Rejoice! The Devils are no longer in the NHL cellar. A 5-3 victory over the reigning champion Chicago Blackhawks spurred by Brad Mills’ first NHL goal has finally given the Devs some sunshine to conclude a very gloomy six-game road trip.
Up 2-0 in the second period, it seemed as though the hockey gods would again crush the beleaguered Devils when Martin Brodeur left the contest with a bruised elbow. With backup Johan Hedberg between the pipes, the Blackhawks knotted the score at 2 and seemed fated to claim a comeback victory, given the Devils’ early-season script. But Mills and Co. flipped it Wednesday night, as New Jersey got goals from five different players in the win.
Jason Arnott’s fourth goal of the season started New Jersey’s scoring, a scarce commodity to this point on the schedule, and a pair of empty netters from Jamie Langenbrunner and Andy Greene capped the win. And even better news: X-rays on Brodeur’s elbow came back negative and he says he believes he will be in net for the Devils’ next game against the Rangers Friday at Prudential Center.
That the Devils didn’t roll over and let the game slip away after the Blackhawks tied it told me a lot about this team. That’s the kind of resiliency you don’t get from a team that has quit in the face of mounting hardship. Come Friday night, Wednesday’s effort will mean nothing. But now there’s something to build off of and a feeling that better days are ahead.
Here’s some more reaction to the win.
Mills told The Record’s Tom Gulitti the goal may have been ugly, but it may get a little prettier over the course of a few re-tellings. I don’t think anything could have looked more beautiful to the Devils though.
Brodeur is pretty sure he’ll play Friday, according to Gulitti.
In Lou We Trust writes that there’s a lot to critique about Wednesday’s performance, but also a lot to like.
Here’s a little more on Mills' goal from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger.
Puck Daddy gave Wednesday night’s third star award to Langenbrunner.