The Devils came into Saturday’s game riding a two-game win streak and had beaten the same Penguins just two nights prior. The New Jersey came in a bit short-handed without one of their biggest forwards in Nathan Bastian and number one goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood. Despite the health issues the Devils once again put forward a valiant effort. They came out fast and hungry to win… In the first period. It will be said as long as hockey is played that in order to win you have to play well in all three periods. The Devils once again did not do that. Because of this, they fell 3-1 in a game they could’ve easily won.
This was far and away the best period of the game for the Devils. They got off to a fast start with a goal from Kyle Palmieri off a rebound. The original shot came from defenseman Sami Vatanen. He would be credited with the lone assist on the play. that assist from Vatanen made it eight straight Devils goals in which a defenseman picked up a point. However, they were outshot 9-12 in the period. They were also outdueled in the faceoff circle. Overall they were outdueled 32-24.
The Devils defense parings once again let their goaltender down as they allowed two easy goals just 90 seconds apart. One from Bryan Rust and the other Zach Aston-Reese The Devils were flat out dominated and they couldn’t get out of their own way. The only eventful thing that occurred was one Devils powerplay in which they generated a few shots. The Rust goal was on the powerplay.
This was another period in which the Devils had the puck for most of the period but could not finish. Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith stood on his head stopping all of the Devils’ 11 shots in the period. These shots included multiple chances off of rebounds. Jake Guentzel scored the third goal on a deflection that sealed it.