2020 is almost here, and the New Jersey Devils are hoping their bad seasons could end with a new decade. A new decade could show signs of a team changing, and the New Jersey Devils could be one of them. Once the Devils fix their issues with a new head coach and find a way to play better as a team, we could see a whole new Devils team this next decade. Let’s take these last couple of days of the decade to look at the top 10 best wins for the New Jersey Devils in this decade. There seems to not be any luck with this one for the Vegas Golden Knights.
How Good Did This Game Start Out for the Knights and Bad for the Devils?
On December 14th, 2018 the Devils faced off against the Vegas Golden Knights. The Knights were in their 2nd year of being a NHL Franchise. The Devils were coming off their first playoff appearance in 6 years. I was in attendance for this game, it seemed it was a good game for Vegas, and they started hot. 3 goals were scored by the Golden Knights, one early by Alex Tuch, and one later from William Karlsson. Cory Schneider let the third goal in when William Carrier shot and Schneider mishandled his save and it went in.
Former Devils coach John Hynes pulled Schneider from the game and put in former Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid. In the 2nd period, Travis Zajac got one past Marc-Andre Fleury to get the Devils on the board. However, the Knights got one back on the PP with William Karlsson‘s second to extend the Knights lead. That would be the last time the Knights scored in the game.
What Did the Devils do Change the Outcome of the Game?
Now here comes what makes this game memorable, the Devils fighting not to lose. Miles Wood shot a pass that was open to him to make it 4-2. Then in the 3rd period, Kyle Palmieri beat Fleury on a wraparound through the five-hole to cut the lead to one. With 5:05 left, an attempt from Brett Seney was put in to tie the game. However, on replay it showed that Nick Holden of the Knight put the puck in his net. While all of this was happening Keith Kinkaid kept the Devils from losing by playing one of his best games. I was in complete shock of what I just witnessed. Then it all came down to some Overtime Heroics (see what I did there).
In overtime, it didn’t take long for the game to end. 31 seconds in, a pass from Marcus Johansson was given to Nico Hischier. Hischier, trying to deke out Fleury, fell down and put the puck past him, giving the Devils the win. The crowd could not believe what they saw from the team. However, the Knights challenged the goal for goaltender interference. With the Devils and their ref issues, I thought the goal was not going to count. Upon replay, the goal for sure looked like it was going to count. After the review, the refs called it a good goal and the Devils won the game 5-4.
What Happened Next With the New Jersey Devils That Season?
Unfortunately, the Devils were not good enough unlike the previous year to make the playoffs. They finished as the 3rd worst team in the league behind the Los Angeles Kings, and the Ottawa Senators. However, they ended up winning the NHL Lottery Draft that year which allowed them to draft Jack Hughes.
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