Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Put in Effort, Get Results with Win

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Put in Effort, Get Results with Win

Article excerpt

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The coaching staff challenged the Devils' players to regain that hard-working, smart identity that marked the season's first month. The veteran leaders, specifically, were challenged to start producing more.

The whole team knew a positive response was needed after their last three games yielded three of their more lethargic efforts of the season. Never mind the importance of finally playing a Metropolitan Division game.

"We needed a good rebuttal game," said right wing Stefan Noesen, who snapped a seven-game scoreless skid.

Give the scrappy Devils some credit because they responded in all areas just the way they needed to in a 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets – who were 0-for-6 on the power play – on Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena to conclude a 2-1-0 road trip.

Noesen, elevated to the second line, had a goal and an assist. So did Taylor Hall and his rookie linemate Jesper Bratt while that top line's center, No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier, had two assists. Cory Schneider strong from the start when the Devils were not, stopped 41 shots for his 100th victory with the franchise.

The Devils (16-7-4), establishing traffic at the crease that was largely absent in their last three games – a 3-2 loss to the visiting Panthers on Nov. 27, Friday's 2-1 win at Colorado and Saturday's 5-0 loss at Arizona – moved ahead of the Blue Jackets (17-10-1), who had a five-game home winning streak snapped, and into first place in the division. The teams meet again on Friday night at Prudential Center.

"I thought tonight was a good response," Devils coach John Hynes said. "We talked to our guys about our competitive level and being strong on the puck and having an individual and a team response."

"You have to use it as motivation," center Brian Boyle said of being shut out by the Western Conference-worst Coyotes. "You can't just walk around all ticked off for a couple of days. …

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