What a difference a year makes. The New Jersey Devils were downright resolute in their first game of 2017. They also displayed resolve, playing without alternate captain Travis Zajac. However, this game also saw the return of Taylor Hall to the lineup.
Their 3-0 victory over the Boston Bruins was about as complete as one could possibly want. Save for their 0-for-6 power play, the Devils were fully engaged and started the new year off on the right foot, or skate, if you will.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) January 2, 2017
Speaking of first skates or steps, the victory gives the Devils a baby step out of the Metropolitan Division basement, jumping the idle New York Islanders in the standings with 37 points.
New Jersey jumped on the board during the opening frame. PA Parenteau notched his team-leading 11th tally of the season, beating Tuukka Rask at the 4:12 mark. The Devils right wing was set up by Hall and rookie defenseman Steven Santini, who recorded his first NHL point. Parenteau’s marker was his fifth in the past eight games.
The Devils were also fired up and flying around the ice, like former Boston College Eagles forward Miles Wood. Wood delivered a solid check on Bruins defenseman Kevin Miller and was then asked to “dance” by Colin Miller. Following the scrap, Wood raised his arms in the air and riled up the Prudential Center faithful.
In the waning seconds of the frame, Cory Schneider preserved the Devils’ lead by using every inch of the red line to keep Brad Marchand and the B’s off the board.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 3, 2017
The second stanza was mostly uneventful for the 15,141 on hand in Newark. New Jersey out-shot Boston 7-5 during the period.
Michael Gwizdala covers the New York Islanders for The Hockey Writers. Michael is also an Associate Producer at WNYT NewsChannel 13. Additionally, Michael was once a Media Relations intern for the AHL Albany River Rats. Michael is a graduate of The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.