Sean Bentivoglio had 2 goals and an assist, Patrick Asselin had 3 assists and Ben Bowns stopped all 23 shots he faced in a dominating performance by the Devils in Milton Keynes on New Year’s Day.
Bentivoglio’s first of the game came at the 7:06 mark of the first period with Layne Ulmer and Asselin assisting on the goal. Mark Richardson fired a laser through traffic that found its way past Jordan Hedley in the Milton Keynes net at 12:36 to make it 2-0 assisted by Joey Martin and Jake Morissette, which is how the score remained after the first period of play. In the dying seconds of period one, Joey Haddad was given a 5-minute major penalty for spearing and ejected from the game.
The call on Haddad meant the Devils opened the second period on the penalty kill but a hooking call on Lightning defenceman Carl Hudson ate away at the 5-minute advantage Milton Keynes had. The Devils eventually killed off the penalty and then went to work on a powerplay of their own.
The only goal of the middle period came on the powerplay, one of two goals for the Devils on the night with the man advantage. Andrew Hotham stepped in from the blueline and fired a low wrist shot past Hedley to give the Devils the 3-0 lead with Bentivoglio and Asselin assisting on the goal at 33:21.
Luke Piggott made it 4-0 just 1:44 into the final period after taking a pass from Tyson Strachan. The final goal of the night was another powerplay tally, and the 2nd goal of the game for Bentivoglio, set up by Asselin and Hotham to make it 5-0 at 49:22.
The Devils powerplay was solid, going 2 for 6 on the night, while their penalty kill was perfect on all 5 attempts Milton Keynes had with the man advantage. Ben Bowns picked up his 4th shutout of the season and his league-leading 22nd win.
Photo: Tony Sargent