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Hughes to Hughes Sends Devils to Playoffs In Style

As the New Jersey Devils regular season ended today, the team got a hopeful glimpse of their future as they came from behind and defeated the Washington Capitals 5-4 in Overtime. After trailing by scores of 3-0 and 4-1, the Devils rally started late in the second period and into the third before setting up the late game heroics.

Game Flow

Unfortunately for the Devils, the team fell behind early and often as a mix of sloppy play in their own end and sharp shooting from the Capitals put the Devils down 3-0 just over 10 minutes into the game. After getting one goal back from Erik Haula, the Capitals would score their final goal early into the second period, chasing Devils goalie MacKenzie Blackwood.

When the Devils decided to make the shift to Akira Schmid, the flow of the game immediately changed. Miles Wood scored in the closing minutes of the second and the Devils started gaining a bit of momentum as the third period started.

In the third, the Devils swarmed the Capitals defense and a second goal from Haula and a goal from Dougie Hamilton tied up the game and sent things to overtime.

The New Kid

In overtime, the two teams traded chances before Luke Hughes received the puck from older brother Jack Hughes and skated into the zone. Hughes split through the defense with a nifty toe drag before his shot snuck past Darcy Kuemper. While the first shot missed just to the side, the youngest Hughes brother grabbed the rebound, wrapped around the net and scored his first career goal, with Jack receiving an assit.

For Luke, the game marked not only his first goal but also his first assist as he helped set up the Erik Haula first period tally. Meanwhile, for Jack, his two assist game brought his total to 99 for the season, extending his Devils single season record.

Meanwhile, the Devils will have a decision to make around the backup goalie for the playoffs. Blackwood had a strong game against the President"s Trophy winning Bruins in the Devils last game but it was Schmid, who saved 19 of 19 shots, who put the team in a position to win tonight, after Blackwood was unable to bail out a spotty first period Devils defense.

For the Devils, a tough playoff match awaits them with the rival New York Rangers coming to town. But for the future of the team, look for the Hughes to Hughes combo to devastate the NHL for the next decade.

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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