The Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils are easily on the short list of the NHL’s hottest teams since the New Year, so tonight’s game was an interesting test. The Devils built a 2-0 lead, but the resilient Ducks fought back thanks in large part to red-hot winger Corey Perry. New Jersey ultimately prevailed 3-2 in the shootout, however, as you can see from the highlights below.
This contest bumps the Ducks down to 14-3-4 (slackers) and the Devils up to 12-5-3 since Jan. 1 rolled around.
New Jersey is in fifth place (70 points) in the East, sandwiched between division rivals Philadelphia (fourth place, 71 points) and Pittsburgh (sixth place, 69 points) – all with 57 games played. Meanwhile, the Ducks are 13th in the West with 58 points, leaving them seven points behind their division rivals Phoenix and Los Angeles for one of the final two points in the conference.
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”