The New Jersey Devils survived a drama-filled game against the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 8, winning 4-3 in overtime. They will look to continue their positive momentum against the Arizona Coyotes at 7:00 pm at Prudential Center. The Devils are still one of the NHL’s best teams and are entering the game with a record of 11-3. Their victory was their eighth in a row, and they are now five away from tying the 2000-01 Devils for the most in franchise history. They are first in the Metropolitan Division with 22 points, while the Coyotes have 13 points in a strong Central Division.
It was a back-and-forth battle on Nov. 8, but the Devils got by a hungry Ottawa Senators team on an overtime winner by captain Nico Hischier. It was his second goal of the game, tipping in a rocket off the stick of Dougie Hamilton. His first goal was almost a carbon copy of his goal against the Flames, skating into the zone on his own and firing a shot from the faceoff circle. Miles Wood and Tomas Tatar, who’s on a six-game point streak, also added goals in the victory. Lindy Ruff did pull goaltender Vitek Vanecek midway through the game due to precautionary reasons, but Akira Schmid stepped up, stopping every shot he faced and netting his first career win. “You don’t expect your first win to be like this, but I’ll take it, for sure,” Schmid said after the big day. The team called up goaltender Nico Daws from Utica, and Vanecek will get the night off. He is currently day-to-day.
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The Coyotes, meanwhile, are coming off a victory of their own against the New York Islanders, coming out on top 2-0. The Yotes are 6-6-1 and have surprised early in the season. It is Military Appreciation Night at the Rock, and the first 9,000 attendees will receive a special hat to commemorate the occasion.
The Devils Projected Lines:
Tomas Tatar – Nico Hischier – Fabian Zetterlund
Erik Haula – Jack Hughes – Jesper Bratt
Yegor Sharangovich – Dawson Mercer – Jesper Boqvist
Miles Wood – Michael McLeod – Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves – John Marino
Brendan Smith – Damon Severson
The Coyotes Projected Lines:
*Lineups are based on team’s last game
Clayton Keller – Barrett Hayton – Dylan Guenther
Matias Maccelli – Nick Bjugstad – Lawson Crouse
Nick Ritchie – Jack McBain – Christian Fischer
Liam O’Brien – Travis Boyd – Dysin Mayo
Juuso Valimaki – J.J. Moser
Shayne Gostisbehere – Josh Brown
Patrik Nemeth – Troy Stecher
What’s Happening in Arizona:
Even though the Devils are one of the league’s strongest teams, the Coyotes have certainly held their own as of late. They have won four of their past five and three in a row, including victories over some of the league’s stronger teams in the Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers. On Nov. 10, they blanked the New York Islanders, winning 2-0 on a 20-save Karel Vejmelka shutout. Travis Boyd and Jack McBain each found the back of the net in the win, with McBain’s goal being an empty-netter. “Everybody’s enjoying this time right now,” Vejmelka said after his impressive performance. “I think this game was one of the best of the season for us, and I think this is the structure of how we want to play.”
After their game against the Devils, the schedule does not get easier for the Coyotes. They travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers on Nov. 13 before heading to Las Vegas to face off against the red-hot Golden Knights on Nov. 15. To make it even tougher, they do not have a home game from Nov. 3 until Dec. 9, playing 14-straight games away from Mullett Arena.
Keep an Eye On:
New Jersey Devils: Nico Hischier
It was another multi-point effort from Nico Hischier, his second straight game with two points. He scored the overtime winner and the game-tying goal in the second period to put the Devils back in the game. “I think it hit me somewhere on the pants,” the captain said in regard to his overtime winner. In 13 games this season, he has 16 points and is on pace for 50 goals and 101 points, which would shatter his career highs.
The captain of the Devils has molded into a strong two-way center and has anchored the team’s first line with Tatar and Fabian Zetterlund. There’s a possibility that Tatar is not having the season he is without Hischier by his side, and both are on six-game point streaks. With those two performing as strong as they are, there’s no reason for Lindy Ruff to separate the dynamic duo that has been at the forefront of the Devils’ offense over the past few games.
Arizona Coyotes: Clayton Keller
The 24-year-old Clayton Keller is having another impressive year by his standards. In 13 games, he has 15 points, which leads the Coyotes. Much like Hischier, he is also on a two-game multi-point streak. He found the back of the net against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 8 and in the win against the Panthers, he scored an empty-net goal to seal the win and give the Coyotes their first-ever victory at Mullett Arena. In the win against the Islanders, he had the primary assist on both goals. He is the focal point of the Coyotes’ offense, and against New Jersey, it would not be a surprise to see him create opportunities for both himself and his teammates.
Where to Tune In:
The Coyotes will take on the Devils on MSGSN, with Bill Spaulding and Ken Daneyko returning to provide commentary on the game. Fans who cannot watch can tune in on the Devils Hockey Network, where Matt Loughlin and Chico Resch will call the game from Prudential Center.
Erik Johnsen is one of the NJ Devils writer for The Hockey Writers. He is also a writer for Triple Play Newsletter. Erik is a 2022 Rider University graduate, and co-hosts a podcast called Too Many Men.