The New Jersey Devils showed a lot of fight tonight, but fell just short to the New York Islanders. The Devils lost their first home game of the season and third consecutive contest. A sloppy performance all around tonight led to a 5-4 defeat at the hands of the division rival Isles.
Through the first ten minutes of the first period, Jersey looked strong. They were dominating in the shots-on-goal category and had several chances to put one on the board. The Islanders, on the other hand, had just one of the first ten shots-on-goal of the game and had trouble putting anything together. As luck would have it, New York tallied the first goal of the game despite being outplayed. John Tavares ripped his third goal of the season 14:31 in and put the Isles out in front.
The Devils out-shot the Islanders 10-7 in the opening frame, but trailed by one heading into intermission.
Things went from bad to worse just 2:41 into the second period. Keith Aucoin notched his fourth score of the year on the power play and put the Islanders ahead by two. The Devils responded quickly, however, as Steve Bernier scored just 32 seconds later to cut the lead in half. Ryan Carter followed it up with a goal of his own (6:21 in) to tie things up.
And then, a minute and ten seconds later, the Devils were trailing again. John Tavares scored his second of the game and put New York up, 3-2. Henrik Tallinder answered for New Jersey 17:12 into the middle frame; both teams skated into the locker room tied up at three heading into the final period.
With the sloppy play the Devils displayed through the first two periods, it was a miracle that they were still in this game. Mark Sanchez had a better pass completion percentage against the Patriots than the Devils did tonight. Brodeur was solid, for the most part, but the defense gave up way too many chances.
Mark Streit sneaked one by Brodeur 11:32 into the period to send New York in front. Upon closer review, Adam Larsson appeared to have tipped the puck by Marty as he was cutting in front of the net. This was the theme of the night for the Devils–they just couldn't catch a break.
In his season debut, Adam Henrique tied things up for New Jersey 13:50 into the third. Both teams would gain a point and head into overtime.
Brad Boyes notched the game-winning goal for the Isles 2:01 into the overtime period. Henrik Tallinder was in the penalty box for the Devils after he received a penalty for cross-checking. The goal came on a net-mouth scramble that the Devils nearly escaped. Marty tried to do just a little bit too much and was caught out of position. The goal also marked the Devils third straight extra-time loss; this one was perhaps the most bitter.
The positives of tonight include the return of Adam Henrique and remaining in first place. It is extremely important that the Devils clean up their sloppiness and beat the Penguins on home ice on Saturday. Puck drop is set for 1:00 EST. Make sure to get your JERSEY on and follow us on twitter for your latest Devils news. Also be sure to follow our staff members on twitter: Scott Robb, Devin Mattera, and Raj Vaidya!