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Devils look to keep momentum going against Coyotes

Mar 14, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Luke Hughes (43) and center Curtis Lazar (42) and goaltender Jake Allen (34) celebrate on the ice after the Devils defeat the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils aim to record consecutive wins for the first time in more than a month when they visit the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in Tempe, Ariz.

The Devils posted two-goal victories over the Seattle Kraken and Nashville Predators on Feb. 12-13 before losing nine of their next 13 games.

New Jersey showed signs of breaking out of its malaise, however, by scoring three goals in the first 5:12 of the second period in a 6-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

“We got some bounces. I thought we played pretty good for the first 40, and then we defended well in the third,” Devils forward Erik Haula said. “The last three games, Carolina, Rangers, we didn’t get rewarded. We played pretty good and definitely could have won those games. Now, a good team effort and a nice two points for us.”

Timo Meier continued his magnificent start to the month by scoring during the Devils’ three-goal barrage in the second. He has eight goals in seven games in March and 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in his last eight games overall.

Meier and Haula were two of six different goal scorers for New Jersey, which saw 13 different players secure at least one point.

“It was nice to see some guys score some goals,” Devils interim coach Travis Green said. “It wasn’t just our big guys that scored. Getting scoring from throughout your lineup at this time of year helps immensely.”

Jesper Bratt boosted his team-leading totals in assists (43) and points (65) by setting up Meier’s goal on Thursday.

Bratt joined Jack Hughes in turning in three-point performances in the first meeting with Arizona on Oct. 13 in Newark, N.J. Bratt scored two goals and set up another and Hughes had three assists, but the Coyotes skated away with a 4-3 win in a shootout.

Nick Schmaltz recorded a goal and an assist in regulation and converted in the shootout. Rookie forward Logan Cooley notched two assists in his NHL debut and Karel Vejmelka had 33 saves to preserve the victory.

Cooley scored a short-handed goal off a stretch pass from Dylan Guenther in the first period on Thursday, helping Arizona salvage the finale of its three-game road trip with a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

Cooley, 19, and Guenther, 20, became the second pair of teammates age 20 or younger in the past 30 years to contribute on the same short-handed goal. Brandon McMillan and Luca Sbisa last accomplished the feat on Jan. 7, 2011, with the Anaheim Ducks.

“They are growing and growing,” Nick Bjugstad said of Cooley and Guenther. “They are going to be elite players in this league, and they are showing it at both ends of the ice.”

Bjugstad and Clayton Keller each scored and set up a goal for the Coyotes.

Keller leads the Coyotes in goals (26) and points (57). His 31 assists are four shy of Matias Maccelli for the team lead.

–Field Level Media

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