Devils fend off Avalanche comeback in 7-5 win

March 1, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; New Jersey Devils left winger Miles Wood (44) celebrates his goal in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

DENVER (AP) — Dawson Mercer stayed hot with a goal and three assists, Thomas Tatar had a goal and two assists, and the New Jersey Devils beat the Colorado Avalanche 7-5 on Wednesday night.

Nico Hischier And Miles Wood each had a goal and an assist, and Nathan Bastian, Ondrej Palat And Dougie Hamilton also scored for the Devils. Vitek Vanecek had 14 saves before being substituted early in the third period after conceding five goals. Akira Schmid came up and stopped all 12 shots he faced.

Mercer has scored a goal in seven straight games and has 10 in total in that span.

New Jersey striker Timo Meier, who was acquired from San Jose on Monday, suffered a scrape.

Nathan MacKinnon had two goals to extend his point streak to nine games and Mikko Rantanen scored his 41st of the season for Colorado. Valery Nichushkin And JT Comper also scored, and Arthur Lehkonen had two assists. Justin Annunen ended with 22 saves.

Colorado signed a deal with Washington for center Lars Eller on Wednesday morning and he landed in Denver in time to play. His first serve as an avalanche came 25 seconds into the game and he was on the ice when Palat defeated Annunen 42 seconds later to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.

Bastian and Tatar scored 2:35 apart later in the first and MacKinnon’s goal at 19:46 cut the lead to 3–1.

The fouls dominated the second period, with Hamilton and Wood scoring 2:40 apart to make it 5–1. Colorado answered with goals from Rantanen, MacKinnon and Compher in the space of 2:04. For Rantanen, it earned him a goal in six games in a row.

Mercer scored his 20th of the season late in the second inning and Nichushkin turned it into another one-goal game of 1:26 in the third. Schmid then replaced Vanecek.

Hischier’s empty netter with 1:14 left closed the score.


Colorado D Cale Makar missed his fifth straight game and eighth in the last 10 due to two separate concussions. Makar suffered the first on February 7 in Pittsburgh, returned to play two games, but suffered the second in St. Louis on February 18.

200 CLUB

Compher scored his 200th career point with his goal. Not to be outdone, Lekhonen’s two assists also earned him 200 career points.


Devils: Friday night in Vegas.

Colorado: Saturday in Dallas.

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