Long Island — It hasn’t been the best start to the 2023-24 season for the New Jersey Devils captain. Nico Hischier came into Friday night’s contest against the New York Islanders with no points and a disgruntled head coach. However, after a top-six shake-up by Lindy Ruff, the Devils forward had a stronger showing in game No.4 of the regular season. Unfortunately, it ended with him missing the third period of the game due to injury.
Following the Devils’ 5-4 overtime win over the Islanders, all Ruff could offer on Hischier was, “Just an upper-body injury. We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
There was no clear-cut play that sent Hischier to the locker room. He took a number of hits against the grinding Islanders team. Early in the first period, Cal Clutterbuck laid a hard check on the Devils captain that saw Jonas Siegenthaler come to his aid. However, it seems like it was a hit by Ryan Pulock below the goal line late in the second period that put Hischier out of play for the final frame.
It’s unfortunate as the Devils captain was having a very strong performance. Ruff went back to the well with Hischier’s new (sort of) linemates. In the last two morning skates, Hischier skated with Ondrej Palat and Jesper Bratt. That was a trio we saw a lot in the 2022-23 regular season. Trying to get more out of his powerhouse offense, Ruff put that trio back together for Friday night’s game. Hischier ended the night winning 11/18 draws in the faceoff dot and accruing a dominant 86.96 CF% and 76.02 xGF%.
The Devils will hold a 12 p.m. morning skate on Saturday. We’re likely to receive more details on the Devils’ captain then.