Power Play Key To New Jersey Devils' Offensive Explosion

By Nick Villano
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past two games, the New Jersey Devils have scored 11 goals. They haven’t scored more than nine in consecutive games prior to today. Their success on the power play is the key to the team’s success coming out of the break.

In the past two games, the Devils have scored six PP goals. They have scored at a 66 percent clip. Five different players scored those six goals, with Adam Henrique being the only player to score two.

With their latest surge, the Devils are now scoring on the power play 19.8 percent of the time. That leaves them in 11th place in the NHL for that category. They don’t need to score on two-thirds of their power plays to be good, but they need to stay consistently around 20 percent for the rest of the season.

The good news is that not only are they scoring on the power play, but they also have five goals at even strength since the Olympic break. They are scoring much better than they were going into the break.

It seems everyone on the power play is scoring. We spoke about Henrique earlier, who has scored three goals in the past two games. If he stays this motivated for the rest of the season, he is going to carry this team to new heights. I spoke before the break about how Henrique was key in the Devils run to the playoffs. He looks like he is ready for the challenge.

Jaromir Jagr is another player who has been great on the power play the past two games. He scoreed tonight while skating through three different defenders. He took a shot that went off the skate of Andrew MacDonald and past goalie Evgeni Nabokov. That ended up being his 700th goal of his illustrious career, and also his second goal in as many games.

Even the defense has been getting involved in the scoring. Marek Zidlicky scored a PPG on a one-timer that made it 4-1, and seemed to put the game out of reach of the New York Islanders. Eric Gelinas added to the scoring with less than a minute left on a five-on-three power play.

The entire team has been scoring since the end of the Olympic break. The great part of the Devils is that they have been able to stay out of the box while putting the other team in the box. They have had six penalties against, which produced one more goal for the Devils than it did for the other teams. They have had 11 power plays. That can be attributed to the team’s discipline. They don’t get caught retaliating. They make sure they get the chances that other teams don’t.

If the Devils can continue this success into the next 21 games, then they will be a playoff team. Unfortunately, consistency is not necessarily this team’s strong suit. They have played a Jekyll-and-Hyde type of season. They need to be the team we saw over the past two games for the rest of the season.

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

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