Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hischier Shines in Devils' 5-4 Shootout Win

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hischier Shines in Devils' 5-4 Shootout Win

Article excerpt

NEWARK – Nico Hischier took his stick and slammed it onto the ice.

Yet, the affable Swiss-born 18-year-old was smiling again by the end of this wild one as the Devils rallied for a 5-4 shootout win over the Lightning on Tuesday night at Prudential Center, with Hischier's second assist setting up Drew Stafford's equalizer.

"For sure, it's never good to have a great chance and don't make it," said Hischier, still looking for his first NHL goal after being denied twice on highlight-reel saves by the Lightning's Peter Budaj. "At the end, I still have a smile on my face when we won this game. If we lose this game, it would bother me a little bit more. I've got to keep moving forward. At some point, it's going to come. Not today."

The No. 1 overall pick played his best game among the first six of his NHL career, using his speed to propel his line with Taylor Hall and Stafford into the offensive zone with regularity and getting the primary assist on both of Stafford's goals.

The Devils (5-1-0) killed off Lightning power plays for the final 1:58 of regulation and 47.6 seconds of overtime as Cory Schneider made 33 saves.

Kyle Palmieri scored the only goal of the shootout, in the third round, and Schneider denied Ryan Callahan to clinch the win. Budaj stopped 32 shots for the Lightning (5-1-1), who had a four-game winning streak snapped despite Nikita Kucherov becoming just the second player in 30 years – along with Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux – have score a goal in each of his team's first seven games.

It was a feel-good win for the Devils who did not have many last season.

"There's no real reason to harp on the last couple of seasons," said Palmieri, who beat Budaj with a backhander to the short side in the shootout. "We won it tonight and it's a learning process to win these types of games. If you look back at last year, obviously it was a disappointment but we've turned the page. We're off to a good start and hopefully we can continue to play this good hockey."

Hischier set up Stafford's power-play goal at 15:54 of the third period to tie the game at 4, sending the puck to the crease from the right circle where Stafford tipped it toward the net then batted in his own rebound. …

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