The New Jersey Devils secured a 3-1 win over the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night, expanding its win streak to three games as Dougie Hamilton netted two slapshot goals.
The Prudential Center filled to 95% capacity as hockey fans poured in to watch the Cryptid Rivalry for just the second time this season, as both teams have been beating the odds and winning more than they have been expected to.
Devils all-star and points leader Jack Hughes sat out for the first time this season as he was listed week to week with an upper-body injury per Devils head coach, Lindy Ruff.
Mackenzie Blackwood skated into the crease as the starter for the Devils with a 6-4-2 record underneath his belt, and Philipp Grubauer set in the other net for the Kraken. Grubauer was holding onto a 5-8-2 record heading into Thursday’s battle.
The puck dropped, and Seattle was unloading shots on Blackwood early on. Just eight seconds into the contest, Kraken first-liners Ryan Donato and Jaden Schwartz were racing down the ice with a two-on-one advantage on Devils starting defenseman Ryan Graves. Donato slid the frozen rubber back door as Schwartz took a stab at the puck with the whole net calling his name. Blackwood slid across the crease, following the puck, making a sprawling save, and keeping the game scoreless.
The first period ended 0-0 but slightly tilted in favor of Seattle. However, New Jersey was dumping some shots on target as well.
The puck dropped for period two. The Kraken jumped to a 1-0 lead as former Devils defenseman Adam Larsson ripped a shot from the point scoring his fifth goal of the season.
The lead for Seattle became dethroned quickly as the Devils went on the powerplay. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton unloaded a slapshot past Grubauer. The goal came just 24 seconds after the Kraken went ahead.
After Dougie Hamilton scored the game-tying goal, the score stayed at one each to end the second period.
The third and final period presented itself, and the score stayed even until the ten-minute mark when Hamilton let go another powerplay blast that was whistled by Grubauer once more. The 6-foot 6-inch former all-star added another goal to the stat sheet. He is now projected to finish the season with 82 points.
As the game continued and the clock drained, Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol pulled Grubauer. As Seattle was on the brink of dropping their second straight game.
The clock ticked down to 1:11, and the Devils found themselves up two thanks to first-year Devil John Marino. Erik Haula placed the puck on the defenseman’s stick at center ice, and that is when Marino sent the puck the rest of the way, securing the third straight win for New Jersey. The two first-year Devils nailed the coffin shut as the Garden State boys tallied their 34th win.
Next, New Jersey looks to win their 35th game of the season on Saturday night as they square off with the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul, Minn. The Wild have come up empty in their last three games, losing to the Coyotes, Stars, and Golden Knights, giving up 12 goals in the process. The Devils have been labeled as “road warriors” as they have earned a 19-3-2 away record this season.
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