Devils 5, Lightning 2: A deserved result
The Devils once again generated the majority of the chances against the Lightning. This time, it resulted in two points.
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A few notes following New Jersey’s comeback win over the Tampa Bay Lightning:
There’s a 1st for everything
No. 63 has been rather quiet in recent weeks – at least by his standards – but he awoke with a vengeance against the Lightning.
Jesper Bratt recorded the 1st hat trick of his NHL career, putting forth a dominant performance to get the Devils a much-needed two points.
When Alex Killorn scored to make it 2-0 Lightning ~6 minutes into the 2nd period, it kind of felt like the Devils were heading for another game where they’d play well for the majority and leave the ice with nothing anyway. Bratt changed that almost single-handedly.
He had an immediate answer for Killorn’s goal, cutting back towards the middle of the ice and roofing one on Andrei Vasilevskiy. That cutback was a sign of things to come from Bratt.
On his very next shift he attacked the middle of the ice at the blueline, only to stop on a dime and cutback the other way to create a shooting lane. Bratt fired a seeing-eye shot through traffic and just like that the game was tied.
While Bratt didn’t register another point until icing the game – again, cutting back to create space before hitting the yawning cage – it certainly wasn’t for a lack of opportunity.
On a line with a pair of 30-goal scorers in Timo Meier and Nico Hischier, it was Bratt that was the biggest shooting threat all night long.
He led the Devils in shot attempts, scoring chances, and rush attempts at 5v5 and looked dangerous almost every time over the boards.
I thought the line as a whole was terrific. Meier had some good looks – and screened on Bratt’s first two goals – and flashes his power while Hischier made a bunch of great little Hischier plays at both ends of the ice.
All told, this unit helped the Devils generate 17 attempts, 10 chances, and three goals in less than 10 minutes of 5v5 play. I’d say that warrants another game together.
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