Domingue saves 19 in first start for Devils; NJ 5, Detroit 1
Domingue made 19 saves in his first start for New Jersey as the Devils beat Detroit 5-1, sending the Red Wings to a fifth straight loss (0-3-2) on Saturday night.
Will Butcher scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, Blake Coleman added two goals and Kyle Palmieri and Taylor Hall also scored as the Devils ended a two-game skid.
The goals helped roll out the welcome mat for Domingue, and he did the rest.
Domingue joined the Devils in a Nov. 1 trade from the Lightning. He last started a game on March 21, winning 6-3 with Tampa Bay.
Despite a record of 21-5-0 last year, Domingue became expendable when Tampa signed goalie Curtis McElhinney over the summer.
Domingue's odyssey since then included a stint in the minor leagues.
"I was excited," Domingue said. "It's a long time coming for me. I feel like I should have started the year in the NHL, but things went the way they did and now I'm here. I'm going to take it a day at a time and try and stay in the league."
Domingue's first appearance for the club was Friday night, when he stopped all five shots in relief of Mackenzie Blackwood in a 4-1 loss at Pittsburgh.
Domingue immediately won over the Prudential Center crowd on Saturday, squeezing the pads together to stop the first shot he faced, a drive from the right wing off the stick of Anthony Mantha.
"It got the nerves out of the way," Domingue said. "I've played a hundred-and-some games you still get the nerves sometimes. Especially when you play in front of a new team. You always want to do well. That's my game plan. Nothing through me. Nothing under me. If you do that, you usually have a pretty good night."
There have not been a lot of good nights for the Devils.
The game featured the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference. Both had only seven wins coming in. New Jersey holds 15th place with 20 points, three more than Detroit.
There was a different attitude for the Devils with the new goalie in the net.
"He looked really confident," Palmieri said. "We only had a couple of days of practice since he got back up here. You look at the way he moves in his net and plays the puck, you saw right away the confidence he plays with and the poise he plays with."
Taro Hirose scored for the Red Wings, and Jonathan Bernier made 29 saves.
"We're been really porous defensively the last couple of games and that's not good enough," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "The biggest thing I make clear for our group for tomorrow and the long-term future of this team, is that we have to play hockey the right way. We have to play great defensive hockey and you get your offense from checking and we have to understand that."
The teams scored 26 seconds apart in the second period to create a 1-1 deadlock.
Hirose opened the scoring at 3:32, deflecting a pass from Madison Bowey while cruising through the slot.
The Devils wasted little time answering. Hall whipped a backhand pass to Palmieri, who beat Bernier from close range.
In the third, Butcher put New Jersey ahead 2-1 at 4:42 on a goal confirmed by video review. The officials on ice ruled that Palmieri kicked the puck into the net, negating the score. On review, it was determined the centering pass from Butcher glanced off the skate of Detroit defenseman Dylan McIlrath.
Hall scored into an empty net at 15:23 as Bernier was already on the bench for an extra attacker to make it 4-1.
Coleman scored again in the final seconds.
NOTES: The Devils observed "Hockey Fights Cancer" night by wearing lavender warmup jerseys that will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Clara Maass Medical Center Infusion Center in Belleville. The Devils saluted 11-year-old brain cancer survivor Grace Eline, who joined the team as an honorary member this week. She dropped the puck for the ceremonial faceoff. ... Each team had a transaction Saturday involving ts AHL club. The Red Wings assigned D Joe Hicketts to Grand Rapids, while the Devils recalled LW Brett Seney from Binghamton. ... Bowey accomplished a rare feat late in the first period: picking up an interference penalty while not on the ice. Bowey had almost finished serving a minor for slashing. When the penalty box door opened, Bowey reached out and hooked a Devils player with his stick. That earned him 2 more minutes before he was back in the game. ... Mantha, Detroit's leading scorer, left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. ... Wayne Simmonds of New Jersey and Detroit's McIlrath fought in the final minute.