penalty. The Islanders registered 6 shots on net, but Scott Wedgewood stood tall. The Devils were pinned into their own zone and Wedgewood was able to keep the score even. With 3 minutes remaining in the period, the Devils would get their first chance on the powerplay. The increase in the shooting was extremely noticeable in the first half of the period. At 17 minutes in the period, Jack Hughes scored his 3rd goal of the season on the powerplay. Ty Smith continued his 5 game point streak and Kyle Palmieri added the secondary assist. Just 2 minutes later, Pavel Zacha would net his first goal after an amazing move by Nikita Gusev. Finally, Gusev and Zacha both earning their first points of the season. Wedgewood was able to keep the Devils in the game throughout the first period and the Devils offense came alive in the last 3 minutes of the period.
New Jersey played a very solid and safe period. The Devils had a powerplay earlier in the period and Zacha missed an open net to get his second of the game. The Devils were held scoreless on the powerplay and the Islanders did not get a chance on the powerplay. Scott Wedgewood made a couple of great saves to keep the Islanders scoreless. Both teams had good chances on net and it was a very even period. The Devils had 8 shots on goal while the Islanders had 6. Ilya Sorokin was able to keep the Devils ahead by only 2. The total shots on goal for both teams at the end of the period were 20 to 16 with the Devils having more.
In the 3rd, the Devils and Islanders had a similar period to the 2nd. Both teams had their chances and their goaltenders came up with good saves. The Devils took a penalty with 6 minutes remaining in the period, but the Devils had a great penalty kill and held the Islanders to 0 shots on the powerplay. Towards the end of the period, the Islanders tried to get their offense going, but the Devils played very well defensively and helped secure the shutout for Wedgewood. New York pulled Ilya Sorokin with 2 minutes remaining in the period but the Islanders were not able to capitalize with the extra skater.
The Devils changes vs the Islanders seemed to work well and they played a very solid game versus a great hockey team. As the game went on, the Devils got better and better on defense. They were able to keep sticks in lanes and get bodies in front of shots. New Jersey was able to shut down Mathew Barzal, who gave the Devils a lot of problems in their first game. The young kids continue to thrive in the early season and Wedgewood was able to get the first shutout for the Devils of the season! The Devils will have their first meeting with the Flyers on Tuesday!