Patrik Elias and David Clarkson were able to score on Ryan Miller, who backed up the injured Jhonas Enroth, and gave the Devils a much needed win snapping their six game losing streak. Hedberg made some huge saves including the two in a shootout to help end the streak.
With the Devils needing a win they turned to Johan Hedberg who was going through a tough stretch between the pipes. Adam Larrson and Mark Fayne were healthy scratches and Anton Volchenkov and Mark Fayne stepped in to take their spots. RW Tom Kostopoulos made his Devils debut after being claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh.
Thomas Vanek and Brian Flynn, who tallied his first NHL goal, had a commanding 2-0 lead for Buffalo. Once again, the Devils were on their heels looking for an answer for this scoring drought.
Adam Henrique was the answer after he scored on the powerplay on a beautiful feed from Ilya Kovalchuk cutting the lead down to one early in the second half of the third. With almost a minute to go in regulation, Patrick Elias was able to knock the rebound from David Clarkson into the back of the net, tying the game 2-2. With that goal Jhonas Enroth was also chased after apparently overstretching on a save attempt and was helped off the ice. In came Ryan Miller.
Jason Pominville had arguably the best shot in the overtime as he ripped a slapper of the post which Hedberg was able to cover and preserve the tie and send it into a shootout.
In the shootout, Hedberg stop all the Buffalo shots from Vanek and Pominville while Clarkson and Elias scored for New Jersey giving them the victory 3-2!
(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
The Devils will be in Raleigh, North Carolina, Saturday night to take on the Carolina Hurricanes.
The New Jersey Devils dropped their sixth (yes, sixth) consecutive contest on Tuesday evening at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts beat the Devils for just the third time in the Prudential Center by a score of 5-2. Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias netted goals for New Jersey.
This is the Devils' first losing streak of six or more games since December, 2010.
Jersey's Team allowed the opposition to score the first goal of the game for the seventh straight time. Nate Thompson tallied his fourth of the season 17:04 into the opening frame. Another defensive breakdown led to the early deficit; the Devils had a great forecheck going at the other end of the ice before Henrik Tallinder (still not sure why he's in the lineup) turned the puck over. The Lightning swooped down the ice and cashed in on the opportunity.
Things did not get much better in the second period. Martin St Louis scored his sixth goal of the year on an odd-man rush 5:53 into the middle frame. Alexander Killorn scored his fourth of the season 13:13 in.
Enter Keith Kinkaid.
Johan Hedberg was lifted for the Devils' rookie prospect after allowing his third goal of the night before the mid-way point of the game. The highlight of the night came when number thirty-five in red stone-walled Steven Stamkos on a breakaway attempt. I am standing by my tweet that I sent out earlier regarding the save. I'll let you check it out for yourself.
Keith Kinkaid was strong in his NHL debut tonight, surrendering just one goal, but his efforts were not enough as the Devils lost their sixth consecutive game. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images.
Perhaps the third period was the light at the end of the tunnel. After the Devils had fallen behind by a score of 4-0, on a goal that came as a result of a bad no-call for goalie interference, Adam Henrique slid a short-handed goal past Tampa Bay goaltender Anders Lindback. Patrik Elias netted a power play goal just a few minutes later to pull the Devils within two.
The comeback was too little, too late, however, as an empty-net goal from B.J. Crombeen sealed the victory for the Lightning.
We played better at the end of the third. I finally made the trek across my living room to pick up my Devils hat, which had been thrown violently against the wall earlier in the game. Maybe this will be the spark that the Devils need to get something going.
Pete DeBoer said in his post-game interview that Johan Hedberg will start in goal on Thursday evening. I am really not sure what his thought process is behind this move, but I guess that is why he gets paid to make decisions and I do not. Maybe he knows something that the fans do not.
Not making excuses, but the Devils got a bad game out of the officials tonight. Again, this is not the reason that they have lost six games in a row, but it does not help. The first two Tampa Bay goals came immediately following bad no-calls that could have put New Jersey on the power play. Steve Bernier was hit with a high stick in the offensive zone just seconds before the Bolts broke out and scored. Ryan Carter was interfered with prior to the second Bolts' goal. Keith Kinkaid was also somewhat interfered with on his only goal against tonight.
I have full confidence in saying when Marty and Dainius Zubrus are ready to return, this team will get it going.
