BUFFALO, NY (CBSNewYork / AP) – The New Jersey Devil confidence in their young players to end an uncertain season, and the players have responded.
A day later exchanging key veterans Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac for New York Islanders, Jesper Boqvist led the Devil’s youth movement by scoring the lead before 11:15 left in a 6-3 win over Buffalo Sabers on Thursday night.
Pavel Zacha has netted two goals in power play, and Jack Hughes overcame a scoring drought in 10 games while adding two more assists in a single game that the Reds rallied after squandered the lead 3-1 in the first half. Yegor Sharangovich and Janne Kuokkanen, who scored against the empty net each with a goal and two assists each.
Hughes with the set, SharanGOALvich with the end.
🍏: Kuokkanen pic.twitter.com/G6uz3nhYpS
– New Jersey Devil (@NJDevils) April 9, 2021
All five Devil’s scorers are 23 years old or younger.
“You don’t know how your team will react after a day like yesterday,” coach Lindy Ruff said of trading two players with 26 years of NHL experience.
“You hope with that additional responsibility they will overcome,” he added. “I think you saw in the third half, when we fell to three lanes, some of the best young players had more kicking time and that paid off to us.”
Aaron Dell made 24 shots at the start of his third season and got his first win in more than 14 months. Dell has lost 0-6-1 in eight appearances since he made 28 saves for San Jose in a 6-3 win at Edmonton on February 6, 2020.
The win beat demons 0-2-2, and came after New Jersey signaled that they were heading to a further future this season by buying two draft options, including a group stage first leg and two Small striker from Islanders.
Victor Olofsson, Jeff Skinner and Tage Thompson have scored for Buffalo, which have won 3-0 in the past five games, including a 5-3 win over New Jersey on Tuesday. Linus Ullmark finished with 32 saves in a match between two of the East Division’s worst teams, both of whom have made it through the playoff mathematically.
“Goal to win, we have been sticking to our sticks. We managed to get a tie, got poked in the club many times and didn’t get out of the area. It ended up in our net, ”said Sabers interim coach Don Granato. “So they’re hungrier than us tonight. It’s a tough match when your opponent is hungrier than you, and that’s the case. “
Michael McLeod netted the lead before catching Sabers defender Brandon Montour with his feet to chase a loose shot behind the net of Buffalo. McLeod’s attempt to seal the net broke Ullmark’s net and went into the slot, where Boqvist buried it inside the left vertical column.
The game got off to a furious start, with teams joining together for three goals in the first 3:46.
After Olofsson opened the scoring in the 53rd second, the Reds responded with Zacha scoring goals in a strong play-style 1:40 difference.
“It’s never easy to see guys traded, especially people like Trav and Palms,” said Zacha, who scored his first two goals in the season and fifth in his career. “I think there is more responsibility now for us, and I think we did it and won today’s match.”
And then Hughes scored from 3:56 in kick-off. Sharangovich’s anticipation sparked the goal by forcing Buffalo’s Jacob Bryson to swing a shot along the right wing.
Ruff is most encouraged by Hughes, picking # 1 in the 2019 draft.
“I love the fact that he fought this thing, night after night,” said Ruff. “I hope that this motivates him, that he is starting to feel a bit less satisfied with his game, a little less frustrated.”
Sabers defensive player Rasmus Dahlin made the second assist of Skinner’s goal for the 100th point of his career. Five days before his 21st birthday, the 2018 No. 1 drafted player became the youngest Swedish-born defender to hit that milestone. Erik Karlsson scored 100 at the age of 21 and 199 days.
It also came in the 180th game of his career, second fastest among blue jersey athletes in Sabers history, behind Phil Housley, who won the 100th point in his 106th match. .
Sabers striker Taylor Hall is a healthy scratch for the second straight game in anticipation of a pending unrestricted free agent that will be dealt with before NHL’s trade deadline on Monday. Hall signed a $ 8 million one-year contract with Buffalo in the freelance company in October.
ON ITS WARNING
Devil captian Nico Hischier is about to return after missing his 22nd consecutive match due to a upper body injury. Hischier, who remains on the weekly roster, traveled with the Devil after returning to practice on Wednesday.
Devil: Go home for two games against Pittsburgh, starting Friday night.
Sabers: Hosts Washington on Friday night.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)