Damien Brunner's Return Spurns New Jersey Devils' Best Offensive Output of Season

By Nick Villano
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

There are some nights where everything goes wrong. Sometimes it feels like there are no bounces going your team’s way. It is hard to watch when these games happen. This was the exact opposite kind of game for the New Jersey Devils.

All you have to look at to know how the Devils luck was is how the last goal they scored found the back of the net. Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas went to blast a puck into the zone. The puck hit St Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo on the boards and went toward Jaroslav Halak. The puck hit his pads in front of him and bounced straight up in the air and over his head into the net. That was the Devils seventh goal.

Besides the immense scoring that took place, a returning Damien Brunner was the story in this game. After missing 14 games with a knee injury, he was a force to be reckoned with. He scored a goal and tallied two assists, earning first star of the game.

The scoring started with an unexpected source when Mark Fayne threw a loose puck at the net that went past Brian Elliot just 2:27 into the game. Not 30 seconds later, Ryan Carter put home a rebound to make the game 2-0 less than three minutes in. The offensive onslaught just seemed to continue from there.

Jaromir Jagr scored a goal off his skate in the middle of the first period which caused the Blues to pull Elliot after just nine shots. Halak was not much better.

Ryane Clowe scored on the power play in the beginning of the second period at a bad angle. It was the first time since April 3 and 5 2012 that Clowe scored in consecutive games. Adam Henrique added a goal before sitting the third period with a hand injury. He should be okay, but coach Peter DeBoer said he will know more tomorrow in regards to that.

This was obviously the Devils’ best scoring output of the season. Surprisingly, it came with Cory Schneider in net. The extra goals could be the Devils’ attempts to make up for all those 1-0 and 2-1 games that Schneider lost. He only allowed one goal on 27 shots. He is still playing very well for the Devils. He is making a case for DeBoer to choose him over Martin Brodeur for the Stadium Series game this Sunday against the New York Rangers.

This was a great game all around for the Devils, but they can’t get over confident yet. They play two games against divisional opponents before going on a three-game road trip. It all starts Friday against the Washington Capitals.

Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports.  He also adds to the site’s NBA, NFL and MLB content.  You can follow him on Twitter here for more sports talk.

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