Remember when Krys Barch was productive? Yeah, neither do I.
Here's what needs to happen: Stefan Matteau comes back in and plays in Janssen/Barch's place. When Zubrus comes back, he replaces the other. Tallinder needs to sit and Anton Volchenkov needs to play. And for the love of hockey, Pete DeBoer has got to stop jumbling the lines so much during the game. It's one thing to do it in practice, but these guys need to get used to each other out on the ice! Set the lines at the beginning of the game. Keep it that way until the final buzzer rings.
The Devils are back in action on Thursday evening against the Buffalo Sabres. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM. Devils Army, you have got to ROCK the ROCK! This game will be interesting after the two teams battled out a tough game last Saturday afternoon.
For all of your latest Devils news, reaction, and analysis, follow Running With The Devils (and me) on twitter. "Like" us on facebook, as well! Keep your eyes peeled for a new writer within the next few days, as well...
This is going to be a very brief recap. As a die-hard Devils fan, it is very hard for me to continue writing about such horrible displays of hockey. I am really not sure where to start on this one: bad goaltending, even worse defense, or so many missed opportunities? Wherever I begin, the New Jersey Devils had all three of those things tonight, and it was extremely evident. As if you did not already know, this was the Devils' fifth straight loss.
The Maple Leafs opened the scoring 10:34 into the game on a fluke goal from Nazem Kadri (his ninth of the season). Johan Hedberg was caught out of position when Kadri went to center the puck; Moose was late with the poke check and was too far off of the goal post. The puck deflected off Hedberg's stick and through his legs into the back of the net. New Jersey out-shot the Maple Leafs, 8-5, in the first, but trailed heading into the locker room.
Marek Zidlicky took matters into his own hands in the middle period. Zidlicky scored off the faceoff just 5:43 into the second to tie the game at one. Zidlicky's second goal of the year came on an assist from Ryan Carter and shifted the momentum to the Jersey side.
In a carbon copy of the first Devils goal, Zidlicky scored on a beautiful feed from Carter 11:18 into the second. The goal solidified the momentum shift and put New Jersey out in front for the first time by a score of 2-1. Again, the Devils out-shot Toronto, 10-5, in the middle frame. This time, however, they skated to the locker room with the lead.
The lead did not last too long, however, as Toronto was able to tie things up just 39 seconds into the third. Jay McClement netted his third of the season to pull the Leafs even. His goal came unassisted and was also the result of some questionable goaltending. McClement's shot hit off the pipe (which Hedberg SHOULD have been hugging) and deflected off Hedberg into the net. A very easy shot that could have been saved led to a tie game and a momentum shift.
And when it rains, it pours.
Andrei Loktionov was called for tripping 7:17 into the final period. Toronto wasted no time capitalizing on the opportunity; Clarke MacArthur tallied his sixth goal of the season just eight seconds later to put his team out in front. Moose's five hole tonight was wide enough to parallel park a car in.
As the Devils looked to even things up, they had a few good chances. Elias, for the second time in as many games, had a golden opportunity to bury a one-timer while wide open in front of the net. Yet again, however, Elias failed to elevate the puck and was denied the opportunity by Toronto goalie James Reimer.
Missed chances were the story of the game for the Devils tonight. Photo by REUTERS/Mark Blinch.
Phil Kessel put the game out of reach for the Devils 9:52 into the third. Marek Zidlicky got caught in the offensive zone and left Andy Greene back to defend a 2-on-1 that came as a result of a quick outbreak from Toronto. Greene left the passing lane wide open and allowed James van Riemsdyk an easy pass across to Kessel. Greene HAS to dive in this situation in order to eliminate the pass; Hedberg can cover the short-side shot if the pass is defended against.
The Devils missed several opportunities to score tonight, and that is not going to help win hockey games. Alexei Ponikarovsky did his best Mark Fayne impression by missing a wide open net in the first period when New Jersey was trailing by one. Elias could not come through in the clutch (again). It is getting redundant.
Johan Hedberg did not play his best game tonight. I have defended Moose since the beginning of this rough stretch, but three of the four Toronto goals were on him tonight. Rookie Keith Kinkaid needs to play tomorrow against Tampa. We have nothing to lose.
I am not sure what will turn this team around and provide a boost of energy. But it has to happen soon. The Devils are slowly falling in the Eastern Conference standings and need to get back on the right track. I know, I am preaching to the choir with this one, but it needed to be said.
And for the love of hockey, can we please bench Henrik Tallinder tomorrow? He has literally done nothing to help the Devils since his goal against the New York Islanders back on January 31. That goal was not spectacular, either; The Devils dropped that game by a score of 5-4 in overtime.
The Devils will be back at it again tomorrow night on home ice. New Jersey will square up against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 4-3 this evening. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.
For all of your latest Devils news, reaction, and analysis, follow us (and me) on twitter. "Like" Running With The Devils on facebook, as well. Until tomorrow, goodnight Devils fans. Keep the faith.
The New Jersey Devils lost their fourth straight contest on Saturday afternoon at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. Jersey's Team fell by a score of 4-3 in a shootout; the Devils missed out on a point in a game in which they dominated the opposition. Johan Hedberg stopped 20 of 23 shots but could not get the job done for the third consecutive game.
David Clarkson and Steve Ott got things started with a brief scrap just 27 seconds in. Clarkson took Ott down and provided an early energy boost for the Devils. New Jersey and Buffalo played a chippy opening period; both Hedberg and Sabres' goalie Ryan Miller were strong throughout. The teams headed into the locker room at the end of the first locked in a scoreless tie. The Devils out-shot the Sabres 13-6 in the opening period and seemed destined to score first.
The Devils picked up where they left off in the middle period. Kevin Porter was called for boarding just 1:53 into the second period and sent the Devils to the power play. Jersey was unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
At 7:02 of the second period, Tyler Myers was called for cross checking. Again, the Devils had a chance to put a goal on the board; however, it was Buffalo who cashed in. Jason Pominville netted his eighth of the season 15 seconds into the New Jersey power play and put the Sabres up 1-0. Bobby Butler got caught gazing at the puck and left the Buffalo captain wide open out in front. The one time shot got by Hedberg in a flash.
Steve Bernier responded quickly for the Devils to tie the game at one. His sixth of the season came 9:24 into the middle period. The Devils out-shot Buffalo 13-8 in the second, but headed into the locker room tied at one.
Photo by Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Henrique put New Jersey out in front 1:21 into the third while shorthanded. The Devils had energy early on in the third and were in a great position to win.
Enter Jason Pominville. Again.
Pominville scored his second goal of the game 3:10 into the third to knot things up. Jochen Hecht scored his first goal of the year six minutes later to send the Sabres out in front.
Andrei Loktionov tied things up for the Devils with less than 10 minutes to play. Loktionov's third goal of the year extended his point streak to five games (3 G, 2 A).
Both teams played fire-wagon style in the overtime period; Buffalo was gifted a power play just 37 seconds in on a phantom roughing call on Marek Zidlicky. Unable to cash-in, both teams headed to a shootout.
Jason Pominville and Tyler Ennis netted the first two chances for the Sabres in the shootout. Ilya Kovalchuk hit the cross bar on New Jersey's first attempt; Adam Henrique was stopped by Miller to win the game.
There's not much to be said for a team that was in first place in the east just a week ago that is now in seventh.
The Devils have to play more physical. Anything to get the energy level back up.
KOVY: WHERE ARE YOU? I need to see more offensive production out of Kovalchuk in order to convince me that the Devils are serious Cup contenders again this season. Kovy's numbers just are not there (yet) this season.
The Devils and Sabres square off again on Thursday evening at the Rock. This will be an interesting game. Ryan Miller and Adam Henrique were involved in some smack-talking at the end of the shootout; not to mention, the Sabres got away with some of the most blatant interference/cross-checking/roughing penalties I have ever seen. The Devils were definitely not happy after this one and will look to turn the tables on Thursday night.
The Devils are back in action on Monday night, March 4, against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM. The Devils will get out of this slump. It is only a matter of time. Just a side note, Martin Brodeur is eligible to play on Monday night. We will see who gets the call for the Devils between the goal pipes.
For all of your latest Devils news, reaction, and analysis, follow us on twitter and like us on facebook. Senior Editor Scott Robb can also be found on twitter. Go Devils!
It was just that kind of day for the New Jersey Devils. I was not able to catch the game on TV today as I was out the majority of the day with my family, but I listened to it on a radio app on my iphone. Nonetheless, I hope I speak for all Devils fans that the game played earlier this afternoon was the most embarrassing game New Jersey has played this season.
