The New Jersey Devils have yet to be mathematically eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoff race, and they are keeping the pressure on the teams above them in the standings as they hope to somehow sneak into the coveted eighth seed. Defenseman Andy Greene did his part last night to keep the Devils’ hopes alive as he scored the game-winning goal late in the third period to give the Devils a 3-2 win over the visiting New York Islanders.
Greene took a pass from Patrik Elias as he joined the rush and snapped a low wristshot that beat Islander goalie Rick DiPietro low on his blocker side. The goal was Greene’s fourth of the season, and it could not have come at a better time for his team.
“Patty made a great play there,” Greene told the Bergen Record. “He saw the hole and made a great backhand pass there. I saw the opening, but at the same time you’re trying to make sure you hit the net for a good rebound, too.”
The Devils jumped out to an early lead when Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 28th goal of the season. After a good cycle in the corner by Travis Zajac and Nick Palmieri, Palmieri found Kovalchuk in the slot and his snapshot found the back of the net.
Rookie Jacob Josefson made it 2-0 in favor of the Devils when he put a rebound past DiPietro. Palmieri fired a shot on goal that was kicked out by DiPietro’s left pad, but Josefson was right there to bang home the rebound into the vacated net.
Frans Nielsen cut the Devils lead in half when he picked off a pass by Mattias Tedenby and flipped a backhander past a sprawling Martin Brodeur. Nielsen was credited with scoring the game-tying goal after he nudged the puck past Brodeur on a scrum in the crease.
For the Devils to make the playoffs, they must win their remaining six games and pray that the Rangers or the Sabres lose their last five games. It is a very unlikely scenario, especially since the Devils have no control over their opponents, but all they can do is compete and play hard in their remaining games and the rest will take care of itself.
About the Author
Written by Matt Pellicane
I am currently pursuing a master's degree in Journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. I graduated from Quinnipiac in May 2010 with a bachelor's degree in print journalism. While at Quinnipiac, I covered various sporting events on campus for the online newspaper The Quad News. I was born and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey and have been an avid sports fan all of my life. I am a fan of the New Jersey Devils, New York Giants, New York Yankees, and the Boston Celtics.