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. So 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 on Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena to conclude a 2-1-0 road trip.

Taylor Hall and his rookie linemate Jesper Bratt each had a goal and an assist 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 and Stefan Noesen also had a goal and an assist.

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) and into first place in the division.

The teams meet again on Friday night at Prudential Center.

Two-time Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves for the Blue Jackets.

"We've had a solid start to the season," Hall said prior to Tuesday's contest. "I think you look at our record and everybody is happy about that. Our play has slipped of late. If you look at our last three games you could come up with a couple of excuses as to why we've come up short. Tonight is a game where there's no excuses."

Tuesday marked just the Devils' third division game. Bratt, lifting the rebound of Hall's shot off the rush, capped the scoring at 11:06 of the third period.

The Devils finally resembled the team they want to be in the second period, scoring twice to take a 3-1 lead into the third period. …

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