A large portion of the first period belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins because they generated several chances and took advantage of the Devils’ sluggish play. I was very upset at the amount of turnovers and miscommunication that was going on. They did improve a little bit at the end of the period but in all honesty, New Jersey was very lucky to be in a scoreless game after the first period. The second period was one in where the Penguins really came out and exemplified why they have one of the best offenses in the league. After they killed off a Devils power play (which by the way has been extremely inefficient this season even though they hired the so-called “best power play coach in the league”), Brandon Sutter put Pittsburgh up 1-0. After that goal, I was hoping to see the Devils bounce back but they were only playing defense and that was a huge mistake as Chris Kunitz scored a goal to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead. The goal came about 7 minutes after Sutter’s. When the Devils took another penalty, I wanted to close my radio app because I thought they were done for. Just as I was about to though, Andy Greene scored a shorthanded goal to cut the lead in half, and it seemed like New Jersey finally got the spark they needed to achieve a comeback. Being only down by 1 goal after the 2nd period, I thought the Devils would come out strong in the 3rd. Instead, it was the exact opposite and, Pittsburgh made it seem that penguins really do fly. The offensive show they put on in the 3rd period overwhelmed the Devils. Goals from Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby, and Rob Bortuzzo transformed the once tight game into a legitimate blowout. I was disappointed that the Devils didn’t show up for the 3rd (or the entire match rather) but that Penguins offense deserved a lot of credit and respect for how they played in that period. New Jersey deserved that 5-1 loss but I hope they get their act back together in Long Island. This game was a learning experience and when the Devils do learn from their mistakes, I hope that they can put this game behind them. New Jersey’s points 9 (and first regulation loss) still has them in the Eastern Conference’s top 8 but they are certainly not playing like that. While it is still too early, just remember that in this shortened season, every game counts. As long as they perfect their basics and have their key scorers contribute (whom they didn’t have this afternoon), I have faith and do believe they will have a very auspicious February.
The puck drops tomorrow in Uniondale at 3 PM (Eastern Time). Make sure you follow us on twitter for your latest Devils news! Also be sure to follow our staff: Raj Vaidya, Scott Robb, and Devin Mattera!
If there is one thing I’ve been loving about the New Jersey Devils this year it would be the fight that appears to be coming from within. We saw it last Spring and so far, through 4 games, we’ve seen it 3 times this season. We didn’t really need to pull it out against the Flyers because we had that game in our grasp pretty early on.
The Devils were down 2-0 going into the 3rd period and thanks to a crazy Elias redirect, they closed the gap to 1 goal. Early in the third, Montreal scored on a pretty play from Brandon Prust to put them back up by 2 goals. Normally, you’d think a goal like that, at that stage of the game would spell death but the Devils didn’t think like that, they didn’t give up home. They got a 5 on 3 and made Montreal pay the price. A few minutes later, they found the equalizer and all of the sudden it looked like we were going to steal on from the Habs.
While we failed to get the job done in OT, we did manage to get a point where we were down 2 goals in the 3rd. Anytime this team can win 7 of 8 points available to them, I will take it!!
· For some reason the Devils came out missing something in the 1st period but they got it corrected before the game got out of reach.
· Elias had a 3 point night which put him at 900 points in his career. The guy has been the man for this organization for so long, sometimes I wonder if we forget how great #26 is.
· Zajac rang a puck off the pipe 40 seconds into this game. Had that puck gone in, I wonder what kind of game we would have seen. Oh the “What if’s”
· Speaking of “What if’s”.. Kovy had two of them. A breakaway in the second period that was denied (it came together VERY quickly) and then rang a shot off the pipe in OT. If fact, Price didn’t even flinch as that puck whizzed by his glove.
· The penalty in OT that led to the Habs GWG was weak but it happens. Bad calls happen and they reaped the reward from it.
Now the schedule gets CRAZY busy. We have Boston on Tuesday, Isles on Thursday, Pittsburgh on Saturday and then Islanders again on Super Bowl Sunday. Not only is that a jammed packed schedule, it’s a schedule full of good teams that promise to be battles.
Let’s start with the pre-game coverage because it bothered me. Before we even get to the broadcast, NBC cuts to an interview between Salvador and Brian Engblom and all he’s interest is the team’s mindset now that Parise is in Minnesota. In fact, according to Engblom, the Devils have remained intact from last season except for the departure of Zach Parise. No mention of Sykora and Ponikarovsy who were both very important to this team one season ago. What a terrible interview on the part of NBC. After a brief studio segment, we make it to the start of the Devils and Flyers. I’ve sat through a bunch of NBC broadcasts so far this season, all of which were home openers and this Devils game has been the ONLY one where NBC didn’t broadcast the player introductions. BIG TIME FAIL on the part of NBC but why should I be surprised?
Now, to the game and just like that, the Devils find the back of the net. Bryce Salvador did everything he was supposed to and put the puck on net from the point. In typical Bryzgalov fashion, at least against NJ, he put out a nice juicy rebound which Zajac, streaking out in front all alone, put into a net that was wide open for his second of the year. Through the first 4 periods of the season, Zajac is definitely quieting the critics about his big, long-term contract.
The Flyers seemed to settle down a bit and took control of the game, which is being played at a high tempo. The Flyers were skating a little faster, getting to the puck quicker and appeared to be knocking on the doorstep. Unfortunately for them, that doorstep belonged to the one and only Marty Brodeur. Hartnell had a couple of good chances that were denied. The Flyers came away with two power plays in the first period but NJ shut them down.
At the end of the first, the Flyers took a bad interference penalty. The Flyers have struggled on the penalty kill so far this season and their struggles would continue as David Clarkson would get his second of the year.
Period Over – Devils up 2-0. Biggest stat of the first period: Flyers hold NJ to 3 shots on goal but find themselves down 2-0.
They say that coaches hate goals scored early on in a period and late in a period. Well, the Devils had one of each in the first, how would the second period go? 1:39 into the period, a Zidlicky penalty would lead to a power play for Philly. Unfortunately for Philly, this would be a power play against NJ. Picking up right where they left off last season, Kovalchuk gets the puck on a breakaway for a chance at a shorthanded goal but gets hooked from behind. In the resulting Penalty Shot, Kovalchuk beats Bryzgalov up high for his first of the season, a shorthanded penalty shot. FYI, Kovalchuk is now 3 for 4 in penalty shots that count (not counting that skills crap to decide games).
Things would then get a little chippy. Clarkson steamrolled Timmonen at center ice which would start a scrum. In fact, 3 Flyers went after Clarkson and the hit was nothing but clean. A few minutes later, Schenn would put a huge hit on Volchenkov and then immediately after that, Simmons made deliberate contact with Marty following a save. Now this is Devils / Flyers rivalry hockey.
At the end of the 2nd, the Devils would get a 5 on 3 opportunity that could really decide the game. Unfortunately the start of the 5 on 3 was very sloppy but they did regroup and get a couple of opportunities but nothing came of it. The final :30 seconds of the period saw the Flyers starting to buzz but the clock ran out before they could do anything with it.
The third period was kind of quiet offensively. The Devils got a few chances on the power play but nothing came of it. Toward the end of the period, things got a little chippy again. First Salvador put Talbot on the ice for being too chippy and then Clarkson took on Simmons and did a great job.
Schenn and Bernier got into it as well.
In the end, Marty gets his 120th shutout of his career, 10th against the Flyers. Devils improve to 2-0 while the Flyers drop to 0-3.
- Throughout the game I was questioning if the Devils could play strong for the entire 60 minutes and the answer to that would be a big fat yes.
- The Devils continue to get under the skin of the Flyers and we witnessed a lot of frustration on the part of the Flyers which led to a couple of power play opportunities.
- Marty looked fantastic. In fact, I think I am going to start campaigning for more 48 game seasons if this is the Marty we get when the season starts in January.
- The first goal by Zajac was more of what made the Devils so successful last spring. Quick little flips of the puck followed by the winning of the battles in the corners which lead to great chances and finding a way to finish those chances.
- Matteau continues to impress me. True, he hasn’t put a puck in the net but he’s close and he’s working hard.
- The defense looks great and while I hate the decision to keep sitting Larsson, he’s not really needed at this point.
- Was a little disappointed that Janssen was kept on the bench so much, especially when Simmons needed to be taught a lesson. What exactly is Janssen’s place here if he’s not going to get out there to rough a guy up?
- While the shot totals eventually piled up, what will be lost in the recaps is that NJ was up 3-0 on just 5 shots on goal.
- Overall, it was a great effort from start to finish. Devils get a couple of days to feel good about this one before they get a shot at Adam Oates and his Capitals on Friday.
Throughout the game, a couple of us on twitter were joking around with #PariseNJDrinkingGame but honestly, let the Parise storyline die. NBC refused to let it die and kept bringing up. With the exception of Brodeur and maybe Stevens, the Devils have always been more about the front of the jersey than the back. Parise is gone, it’s fine and the Devils will be just fine without him. Let the storyline die.
Hello everyone and welcome to the next and FINAL addition Masala Monday. While the main goal of this segment wasn’t necessarily accomplished, I hope you guys have at least enjoyed reading it. The last time I talked to you guys, our New Jersey Devils were about to begin their Stanley Cup Final matchup with the Los Angeles Kings. It’s been days since then and currently the Kings lead the series 3-2, but they were leading 3-0. Let’s take a look at a few key players that helped the Devils make this a series worth watching.
The Devils 4th line – Yup they are at it again! While this line hasn’t been responsible for the majority of the scoring, it can prove clutch. I’m sure by now, LA is well aware of the threat that Stephen Gionta, Ryan Carter, and Steve Bernier pose on the Kings. In game 2, Carter scored the 3rd period equalizer at a pivotal moment even though New Jersey ended up losing to Los Angeles in overtime due to Jeff Carter’s winner.
Adam Henrique – The maturity he shows on the ice for a rookie is incredible! He has shown the critics that he is a reliable go-to player in desperate times. Need proof? Here you go; 2OT Game 7 vs. Florida, OT Game 6 vs. New York, and now the game winning goal with 4:31 to go in an elimination Game 4 in Los Angeles. Seems like he does it all and if the Devils come back to make history, Devils fans ought to thank him…a lot!
Henrik Tallinder – As Coach Pete DeBoer mentioned in a press conference, Tallinder truly does have the “freshest legs” on the ice. Simply put, when a guy misses 50 games, he will come back strong and play effectively. Tallinder has done nothing but that and while he hasn’t produced any numbers, his defensive presence has shut down their stars such as Kopitar, Richards, Brown, etc.
Zach Parise – This is a bit controversial. Parise was quiet for the entire series until he found the back of the net in Game 5. So, why put him here? My reasoning is that he knows his role on this team and if the captain can get it going, so can his team. The goal he scored on the power play gave him his first point of the series and allowed the Devils to finally capitalize on their power play, which has been nothing but misfortunate. Perhaps Parise can carry this momentum with more goals to help New Jersey win the Cup.
Marty Brodeur – Marty hasn’t been terrible at all in the Finals! His first two losses came in overtime. You could make the argument that he was awful in Game 3, where LA won 4-0. True but, the entire team was awful on that game. In fact, I don’t think anyone but the 4th line and Marty showed up because the score most likely would have ended like Game 3 of last year’s Stanley Cup Finals (8-1 Bruins over Canucks).
Marek Zidlicky – Bum really has been on the decline. Yes, I have seen some nice defensive plays that saved a breakaway chance. On the other hand, some plays that Bum makes truly frustrates the living parasite out of me…if there ever was one. To this day I still don’t know why Kovalchuk and Bum don’t trade spots on the power play. Maybe if Kovy guards the middle point, his rocket would be more effective than to shoot a one timer from an angle.
Mark Fayne – Nothing has been going right for Fayne in this series. You barely hear his name! Whenever you have though, I’m sure it’s gone somewhere along the lines of “How did Fayne miss the open net?!” or “Fayne takes an ill-advised penalty when the Devils had a rhythm going”. Sadly, this is the truth and I would suggest putting Adam Larsson in. It can’t hurt can’t it? NJ is already down in the series so it’s pretty much “do anything” to get back even.
As a team I would say the Devils are spicy! If they were mild or stale, they would be golfing right now. I’m impressed with their comeback when at one point I was a realist and told myself “this is impossible”… my apologies of course as now I’m a firm believer. Whoever isn’t ought to wake up because this is it! If you don’t believe so, do share your views. You all can send me your views/criticisms via commenting or via tweeting.
