Jets Shoot Down Devils – Devils Fall 3-1, Drop 3rd Straight
Three Stars of the Game:
3rd Star: Dustin Byfulgien (1 assist)
2nd Star: Ondrej Pavelec (1 GA, 22 Saves)
1st Star: Andrew Ladd (2 goals, 1 assist, 1 GWG)
The Devils (10-6-4) were once again left wondering where their offense went as they dropped their third consecutive game, falling 3-1 to the Winnipeg Jets (10-9-1). The Devils had their chances to score, but were unable to take advantage of these opportunities. The one silver-lining for the Devils is that they still have a respectable record, but are now 1-4-1 in their past six games.
Just 8 seconds into the first period, and Devils fans were afraid they were in for another blowout defeat like we saw against the Capitals. Andrew Ladd took advantage of a defensive lapse by the Devils after the opening face-off and managed to get a shot past Hedberg. Despite grabbing an early lead, however, the Jets were unable to get another shot past Hedberg in the first period. Johan was even called upon to make some stellar saves when needed. The Devils were able to generate some offense in the first period as well, but were unable to put anything on the scoreboard, despite getting two power-play opportunities, one of which being called with :03 left in the opening frame.
The Devils were unable to score, or generate much offense, on the shortened power-play they were given to start the second period. Shortly after the man advantage, however, Andrei Loktionov was able to net his 2nd goal of the season, and tie the game at 1. Loktionov broke free down the right side boards and fired a quick wrist shot past Pavelec. Following the tying goal, the Devils were able to generate some offense, but again were unable to break through Pavelec for a second tally. Late in the second period, the Devils were facing a 5-on-3 penalty kill, with Salvador first sitting for Hooking and Gionta sitting for Delay of Game less than a minute later. Shortly into the penalty kill, Travis Zajac’s stick broke, making it effectively a 5-on-2. The Devils managed to kill off the penalties however, and resumed even-strength play. Much like the first period, the Devils were given a power-play late in the frame, but were once again unable to do anything with it.
The two teams entered the third period tied 1-1, with both of them looking to not give up the tying goal. After a rather conservatively played start to the 3rd period, the teams were called for off-setting minors at 11:39, leading to 4-on-4 hockey. The Jets would capitalize on the open ice opportunity, with Andrew Ladd scoring his second goal of the night. Dustin Byfuglien skated hard into the Devils zone and drew Hedberg down on a wrap-around. Dustin threw the puck in front and it was stuffed in by Ladd. Following the goal, the Devils offense seemed to pick up, desperate to tie the game again and get at least a point out of the match-up. The Devils best chance came from Adam Henrique, who broke into the Jets zone on a breakaway but shot the puck wide of net. After the Devils pulled Hedberg within the final two minutes, however, Blake Wheeler would score an empty net goal for a 3-1 lead that would ultimately be the final score.
While the Devils looked better in this game than they did over the weekend, their offense is still struggling to score goals. The Devils’ big name scorers have been silenced as of late, most noticeably David Clarkson, who only has one point (1 assist) in his past 6 games after starting off the season on fire. The Devils’ key players (Kovalchuk, Elias, Henrique, and Zajac) all had great opportunities tonight, but were unable to score. This is a big problem that the Devils will have to work on if they expect to get back to winning in this shortened season. Regardless of who’s in net (Brodeur, Hedberg, or even Kinkaid) the Devils can’t expect to win games when only scoring 1 or 2 goals a night. The Devils will look for their offense to supply some more firepower on Saturday afternoon, as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Sabres.
Posted on March 1, 2013, in Devils Army, Devils Army Generals, Game Recap, New Jersey Devils, NHL and tagged Andrei Loktionov, Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Johan Hedberg, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Winnipeg Jets. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.