The past 7 days of Devils hockey was, well, in a sense, hellish. New Jersey had a 1-2-1 record in 4 games played against 4 very difficult NHL clubs in the Rangers, Bruins, Capitals, and Islanders yesterday afternoon. The Devils one victory would be the third game of the week after losing two straight; an Atlantic Division rival matchup between the Rangers in MSG, in which the game would be a 2-0 shutout for Henrik Lundqvist who'd record 13 saves. The game against the Rangers was odd, not many shots on net, the one goal was punched in by Hagelin on the right side of the cage after a poke check pass from Callahan behind the net beating Brodeur top shelf up and over his right shoulder. The second goal would be scored with the empty net as newly acquired D-Man Marek Zidlicky couldnt stop the puck carrier, not even with the hooking call assessed. Clarkson would spend much time in the box, including a fight between himself and Brandon Dubinsky. Keep an eye out tomorrow night for a physical, low scoring affair again between these two proud hockey clubs.
The second loss of the week would be an a game up in Bean Town against the Bruins. Boston tore through the feeble attempts of defense displayed by New Jersey in the early goings of the 1st period. That wouldnt be the last you'd hear from the Devils... New Jersey would score once, they'd score twice, and then they'd score three times, all in the second period! New Jersey would take a dominant 3-2 lead over defending cup champion Boston. When all seemed to be good and well and it looked like they'd seal the victory... the B's had a different plan. Boston would knot the game up early in the third, eventually forcing an overtime period in which they'd ultimately put the nail in the coffin as David Krejci scored his 3rd goal of the game, beating Brodeur for the OT winner, Boston 4-3 New Jersey in overtime.
Friday evening, the road trip would continue as the Dev's headed south to the nations capital to take on a rather sluggish Washington team who's fighting for their playoff lives. A Friday night game versus New Jersey would be no easy task. Long story short, the Devils, would walk out of D.C. as easily as they did walking in... 5 zip the score against the Caps, Hedberg with the shut out, Henrique with 2 assists, and to "CAP" off the night, the captain, Zach Parise would record his 2nd career hat trick scoring twice in the first, once in the 2nd. A side not on the win in Washington; New Jersey scored their league leading 14th short handed goal on a wrister from Elias for his 21st of the season. After spliting back-to-back games (1-0-1) between Thursday & Friday evening, the Devils would head to Long Island for a matchup between the ever so dangerous New York Islanders.
While witnessing Petr Sykora's 1000th career game first hand (he tossed me a puck by the way in warmups) 7 rows up from behind Marty's cage for periods 1 & 3 at my home town arena, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, i was able to observe this game from a totally different point of view. The Devils and Islanders CERTAINLY didnt play a physical game, not very well at all if you ask me. Brodeur was spot on all game as was Nielsson for New York who wound up recording the shut out, 1-0. The score of the game could have EASILY been MUCH more than a 1-0 victory as the Islanders rocking their black 3rd jerseys rang shots off of the post numerous times, fed the puck in behind Brodeur and watched it go directly across the goal mouth on more than one occassion. None the less, with a handful of bad calls, I wasnt all that disappointed with the loss; New Jersey played an even hockey game. It was one bad break that led to the Kyle Okposo goal in the second period which would stand the length of time Sunday afternoon.
New Jersey will play metro-area New York teams a total of 3 more times this week (Tuesday versus the Rangers in Newark, Thursday versus the Islanders at home, Saturday on Long Island). Be sure to check our site again tomorrow evening after the Devils look to seek vengence when the New Jersey Devils take on the East leading New York Rangers on home ice. To hear the latest Devils information, be sure to follow us on twitter at @RWTDblog @DEVIN88MATTERA @RealScottRobb and our newest writer @Rvaidya33 and you can like us on our facebook page! From all of us here at Running With The Devils, I'm Devin Mattera, you stay classy Devils Fans.