A short note from me: This is tentative but supposing New Jersey’s dream season comes to an unfortunate end tonight, then this will probably be my last piece for the season. I will have the Game 7 recap for you all if there is one. However, should there be none, then I am honored to have an opportunity to write for all of our readers on Running with the Devils! I thank you all for your support, even though I hopped on board a bit late into the season! I’ll definitely be looking forward to next season as well (again this is only IF the Devils can’t force a Game 7 but I’m sure they will)!
History wont be made, it's BEING made! A perfect 10-0 road record for the Kings, SNAPPED! Another opportunity to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup, put on hold; why? The Devils live to see another day solely on their resilliency to not give up, to play disciplined, to play a full 60 minutes, to get men in front of the net and take shots, basically, in a nut shell, the Devils are playing the better hockey, and have been the majority of the series (exclude G3). After dropping Game's 1 & 2 at home only to fall in a 3-0 series hole that looked nearly impossible to climb out of, New Jersey rebounded silencing the critics and putting away the broom sticks in Game 4 on the road in LA to force tonights Game 5 at home in The Rock. The Kings re-entered the Prudential Center with a perfect road record, 10-0-0, along with a perfect penalty killing percentage, 15-15 100%, all before their Saturday night date with the Devils in Newark. A mis read puck by Kings netminder would reel Jonathan Quick out far enough from his goal for him to play the puck, dumping it behind the cage where it'd get picked up by the Devils' captain Zach Parise who made an excellent recovery of the puck on the side of the net, squeaking one past a lunging skate of Quick on the powerplay. New Jersey's "power-less" play shortage was haulted and came to an abrupt stop on the Parise goal in the first. The puck creeped its way over the goal line, lighting the lamp and sending the home town crowd into a frenzy! Devils up 1-0 with about 8 minutes or so remaining in the opening twenty minutes. Teams would hed to the locker room shortly after, one of which would look to keep up the pressure, the other, looking to finish their season on a high note in the closing 40 minutes. Devils' goalie Martin Brodeur shut down all 7 shots faced during the first period leading the way to his to a 25 save night, awarding him the the 1st Star of the game award. Brodeur's victory was his 14th of the post-season, leaving him with 113 career playoff wins. The second period would see two more goals scoot their way past each goalie resulting in one goal a piece, still, leaving New Jersey in the drivers seat heading BACK into the locker room before the opening faceoff for the 3rd period. Goals scored by Los Angeles' Justin Williams early on would come just before an answering goal that was credited to Devils blue liner, Bryce Salvador. Salvador's wrist shot pinballed off of what had initially appeared to be Clarkson's stick but was later identified as Slava Voynov's right shoulder, who was the culprit in the re-directed puck. Now, just because the scoring stopped for the night, that doesnt mean that the scoring OPPORTUNITIES didnt... Los Angeles was swarming in the 3rd. As well as your Devils. Back and forth the puck went ringing off of posts, men in front, finding the pads, the glove, the waffle, stick, hell, even Quicky's helmet on an off balance wrister released from the heel of Ryan Carter's twig. As time wound down, so did LA's fuse. Off the draw to Quick's right in the closing minutes of the game, a scrum in front of the net would occur, resulting in Devils' rookie Adam Henrique being whiped down to the ice, crashing down into the crease of Quick, setting off, the Kings. How? I do not know. Quick, as well as others began throwing jabs and punches into the pile of Kings and Devils players, ultimately resulting in off setting minor penalties for New Jersey's 3rd line forward Alexi Ponikarovsky and Kings' grinder Dustin Penner who would spend the remaining 96 seconds of the game in the sin bin. The night would come to a close shortly after a solid defensive shut down in the corner and then the side boards crediting the Devils with their second consecutive win in the Stanley Cup Finals, bringing the series to a one game defecit, 3-2 heading back to Hollywood Monday evening.
I would like to thank Darren S. and ALL of you who read my articles on Running With The Devils and I'd like to thank EVERYONE for all their support throughout the season. This is my last game-recap I will write this season and I just want to thank everyone for reading, following, liking, re-tweeting, and sharing my articles all season long! I look forward to writing more this off season and I wish nothing but the best to all you Devils fans out there! Signing off, for now, I'm Devin Mattera, remember, "Stay Classy Devils Fans!". LETS GO DEVILS!
