Devils notes: Team showing positive signs
The Devils certainly don’t want to be a top-heavy team in terms of goal production. So getting a goal from a defenseman for the second straight game and also having versatile Devante Smith-Pelly chip in with his first goal of the season was seen as a good sign.
“We need more of that in the lineup,” coach John Hynes said. “It shouldn’t always be about [Travis] Zajac, [Taylor] Hall, [Mike] Cammalleri and [Adam] Henrique. There’s got to be more guys that go to the forefront and grab the attention.”
Defenseman Damon Severson’s goal in Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Lightning followed blue-liner John Moore’s goal in Friday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Blackhawks.
And Smith-Pelly, who has played on each of the four lines already this season, now has a three-game point streak with a goal and two assists.
“It’s nice to get points,” Smith-Pelly said. “I didn’t really change anything from before. I could have scored a couple of more goals earlier in the year. It’s all about staying the course and doing what I’m doing.”
Henrique’s goal at 3:57 of the first period to open the scoring was the 100th of his career.
“It’s great,” said Henrique, 26, in his sixth NHL season and coming off his first 30-goal season. “If you told me years ago I’d be there one day, who knows if I’d believe you or not. I forgot about it, to be honest, when I scored.”
LW Sergey Kalinin gave the Devils some energy with a decisive win over Cedric Paquette as they fought 39 seconds into the second period. Kalinin connected with two, heavy hooks and finally toppled on top of Paquette. “We both wanted to go,” Kalinin said. “It’s just part of the game.” … Rookie RW Nick Lappin logged 10:11 in his second NHL game and recorded his first NHL point in setting up Smith-Pelly’s goal.
– Andrew Gross