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Devils Weekly: Frustrating 2-2 Week

Zach Parise's disallowed goal (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Demoralizing End to a Successful Road-trip

The Devils opened up a three goal lead against the Florida Panthers. The Devils scored three goals in three and a half minutes. What looked like an easy win turned into a demoralizing loss. The Devils subsequently gave up four goals in the final two periods in a shocking and stunning loss. Particularly demoralizing was giving up the game-tying goal while the Devils were on the power play and giving up the game-winner with just over two minutes left to play in regulation. It was a bitter end to an otherwise successful 3-2-0 road-trip.

Far From Convincing

Finally playing in front of their home fans, the Devils put together a lackluster performance. They were mostly sluggish and they allowed the worst team, points wise, in the NHL to control the game at times. Ultimately, the Devils won the game in a shoot-out, something the Devils are particularly good at. G Martin Brodeur saved two shots convincingly and LW Parise and RW Kovalchuk made no mistake with their chances to give the Devils the much needed two points.

Home and Home with the Isles

G Johan Hedberg put on a goaltending clinic against the Islanders in the first game. Islanders’ G Al Montoya was equally as good, giving up the only goal of the game on a shot he had no chance of saving. RW Petr Sykora scored when D Larsson’s stick broke on an attempted shot and fell perfectly to Sykora. He buried a quick-wrister into the top left corner. Hedberg was the star, getting his second shutout of the season. Particularly impressive was his glove save on RW Grabner’s penalty shot. It was a well-earned shutout in Hedberg’s first start in a week and a half.

The Islanders capped off the Devils’ lackluster week by getting a victory over the Devils in New Jersey. The Devils twice tied the game against the Islanders but could never get in front. In the end the frustrating week ended with the Devils giving up the game winning goal shorthanded, their second of the week, after Kovalchuk turned the puck over right in front of his own net. It left Marty flat footed and he had no chance to make the save. Want more frustration? The Devils had what appeared to be the game tying goal from Parise wiped out because the refs deemed it was kicked into the net. In all fairness to the refs it appears that they got the call right. It was a fitting end to a frustrating week.

Quick Notes:

  • Adam Larsson scored in all four games this week. His points streak is currently at five games. He also recorded his second goal of the season Saturday’s game versus the Islanders. Although his offensive numbers have picked up recently, he seems to be making more and more mistakes defensively and as a result his minutes are dropping.
  • C Travis Zajac has been skating with the team and they want to give him some action down in the AHL before activating him off IR. His return is rumored to be around Christmas.
  • The Devils improved to 5-1 in shootouts this week, and 6-1 in all games that require extra time. Those extra points look to be invaluable in what is shaping up to be a very competetive playoff race.
  • The penalty kill continues to impress, killing off all 15 power plays this week.

Three Stars

G Johan Hedberg

The man who only played one game but deserves the bulk of the credit for getting the Devils two points Friday afternoon.

RW Dainius Zubrus

Two more goals for Zubrus and continual excellent defensive work for big #8.

RW Petr Sykora

Sykora and Zubrus play on the same line and they’re both listed as right wingers. Sykora plays the majority of the time on the left but they are pretty interchangable. Sykora had an impressive week with two goals but it could have been so much more. He keeps popping up in the right places on the ice and just isn’t burying the puck. A lot of the opportunities are coming due to the excellent of Zubrus and Elias, of course.

About A Lee

I'm as happy as the Mets, Knicks, Lions, and Devils allow me to be.

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