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Devils Build in Loss
Posted By Jordan DiRisio On Dec 3 2011 @ 9:22 am In New Jersey Devils | No Comments
The Devils took it to the Wild after the first ten minutes of last night’s game. But that wasn’t enough.
When Zach Parise scored on a beautiful deflection just three minutes into the game it seemed like last night would be a great night. Five minutes later down 3-1 it seemed like it would be a disastrous game. Both initial reactions were wrong.
Brodeur was chased from the game allowing three goals in the first ten minutes he certainly didn’t get any breaks but he still wasn’t looking sharp. Deboer’s goaltending shakeup was effective as Hedberg didn’t face a shot for a good 5-6 minutes and Kovalchuk scored to get the Devils within one before the end of the first.
It’s becoming clear that Deboer has a handle on this team. Last night Kovalchuk and Parise were playing very differently, not because they each scored but because they combined for 14 shots, 2 goals and one post. Deboer double-shifted Kovalchuk and the line with Henrique as often as possible because of their inspired play; the disappointing thing was that the Elias line was not producing chances and shots very often.
A rather disappointing game last night but not lacking in effort by the Devils. The Devils didn’t get any breaks but it didn’t help that Josh Harding played extremely well in relief of Niklas Backstrom after the first period. The only shot that got by Harding was Kovalchuk’s one-timer from Parise that hit the post.
A loss is a loss but the Devils were the better team for the majority of the game last night; if that puck off the post goes in the Devils probably would have gotten at least a point. The 4th wild goal with just three and half minutes to go was really a result of Kovalchuk pinching in and taking a risk that I don’t think he takes if the Devils are tied or winning.
The most encouraging part of last night has to be that Kovalchuk and Parise were shooting the puck and making quality plays with each other and Henrique hopefully it wasn’t just a good night but rather a maturation of the line. The Devils have to secure two points against the Jets tonight because their next two games after are against Toronto and Ottawa both playing very well. Hopefully for this team’s offense Ondrej Pavelec isn’t as hot as he was during his last game: a shutout over Phoenix.
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