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‘D’ nearly absent in rough game for Hawks

Blackhawks goaltender Cam Ward looks on as Devils players celebrate a goal by right wing Kyle Palmieri during the second period Monday in Newark, N.J.
Blackhawks goaltender Cam Ward looks on as Devils players celebrate a goal by right wing Kyle Palmieri during the second period Monday in Newark, N.J.

NEWARK, N.J. – The New Jersey Devils’ highest-scoring game of the season came on a night the Blackhawks may have played one of their worst games.

Kyle Palmieri and Blake Coleman each scored twice, and the Devils rode a five-goal second period to an 8-5 victory over the struggling Hawks on Monday night.

“There [were] things in our game plan that we didn’t execute and weren’t detailed enough on,” said Palmieri, who had the first two goals in the big second period. “You’re not going to score eight goals every night. There’s definitely some stuff to tighten up, but it was a win. It was good we found a way to win.”

Travis Zajac, Sami Vatanen, Kevin Rooney and Brett Seney also scored as the Devils won consecutive games for only the third time since opening the season with four straight wins. Rookie goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 27 saves in winning for the fifth time in seven decisions.

Despite the win, the Devils are
11 points out of a playoff spot.

“Sometimes we will play really well and win,” Devils forward Brian Boyle said. “Sometimes it will come ugly. It’s going to come different ways, but we have to stay with it because we’ve dug ourselves a pretty big hole.”

Patrick Kane scored twice and set up two others for the Hawks, who are 1-3-3 in their past seven. Brent Seabrook, Dominik Kahun and Brandon Saad also scored for the Hawks, who left goaltenders Cam Ward and Collin Delia defenseless most of the game in giving up at least seven goals for the fifth time this season. The eight goals against tied the most given up by the Hawks this season.

Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton wants his team to forget the game but realize it can’t happen again.

“That wasn’t us,” he said. “Those were valuable points and a winnable game, and we just didn’t have near our best effort. So learn not to do that again.”

After Kane tied the game 1-all with a power-play goal at 3:07 of the second period, Palmieri and the Devils took over.

Palmieri beat Ward on a breakaway to put the Devils ahead a little more than two minutes after the Kane goal. He stretched the lead to two goals 3:11 later with a shot Ward didn’t seem to see. The goal originally was credited to Boyle but later was awarded to Palmieri for his 22nd of the season.

Zajac tapped in a rebound, Vatanen tallied on a power play, and Rooney scored on a rebound for his first NHL goal to stretch the lead to 6-1.

Kane closed the gap with his second goal and set up Seabrook’s 100th career goal in the final 1:41 of the second period, but the Hawks never threatened until Saad scored late to make it 7-5.

The Hawks pulled Delia, but Coleman, who had scored the Devils’ first goal on a breakaway, scored into an empty net.

“We got to learn from that. We did lots of good things, but we played somewhat an immature game at times,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “We get up, 6-1, and we just go to sleep at the end of the second, and you can’t do that. It’s excellent that we found a way to win the game.”

Veteran Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith said games like this sometimes happen.

“I know when we were competing hard and playing as a team, we can play with other teams, every team in the league, be competitive and have a chance to win,” said Keith, who was minus-5 in the game. “I don’t think tonight we really did that, to give ourselves a chance.”

NOTES: The Devils placed forward Stefan Noesen (lower body) on injured reserve and recalled D Egor Yakovlev from Binghamton earlier in the day. ... The Hawks will play host to New Jersey on Feb. 14. ... Kane has 14 goals and 22 assists on the road this season. ... The Hawks’ Alex DeBrincat had a four-game goal-scoring streak snapped, and defenseman Erik Gustafsson had a career-best eight-game assist streak ended.


Hawks: At the New York Rangers on Thursday.

Devils: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

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