The Devils lose but get a point out of the trip to music city. One of these days I will get around to writing a piece about how much I hate the shootout and why it should just go away.
I actually thought the Devils and the Predators played a pretty even game. Both teams would get some momentum going, make some decent passes and setup some nice scoring chances and watch the other team regroup and do the same. There were moments of back and forth play and moments were both Marty and Pekka Rinne had to come up with big saves.
The Predators came out fore-checking and it led to Arnott scoring the first goal of the night, which in my opinion wasn’t a strong goal. Give the Devils credit, they fought right back, got some decent chances on the powerplay which then led to Colin White throwing a puck at the net after the penalty time to Nashville had expired. Colin was credited with the goal for quite a while but Doc and Chico kept telling us how they thought eventually it would be credited to Parise because he came across the middle and tipped it with the edge of his blade. Arnott would then score again in the third on a nice redirection that he timed perfectly (and got a little help from the post). The Devils would fight back again quickly as Dean McAmmond made a nice pass in front that Zach Parise shoveled in for his second of the night. This game would eventually be decided in the shootout that saw Michael Santorelli and Martin Erat beat Martin Brodeur. Travis Zajac scored the only goal in the shootout for the Devils and it was extremely fortunate to go in.
I thought the Devils shot the puck a lot better than they did on Monday night. Maybe the credit belongs to Philly still for being extremely effective shot blockers but Nashville only managed 11 blocked shots and allowed 28 to get through. Speaking of shot blocking, Dainius Zubrus left the game in the second after blocking a shot from the point with his leg and immediately fell to the ice. With Zubrus out of the game, Nashville was much better at winning face-offs. Zubrus will not make the trip to Dallas but instead come back to NJ and get his leg evaluated on Friday. I thought Tyler Eckford played a very good game for his first in the NHL and I certainly hope this kid stays in the lineup for the time being.
All in all I am happy to get the point. The Devils didn’t lose the game in the 65 minutes that count in my mind and they played a very evenly matched team. Shot selections in the shootout could probably have been better but as I said in the beginning of this post, I don’t like the shootout so I can’t fault NJ for it. The Devils head to Dallas tomorrow night and we will try to do our first live blogging event of the game right here tomorrow night.
My Three Stars:
#1 – Jason Arnott (2 Goals)
#2 – Zach Parise (2 Goals)
#3 – Joel Ward (6 shots)
In case you missed the game, here’s the video recap: