Bratt scores twice as Devils edge Wild 4-3

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Jesper Bratt scored twice and added an assist, Vitek Vanecek made 31 saves, and the New Jersey Devils beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Sunday.

Erik Haula and Tyler Toffoli also scored to help the Devils get their fifth win in eight games. Luke Hughes had two assists.

Pat Maroon, Ryan Hartman and Jake Middleton scored for Minnesota, which has lost three straight. Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 26 saves.

Haula sent a high shot past Fleury to snap a 2-2 tie at 6:54 of the middle period for his fifth goal this season and third in two games. Haula also scored twice in Friday’s 5-4 home win over Buffalo.

Bratt got his sixth of the season on the power play with 3:21 remaining in the second to give New Jersey a two-goal lead. He increased his season total to 14 points and gave the Devils a league-best 14 power-play goals.

“We’ve been talking about really dialing in, trying to get that first goal,'' Bratt said. ”Our speed was good today and we supported each other well."

Middleton’s first of the season pulled the Wild back within one with 4:43 left in the third.

Minnesota had a power-play with Fleury pulled for the game’s final 1:37 but could not covert with the two-man advantage.

“Six-on-four, you've got to put one in,'' Wild coach Dean Evason said. "We have to find a way to get there when things aren’t going well. It’s tough to come away with no points. We have to see results.”

Bratt opened the scoring for the Devils at 6:15 of the first.

Maroon scored his first goal with Minnesota to tie the game with 5:07 remaining in the opening period. The 35-year-old forward joined the Wild this season after winning two Stanley Cups with Tampa Bay and another with St. Louis in 2019.

Hartman put the Wild ahead 2-1 with a power-play goal at 2:31 of the second. It was his sixth.

“We have to keep working. We were getting chances,'' Hartman said. ”We deserved more."

Toffoli then tied it with a power-play goal at 6:10 of the second. The goal was Toffoli’s seventh.

Devils coach Lindy Ruff was impressed with his team's ability to snuff out the Wild's late two-man advantage as they sought a tying goal.

“They have a lot of skill on their power play,'' Ruff said of the Wild's attack led by Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello. "When it came to shot lanes and trying to keep chances to a minimum, I thought we did a good job.”

Devils captain Nico Hischier was scratched after he received a high hit from Buffalo’s Connor Clifton on Friday for which Clifton was suspended two games. Devils coach Lindy Ruff said before the game Hischier is day-to-day.


The teams meet in Minnesota on Thursday to complete the home-and-home set.