What a nail biter this was! Up and down hockey that finally saw the Devils come out on top! Every Devils player showed the grit needed to win a Stanley Cup Final game and the hockey gods treated New Jersey with a chance to play once more in front of their fans!
Both teams started this period with opposite goals. For New Jersey, it was to ensure they would avoid an embarrassment by getting swept whereas for Los Angeles, they would be seeking history in an attempt to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history on home ice. With that being said, neither team sat back and it was good to see more of this from the Devils side since forechecking was a key aspect missing from that Game 3 debacle. NJ generated some strong chances but we all know how Jonathan Quick is a brick wall. LA’s chances however, really took my breath away. A chance by Kings’ forward Justin Williams hit the pipe and trickled across the goal crease and then before the period expired, a shot by Anze Kopitar had Marty Brodeur beat but thankfully the pipe saved the Devils again! Other than a scoreless tie, there were many penalties. For New Jersey, it was Zach Parise for tripping and Bryce Salvador for interference and for Los Angeles, it was Jarret Stoll for hooking and Dustin Brown for tripping. To be honest, while I wasn’t thrilled with the score, holding the Kings shotless for nearly 15 minutes is pretty darn impressive!
Since Salvador took an interference penalty late in the first, LA would start out with a power play which the Devils killed off effectively. After that though, it was simply a carry-on of the first period with both teams generating a couple of chances. However, there was essentially a role reversal in that now, the Devils were held shotless by the Kings for 14 minutes. The Kings’ best chance came when Simon Gagne went on a semi breakaway but could not find the back of the net. It seemed to be all LA at this point and even in the last minute, New Jersey looked extremely shaky. The only penalty in the period went to Salvador, again, for interference (he might want to chill with those). After the end of the second period, though the game was still scoreless, the Devils still couldn’t solve Quick and had gone 130 minutes without a goal.
The way LA was attacking made me think that “Ok… maybe I should start prewriting my Devils eulogy”. I will be honest I did right after the 15:43 point, where Trevor Lewis of LA took a great feed from Gagne. His chance just skipped wide past Marty but I could sense that the Kings were generating chances rapidly and inevitably one would trickle pass the goal crease. However, this is simply what I thought. I sure am glad I was wrong! At the 11:04 point, Patrik Elias found a fortuitous rebound and backhanded it behind Quick, who was just a tad bit slow to prevent that goal from going in! Elias’ 5th of the playoffs was assisted by Salvador and Dainius Zubrus. With all the hard work the Devils put in to this game to grab the lead, mediocre officiating once again, spoiled the Devils’ moment. David Clarkson was called for boarding when all he did was imply a simple push (if you ask me) on Brown. Nonetheless, the Kings went on the power play and a rocket from Drew Doughty beat Marty exactly a minute after the Elias goal and tied this game at 1. Doughty’s 4th of the playoffs was assisted by Mike Richards and Kopitar. You would think that the Devils were deflated but that is completely false! In fact they were even more resilient after the Doughty goal. With 4:31 to go, Henrique became a hero again as he moved in on Quick’s right and shot the puck top shelf! Though he didn’t show any reaction, Henrique’s 4th of the playoffs, assisted by David Clarkson and Alex Ponikarovsky, put the Devils ahead 2-1! Finally, the prayers of Devils fans were answered as NJ finally figured out how to shoot the puck high on Quick. With 2:50 to go, Willie Mitchell of LA took a high sticking penalty and though the Devils didn’t score on the power play, they had an abundance of chances that could have easily put them up 3-1. But, who needs a power play when you can just use the empty net? That’s what Ilya Kovalchuk did, scoring empty netter, his 8th of the playoffs, assisted by Andy Greene and Salvador, putting this game to bed! The Devils held on and win this game 3-1! Mark your calendars for Game 5 everyone!
Next Game: Kings @ Devils Saturday, June 9th, 2012 8 P.M. from Prudential Center on NBC
Key Notes: Looks like the Devils were going to have to make some changes. It looked like they helped. Peter Harrold and Jacob Josefson were replaced by Henrik Tallinder and Petr Sykora. Hopefully this tandem can keep it up! It also seems like the NHL is advocating its support for large market teams such as the Los Angeles Kings. That call on David Clarkson in the 3rd period was clear indication of that. Perhaps an investigation is necessary?