The final Friday of October, a competitive showcase between the Devils and Chicago’s Blackhawks was hosted at the Rock. With both teams tied for wins so far this season, it was a must win for both sides.
The first period was high in energy for both sides; strong passing and momentum control made for initial excitement. After minutes in the first period and a multitude of shots on goal, #11 P.A. Parenteau brought the Devils up to 1-0 lead after cleaning up their hellish offensive rally, making his third shot on goal the only one to find the back of the Blackhawk’s net of the first period.
Chicago seemed to be the leading aggressors at the start of the second, resulting in a well-earned power play goal nearly seven minutes into the period thanks to a sniping shot by Artemi Penarin. A volatile reaction by the Devils sparked an offensive onslaught that resulting in a tremendous lead of shots on goal; 26 to 10. Alongside great defensive effort, Devils goalie Keith Kincaid performed astonishingly with a crucial save with two minutes left in the period.
The third period kicked off with more aggressive offense by the Devils, eventually taking back the lead as Taylor Hill’s excellent handling gifted #2 John Moore his first goal of the season. As the Blackhawks felt the pressure of the clock winding down, they found success in turning over a power play goal by Marian Hossa with nearly two minutes remaining. With a tied score at the end of the third, overtime came about for the home crowd of nearly fourteen thousand.
Overtime came to an early closing as Artem Anisimov got one more past Kincaid to declare the Blackhawks the winners of the evening.
Though a tough loss for the Devils, their teamwork and gameplay strategy show tremendous promise to defend their merited record as the season goes on.