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Devils Takeaways: The Nico’s, Bastian Propel Devils to Stadium Series Victory Over Flyers

Hischier, Bastian score twice and Daws makes 43 saves in the Devils’ 6-3 victory over the Flyers at the Stadium Series.

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New Jersey Devils

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — In front of 70,328 fans in attendance, the New Jersey Devils defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in the first night of the Stadium Series at MetLife Stadium.

Captain Nico Hischier dropped an F-bomb on live TV, Nathan Bastian pre-planned a goal celebration and was able to use it, and Nico Daws pulled through in a huge moment.

Let’s dive into the Devils’ 6-3 victory over the Flyers on Saturday.

Devils Recap

Well, it didn’t take very long at all. After the opening faceoff, Nico Hischier scored the fastest goal in an outdoor game in history on a breakaway 32 seconds into play. The Devils doubled their lead in the latter half of the opening frame after Tyler Toffoli deposited a big rebound left by Flyers goaltender Sam Ersson. Near the halfway mark of the second period, Owen Tippett took advantage of a turnover at the Devils’ blue line and scored to cut the Devils lead by one. However, with the clock running down in the middle frame, Brendan Smith and Nathan Bastian gave the Devils a three-goal lead. New Jersey couldn’t get out of the second period before the Flyers scored once more on a second goal by Tippett.

Hischier scored his second goal of the game in the third period and Nick Seeler answered to keep it close. However, Bastian hit the empty-net to seal the 6-3 victory for the Devils. Daws stood strong making 43 saves on 46 shots.

Takeaways

Power Play

Struggling to score on the power play is not exclusive to the outdoors.

Although the Devils potted one on Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings, the power play still couldn’t come through on the following four chances they received.

That theme continued on Saturday in the Stadium Series against the Flyers.

The Devils had five power plays before the third period even started on Saturday night. However, they couldn’t convert on a single one of them.

It was more of the same issue they had on Thursday against the Kings. The Devils held onto pucks too long and tried to find the perfect play rather than pepper as many shots on net as possible. And while New Jersey was searching for the perfect play, they often coughed the puck up after the Flyers forced a turnover to clear the puck.

Through the first five power plays of the game, Ersson was only forced to make six saves.

The man-advantage is the one glaring area where the Devils miss Dougie Hamilton.

Setting the Tone

The Devils captain was embarrassed by his team’s play before the All-Star break.

Since returning, Nico Hischier has been a man on a mission. Hischier netted two goals for the Devils en route to their outdoor victory and did so in critical moments.

The Devils have struggled to score first this season, allowing the opening goal of the game to the opposition 38 times this season. However, Hischier was sprung for a breakaway within the first minute of the game and scored the fastest goal in outdoor history 32 seconds into the contest.

The Devils certainly rode that wave of momentum for the remainder of the first period and finished the opening frame with a 2-0 lead.

The Flyers registered a strong second period, peppering Daws with 25 shots despite the Devils coming away with a 4-2 lead in the middle frame. Hischier, recognizing the Flyers were desperate to close the gap on the scoreboard, took advantage of a defensive breakdown by Philly and potted his second goal of the game, cutting any momentum potential momentum for the opposition.

Depth Scoring

Coming into Saturday night’s contest, you could have made easy money betting on a Tyler Toffoli anytime goal. And, to see the Devils’ captain pot two huge, momentum swinging goals was not a surprise either.

However, it was the depth scoring that came through in some of the biggest moment of Saturday night’s contest.

Brendan Smith scored a big second period goal and Nathan Bastian followed it up with some extra insurance. It came in a crucial moment in the middle frame with the Flyers pressuring with a plethora of shots.

Not only did Bastian provide the empty net dagger, but he and Smith asserted themselves physically with a combined eight hits.

“(The Flyers) are a physical team,” Ruff explained. “They were hard on the goals. We needed Nate, we needed Smith, we needed the guys that physically could dominate. I mean, even if you saw early a few times plays on walls. We needed the big bodies to come through for us. We even through (Bastian) up with the (Curtis Lazar) and Timo Meier for an even bigger line, heavier line. We got rewarded with (Bastian) scoring the goal. Then, you look at the wall play just on the empty net goal. Great job by that group to seal the game for us.”

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