This recap was done by our guest blogger Joey De Luca. We think he did a fantastic job, let us know what you think!!
Coming into this game, the Devils were 6-0-1 in their last seven games and were on a 4 game winning streak. The almost perfect record and winning streak was broken tonight as they lost 3-1 to the Red Wings in Detroit.
A little less than two minutes in, Mark Fraser made a careless and costly mistake. Fraser was thinking of making a “D-to-D” pass over to his defensive partner without looking. The pass was quickly intercepted by Darren Helm who was soon gone on a break away. All alone on Marty, he roofs it top net, trapper side. Marty had no chance at stopping that stop, and it was clearly Fraser who should take the blame for the first goal. Still in the first, Brian Rolston cashed in. Elias took the puck from his own zone and into Detroit’s. He then dropped it to Volchenkov who slapped it at Howard. Howard thought that he had it frozen, but that was not the case. It was still loose. Rolston came crashing in, and finally with a couple of whacks at the puck, Rolston put it in. The Devils ended the period with 10 shots, Detroit having 7.
The second period wasn’t very exciting. The Devils only got one or two chances to score and were not able to do so on those chances.A great chance came upon the Devils in mid-second period. Zharkov came rushing into the zone and then dropped the puck over to Kovalchuk who wristed one, but Howard managed to stick out the pad on the sniper and make the save. Marty made some key saves in the second to keep the Devils in the game. Again, in the middle of the second period, a point shot was taken. The shot ended up going wide but rebounding back in front of the net on one of the Red Wing’s sticks. Marty dove and made the save with the tip of his glove, sending the puckonto the high glass and out of a dangerous area. if marty wouldn’t have made that save the game could have easily of went south earlier than it actually did.
The third period is where things got a little ugly. Filpulla scored 5:33 into the third period giving Detroit the 2-1 lead. The 2nd goal by Detroit was because of bad positionning. Who was out of place? Mark Fayne. Fayne was supposed to be covering Filpulla, who was his man, but instead decided to stay in front of the net and block another Red Wing. Jason Arnott was already in front of the meaning there were two Devils covering one Red Wing. Filpulla was left alone and took adavantage of his chance. Again, it was an almost impossible save for Marty to make. I was actually amazed when i heard that Marty actually got a piece of it with his stick.Rolston then got double minors for high sticking and then another minor from another Devils 20 seconds later. Detroit then had a 1:40, 3-5 power-playbut could not cash in and still didn’t see the back of the net for the rest of the 4 minutes. Great job killing those penalties but it still wasted four whole minutes of the game when the Devils could have tied it up. Late in the third, with less than two minutes to play, Kovalchuk’s line came rushing in the zone. A shot was taken on Howard, who again thought that he had saved but Kovalchuk kept pushing and pushing until it went in. GOAL!!! No. The ref immediately called it off without even reviewing the call. That was a good goal. The officials stated that Kovy pushed Howard into the net, but I don’t think that was the case. The ref was at a bad angle and was in a bad position to make the call. Detroit catches a huge break. With less than a minute to go in the third, Johan Franzen comes bursting into the zone. He takes a snap shot that goes right under Marty’s pad. 3-1 Detroit.
I think that the reason for tonight’s loss was due to careless mistakes and positioning. The Devil’s defence tonight was not strong. They let two break-aways, one leading to the early 1-0 lead. Zone clearing attempts at times weren’t at there best. The second goal was due to a bad clearing attempt. One of the Devils defencemen tried to clear, it was picked up at the point, put on net, put on net again and finally the Red Wings scored. Careless mistakes like neutral zone turn-overs were a factor of tonight’s loss. The first goal was due to just that.fayne tried to clear. the puck ended up on Helm’s stick. 1-0 Detroit. The devils had a little bit of hope lately recoring a 6-0-1 record in their last 7 games. The queston is, Should the Devils lay down and die, come in last, and have a great chance at the first overall draft pick? Or should they attempt the impossible and make a run for the playoffs?
1. Ilya Kovalchuk: He had the most cahnces for the Devils tonight and palyed every second shift. It was a 30 minute night for Kovy. He was refused a good goal (in my opinion) and was a great aspect to the Devils tonight.
2. Marty Brodeur: He made some vital saves at game cahninging moments. Even though the third goal was a little rough, he played a good game, stopping 26 of 29 shots.
3. Brian Rolston: In the first period, he scored a hard working goal, keeping his point streak alive. All in all he played a good game.