NHL Rink Wrap: The Jack Hughes Show highlights Devils win

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Player of the Night

Jack Hughes, Devils

New Jersey built up a 3-1 lead thanks to Dougie Hamilton‘s goal 17 seconds into the game and Hughes’ first of the season in the second period. But the Blackhawks scored twice in a 3:27 span late in the third to force overtime. It was there the young Devils star put on a brilliant solo display to win the game and then gifte a fan at Prudential Center a game-used stick.

Hughes’ first goal from Friday was pretty nifty, too.

Highlights from Friday in the NHL

The first of Carter Hart‘s rough goals felt a bit like “the nature of the beast.” The second cringe-worthy goal Carter Hart allowed, though? Pretty brutal. Elias Pettersson (again) put Hart in a bad spot, and J.T. Miller took care of the rest:

Marcus Foligno dropped the gloves with Max Jones in the first period and had the last laugh with a game-winning goal with 7.2 seconds left to help the Wild edge the Ducks:

Before that game, Trevor Zegras was just showing off:

The Blackhawks and Devils honored the late Jimmy Hayes Friday night:

Two Takeaways from NHL on Friday

So far, so very good for Devils and Dougie

As you can see above, Hamilton celebrated his big contract with the Devils by scoring right away. Then Jack Hughes did the rest to secure a debut win to kick off the Dougie days.

By the simplest terms, that’s a great debut.

But when you dig deeper … Dougie Hamilton shines even more.

Via Natural Stat Trick, the Devils dominated shot volume with Hamilton on the ice. Whether you count blocked shots (21 Corsi For, 7 against at even-strength), or not (17-6 Fenwick For), Hamilton tilted the ice in New Jersey’s favor.

• Hamilton’s Devils debut was strong in more than just “empty calories” ways. At 5-on-5, the Devils generated a 14-5 scoring chance advantage. As far as high-danger chances go? That’s a 7-3 mark. Just lights-out stuff.

• The simple stats are there, too. Hamilton earned a +3 rating, with the Devils generating three goals with him on the ice at 5-on-5, and not allowing one.

Vigneault sticks with Carter Hart after those tough goals

After four goals — including two especially painful ones — people were making jokes at Carter Hart’s expense. Or, they were making jokes about the Flyers’ backup plan of, uh, Martin Jones.

Of course, it’s far, far, far too early to assume Hart won’t rebound from his disappointing 2020-21 season. Plenty of people would’ve spared Hart the exposure of playing through the third period.

Instead, Alain Vigneault took the risk of added damage to Hart’s psyche. The young goalie bounced back with 15 saves in the third period, helping Philly gain a “charity point.”

Now, the Canucks still beat the Flyers. And Hart did allow Vancouver to score on both shootout chances. They’re not out of the woods by any means …

… But, hey, Vigneault stood by his goalie. It might just work out.

(Maybe Vigneault doesn’t have much of a choice, anyway?)

Saturday’s big story

Plenty of NHL season-openers

The 2021-22 NHL season’s been in action since Tuesday, yet quite a few teams open things up on Saturday. Here they are:

• Bruins host Stars at 7 p.m. ET.

• The Blues 2021-22 season begins the way their last one ended. They’re facing the mighty Avalanche at 9 p.m. ET after Colorado swept the Blues during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

• The Sharks kick off their 2021-22 season by hosting the Jets at 10 p.m. ET.

• Finally, the Flames begin their season against the hated Oilers at 10 p.m. ET.

We’ll get to see a retooled St. Louis lineup, and see how a mostly-intact Flames team handles what should be a high-pressure season. Should be a fun, busy Saturday in the NHL.

Friday’s NHL scores

Devils 4, Blackhawks 3 (OT)
Canucks 5, Flyers 4 (SO)
Wild 2, Ducks 1

More hockey news

Dylan Larkin suspended one game for roughing Mathieu Joseph Bruins sign Charlie McAvoy to eight-year, $76 million contract extension Seguin, Radulov returns could make Stars under the radar contender

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

NHL Rink Wrap: The Jack Hughes Show highlights Devils win originally appeared on NBCSports.com