6 Takeaways From Devils’ Dominant 6-2 Victory Over Ducks

The New Jersey Devils continued their longest road trip of the season on Jan. 13 as they traveled to Southern California to face the struggling Anaheim Ducks.

Head coach Lindy Ruff’s team came out strong and scored three goals in the opening frame. They would eventually add three more and down the Ducks by a final score of 6-2, improving to a 2-0-0 record on their current five-game road trip. Once again the Devils received excellent goaltending and scoring up and down their lineup. Here are six takeaways from the team’s victory.

The Devils Are Back

At least it certainly feels like it.

During the Devils’ 13-game winning streak, the club had no issue finding the back of the net, scoring four-plus goals 10 times in that impressive stretch. After a difficult few weeks, New Jersey has rediscovered their scoring touch over their last three games putting up 15 goals in that duration.

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There were no passengers in the team’s Jan. 13 victory as nine different Devils players found themselves on the scoresheet. Jack Hughes and Damon Severson each collected three points while Dougie Hamilton, Jesper Bratt, and Jesper Boqvist tallied two points apiece.

Road Warriors

The Devils currently own a 16-2-1 road record this season. The club has continued to dominate away from Prudential Center and have scored at least four goals in their last five road games dating back to Dec. 21.

Lindy Ruff New Jersey Devils
Lindy Ruff, New Jersey Devils (Kristy Flannery / The Hockey Writers)

“It’s something I told the team I’m really proud of, the fact that you can go on the road and win that many games,” Ruff said postgame. “It’s hard to consistently win games on the road.”

New Jersey’s 16 wins in the first 19 road games is an NHL record. It’s a complete turnaround from last season when the team finished with an 11-26-4 road record. Ahead of the team’s current road trip, Nico Hischier was asked about the team’s success away from Prudential Center and simply said they play a smart road game. Ruff added that his team plays a simple game on the road, and that is what has led to their success.

Hughes Reaches 50-Point Mark

Is Hughes playing himself into the Hart Trophy conversation? An argument could be made as he has collected 52 points in 42 games. His two-goal performance against the Ducks marked the sixth time this season that the 21-year-old recorded two or more goals in a game. For the first time in his young career, he has accumulated 28 goals on the season and has earned 10 points in his last five games.

Boqvist – McLeod – Mercer Line Continues to Impress

By sheer happenstance, Ruff put together a line of Boqvist, Dawson Mercer, and Michael McLeod in the final period of their game versus the Carolina Hurricanes. The trio instantly clicked and in 21 minutes of action combined for seven points, including three of the team’s goals in their 5-3 victory.

Related: Devils’ Mercer & Boqvist Spark Comeback Win vs. Hurricanes

Of course, the coaching staff decided to keep the trio together and it was the team’s newest line that was on the ice when Hamilton opened up the scoring in the first period. Both Mercer and Boqvist collected the assists on the defenseman’s 10th goal of the season.

Jesper Boqvist New Jersey Devils
Jesper Boqvist, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“I thought the McLeod line gave us a great start. Got us in on the first game,” Ruff said. “They fueled themselves off of last game. Tonight in on two goals again. We’ve talked about secondary scoring and the importance of other lines to help produce.”

Boqvist would net his own goal early in the third period when he scored on a breakaway. Through four periods of hockey, the trio has a combined 10 points. It’s safe to say Ruff has finally found a worthy replacement for the BMW Line.

A Strong Outing for New Jersey’s Blue Line

New Jersey’s defense played a strong game against Anaheim and the six defensemen found their own ways to contribute. Severson, Ryan Graves, and Hamilton earned a total of six points. Per Devils PR, Hamilton’s 21 points rank second behind Josh Morrissey (tied with 21 points) behind Erik Karlsson’s 22 points for the most points by a blueliner since Dec. 5, 2022. Severson tallied three assists in a game for the first time in his career and is currently on a five-game point streak.

Youngster Nikita Okhotiuk played 17:35 and logged a career-high eight hits. Fans have been looking forward to seeing his physical style of play and he did not disappoint at the Honda Center. His defensive partner, Brendan Smith, provided energy in his own way when he dropped the gloves and fought Sam Carrick in the second period. It was the third fight of the season for the 33-year-old.

Let’s Go Streaking

After their victory over the Ducks, multiple Devils players are on goal and point streaks. Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know entering their Jan. 14 game against the Los Angeles Kings.

  • Jesper Boqvist: Two-game goal streak.
  • Dawson Mercer: Three-game point streak.
  • Ryan Graves: Three-game point streak.
  • Dougie Hamilton: Two-game point streak.
  • Damon Severson: Five-game point streak.

The Devils are back in action tonight as they travel to Crypto.com Arena to battle the Kings who are 7-2-1 and on their own three-game winning streak. It will be another big test for New Jersey who will be looking to remain hot on the road. Bill Spaulding and Ken Daneyko of MSG Networks will have the call at 10:30 P.M.

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