Game 11 Recap – MATTEAU! MATTEAU!! MATTEAU!!! – Devils 3 – Penguins 1
Ed. Note: I’m sorry for the headline but it’s the kid’s first goal and it’s kind of significant. I shall not be using this headline anymore…unless he scores a wraparound goal to knock out the Rangers in overtime in the East Final, but by then the universe will have imploded on itself and we won’t have to subject ourselves to the best case of irony ever…
Stefan Matteau wasn’t sure if he was going to be around after the 5th game of the season. I bet he’s glad he was able to stick around. Matteau grabbed his first NHL goal near the end of the 2nd period that helped propel the Devils to a win of 3-1 against the red hot Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins jumped out to an early lead as David Clarkson took a silly tripping call that led to Brandon Sutter scoring on the ensuing power-play to give the Pens a 1-0 lead under 3 minutes into the game. The Devils then picked up their game after a fight between Krystofer Barch and Derek Engelland. From that moment on, the Devils controlled the entire game.
The second period was controlled mostly by the Devils as well as they kept putting pressure on goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins D. You could feel that the crowd knew a goal was coming and that if the Devils tied the game before Pittsburgh got their 2nd, the Devils would have a good shot at winning the game. That moment finally came at 16:31 of the 2nd as Andy Greene (who had another outstanding game with the equally good Adam Larsson) gave a fantastic shot-pass to Stefan Matteau who had Fleury dead to rites and potted home his first NHL goal. The pressure valve was finally eased and the Devils took over. Although not before possibly the craziest sequence I have ever seen in my life live at an NHL game. Most of us remember the goal in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final when Marty dropped his stick and the Ducks scored a goal. Well in this game while the Devils were on the penalty kill, Brodeur lost his stick and the Devils would eventually clear the zone and…then…just…well just watch for yourself. Now the goal would not have counted because the Penguins were offside but still. All that was missing was the music from Benny Hill.
In the 3rd period the Devils finally took the lead on a goal by second year forward and “man who is helping us forget about that guy in Minnesota” Adam Henrique, his 4th in 5 games. Bobby Butler (with his first point as a Devil) ripped a shot off the post and the puck ricocheted right onto Henrique’s stick for the easy go-ahead goal. Butler would then get his first goal as a Devils as he got a great cross-ice pass from Andy Greene and sniped a shot past Fleury from the faceoff dot to extend the lead to 2 goals. Butler has been playing well for the team since being called up last week. He has been playing on the 4th line so his minutes haven’t been many, but he has not been a liability at all while out there. It was nice to see him finally score one. The Devils would then hold on for the 3-1 victory, avenging their embarrassing loss last Saturday. The Devils take on the same Pittsburgh team tomorrow night in the Steel City.
Three Stars of the Game as chosen by ME!
3 – Martin Brodeur - Kept the team alive until they got the goal to bust through the door.
2 – Bobby Butler (1g, 1a) – His first points as a member of the Devils. Hard work pays off kids, and Butler’s been playing well the past few games.
1 – Stefan Matteau – His first NHL goal and it really was the catalyst to spark the Devils to the win. He also was on the line with Kovalchuk and Zajac for the whole game for the first time since being placed on that line. Improving game by game.
GIF of the Game: