AGAIN!!?? The Devils had yet another 2 goal lead on the Flyers and yet again blew it and lost the game 3-2. Luckily, they managed to squeeze out a point in this game before allowing the Flyers to win in OT. With the point, the Devils stay 1 point ahead of Pittsburgh for the division lead but that's really secondary at this point. I, like most fans are unhappy, frustrated and upset with this team at the moment. As I said the other day, I am looking forward to the Olympic Break because I am hoping it gives the Devils some time to regroup, well the ones not making the trip to Vancouver.
So news came down about 10 mins before the game that Parise was out with an upper body injury. It came out after the game that it wasn't anything serious and Parise expects to be in the game on Friday night. Searching the Internet it seems Team USA isn't worried about Parise at all, so I guess I shouldn't be either. Bryce Salvador left the game with a little over 5 minutes remaining in the first period after getting clipped with a high stick near the eye. Lemaire made it sound like he didn’t think Salvador’s injury was something that will keep him out for long.
The Devils got on the board early, 45 seconds in to be exact as Zajac took what looked to be a routine shot but trickled through the legs of Leighton and slowly crossed the goal line. Rob Niedermayer made it 2-0 at 8:01 when he threw a spinaround backhand in front from the bottom of the right circle that went off Leighton’s left pad and then deflected in off defenseman Kimmo Timonen’s left leg. Ex-Devil Arron Ahsam answered right back and cut the lead in half. Scott Hartnell nearly tied the game with a power play goal that had to be reviewed. I personally think it was over the line but there were no specific camera angles to prove it. Jeff Carter, who's been a Devils killer this week, tied the game at 2 in the second with a perfectly place wrist shot from the left side. Simone Gagne won the game in OT with a wrist shot from the slot as, who else, Jeff Carter created a screen in front of Marty.
The Devils were 0-3 on the powerplay and never looked very comfortable being on it. I felt throughout the game the Devils seemed to have this "get Ilya the puck at all costs" mentality and it isn't working. He's not scoring so he's getting frustrated. He's not scoring so the fans are getting frustrated. Actually, when we talk about offense and having the puck, I thought both teams were horrible at it. Passing once again proves to be a problem for the Devils.
I also think the Devils got beaten physically. I look at the Devils and think this team is really soft. Maybe that will change when Clarkson comes back and with Salvador out last night, that only increased the Devils softness. Good on Elias for hitting Gagne after the whistle. The Devils need to do more of that, stir things up a bit. I mean Carter has killed them this week and no one really put a body on him.
As always, here are the highlights if you missed the game: