Devils call up Alexander Holtz for debut vs. surging Kings

Devils call up Alexander Holtz for debut vs. surging Kings

Having lost three of four games, the latest a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, the New Jersey Devils are in need of a spark.Alex Holtz, the seventh overall pick in the 2020 draft, was summoned from the minors on Thursday after scoring five goals in four games for the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets and is expected to make his NHL debut in Friday’s road game against the Los Angeles Kings.”This is what you dream of your whole life. I’m really pumped for this,” said the 19-year-old forward after Thursday’s practice.The Devils, who have two more games remaining on their California road swing, could use a boost. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton is expected to miss the game, a blow to the club that’s struggling after winning three of four games to kick off the season.Coach Lindy Ruff said Holtz could help their struggling power play. Against the Ducks, New Jersey was 0-for-5 with the man-advantage, and surrendered a short-handed goal. The Ducks also scored twice on their power-play chances.”It’s frustrating. The power play needs to make a difference,” captain Nico Hischier said. “Even just getting momentum back. That’s not what we’re doing right now. We just have to put pucks on net and get one dirty one to get the confidence back. Obviously, we have to get better. We don’t have any confidence. We have to simplify it. It’s not good enough. It’s that simple.”Should Holtz play, it would mean two of New Jersey’s three first-round picks from 2020 will be playing for them — the other being forward Dawson Mercer, who has three goals and five points in eight games.The Kings are looking to extend their three-game winning streak, which was stretched with a 3-2 shootout victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.Prior to this mini-spree, the Kings dropped six consecutive contests.

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