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In this edition of NHL Talk, the New Jersey Devils, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Winnipeg Jets have the best quotes from around the league.
Devils End Seven-Game Winless Skid
The Devils ended a seven-game winless skid with a 7-1 win at the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. It marks New Jersey’s first victory since Jan. 22, when it also posted seven goals in a 7-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
“We played pretty good defensively and the offense showed there tonight,” Devils forward Dawson Mercer said. “Our last few games we had some trouble getting goals up on the board, and finally tonight we put seven in the back of the net. So, that was great for us just to get everyone a touch, get back in the feeling and hopefully carry that on to the next couple of games.”
In the Devils’ latest win, Michael McLeod tallied two goals, while Mercer, Pavel Zacha and Jesper Boqvist also scored a goal each. New Jersey goaltender Jon Gillies stopped 30 of 31 shots faced for a .968 save percentage (SV%).
“We’ve been struggling lately so it’s nice to get back in the win column regardless of who you’re playing or how it happens,” Devils defenseman Ryan Graves said.
Blue Jackets’ Fix-Wolansky Scores Goal in NHL Debut
Blue Jackets forward Trey Fix-Wolansky tallied a goal in his NHL debut, a 5-4 win at the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. His goal came at 2:40 of the third period, receiving a drop pass from Jack Roslovic and firing a puck that trickled past Capitals goaltender Pheonix Copley to give Columbus a 4-3 lead.
“Coaches were telling me all night to shoot, so I shot the puck and I kind of heard the crowd roar a little bit, so I knew the puck was behind him,” Fix-Wolansky said. “I tried just going to the net and I saw it go in, and it was probably the most excitement I’ve ever had in my life.”
The 22-year-old had the Blue Jackets’ fourth goal of the game, which allowed for Columbus forward Boone Jenner to score the game-winning fifth goal with 45 seconds remaining in the third period.
Jets’ Hellebuyck Posts 27-Save Shutout
Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves in a 2-0 win versus the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. It marks his third shutout of the season and 27th of his career. The Winnipeg victory also put an end to the Wild’s league-leading, six-game win streak.
“I think we protected the house real well,” Hellebuyck said. “We had good backchecking. Our [defensemen] just played a phenomenal game, keeping everything to the outside, allowing me to see pucks and clearing rebounds. And that’s huge. And not only that, it wasn’t a whole lot of scrambles. It was tight and guys were playing off each other. And that’s what you want to see.”
The Jets improve to 19-17-7 on the season, sitting seven points out of a wild card spot. Hellebuyck looks to build off his strong performance on Tuesday, which is his first win in eight games (1-5-2).
Tom Pepper is a columnist at The Hockey Writers since June 2020. He is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.