The New Jersey Devils defeated the Colorado Avalanche 7-5 on Wednesday night, with Dawson Mercer scoring a goal and providing three assists while Tomas Tatar contributed a goal and two assists.
Nico Hischier and Miles Wood each had a goal and an assist, while Nathan Bastian, Ondrej Palat, and Dougie Hamilton also scored for the Devils.
Vitek Vanecek made 14 saves before being replaced early in the third period after conceding five goals. Akira Schmid took over and stopped all 12 shots he faced.
Mercer continued his impressive form, having scored a goal in seven consecutive games and 10 goals in total during that period.
Meanwhile, the newly acquired New Jersey forward, Timo Meier, was not included in the game.
The Colorado Avalanche saw two goals from Nathan MacKinnon, extending his points streak to nine games, and another goal from Mikko Rantanen, his 41st of the season. Valeri Nichushkin and J.T. Compher also scored for Colorado, with Artturi Lehkonen contributing two assists. Justus Annunen finished with 22 saves.
Earlier on Wednesday, Colorado completed a deal with the Washington Capitals to acquire center Lars Eller, who arrived in Denver just in time to play. Eller’s first shift as an Avalanche came just 25 seconds into the game, but the Devils quickly took a 1-0 lead when Palat beat Annunen with a goal 42 seconds later.
Later in the first period, Bastian and Tatar scored within 2 minutes and 35 seconds of each other, while MacKinnon’s goal at 19:46 cut the lead to 3-1.
During the second period, both teams’ offenses were dominant. Hamilton and Wood scored just 2 minutes and 40 seconds apart, extending the Devils’ lead to 5-1.
However, Colorado responded quickly with goals from Rantanen, MacKinnon, and Compher in just 2 minutes and 4 seconds.
This goal was Rantanen’s sixth in a row. Mercer scored his 20th goal of the season late in the second period, and Nichushkin scored for Colorado just 1 minute and 26 seconds into the third period, bringing the game to a one-goal difference.
At this point, Schmid came in to replace Vanecek in goal for the Devils.
Hischier’s empty-net goal with just 1 minute and 14 seconds left in the game sealed the victory for the Devils.