Not a bad showing for the Devils rookies in their second visit to the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo over the weekend, going 1-1 and scoring 9 goals over the two games.
First game of the challenge came for New Jersey on Saturday night, as they took on the host Sabres. After a scoreless first period, where Evan Cormier would stop all 9 shots faced, Nicholas Baptiste would put Buffalo on the board with a power play 7:30 into the second period. John Quenneville would tie the game up, only to see Baptiste score his second late in the period to put the Sabres back in front. But just as quickly, Blake Speers and Nathan Bastian would each score to put the Devils ahead 3-2 after 40 minutes. Blake Coleman and Brandon Gignac would score 30 seconds apart early in the third period to put the Devils ahead 5-2. Baptiste would complete the hat trick late in the game to cut the lead to 5-3, but Gignac would score an empty netter to seal the win. Ken Appleby would enter the game in the second and stop 18 of 21 shots. Miles Wood and Kevin Rooney would each contribute two assists.
If you have about an hour or so to kill, here is the full video of Saturday’s game:
24 hours later, it was back on ice in Buffalo, but this time the Devils would face the Bruins. Cormier would once again draw the start in net, but again only played the first twenty minutes. Just 2:31 into the contest, a Colton Hargrove power play goal would put Boston ahead 1-0. Speers would tie it up late in the period with a power play goal of his own. The Bruins would not be kind to Mackenzie Blackwood in the second, as Anton Blidh (shorthanded) and Jake DeBrusk would score to put Boston up 3-1 after two periods. The Devils would try to mount a rally in the third, as Gignac’s third goal of the weekend would cut the lead to one. Rob O’Gara answered with an even strength tally to put Boston ahead 4-2. Speers’ second goal of the night would cut the lead to 4-3, but New Jersey could not get any closer. Cormier stopped 13 of 14 Bruin shots in the first period, while Blackwood stopped 22 of 25 in his 2 periods of work. Gignac and three other Devils each contributed an assist.
No full video, but here’s a quick highlight reel:
With the Prospects Challenge over, time to look ahead to later this week and the start of training camp on Thursday (I will post the roster once released), then the preseason begins on Monday night at The Rock (FYI…I will be in Section 13) and in Montreal.