The New Jersey Devils' five-game winning streak came to an abrupt end on Tuesday evening. The Devils were defeated by a fiesty Carolina Hurricanes team in a game that could have easily gone the Devils' way. After falling behind 2-1 going into the third, the Devils tied the game at two, but allowed two more unanswered goals before time ran out.
While the game did not turn out the way New Jersey had hoped, they remain at the top of the Eastern Conference at 8-2-3.
The Devils hit a road bump last week in Pittsburgh and responded well. Hopefully, they can do the same after yesterday's loss. The focus in the locker room must now be on the fact that the Philadelphia Flyers are rolling into town on Friday night.
Ilya Kovalchuk collected his fifth goal of the season last night on a first period Devils powerplay. The play was ruled "no goal" on the ice, but upon further review, the call was overturned. The powerplay was decent at best last night; good puck movement, as usual, just not enough shots.
Jussi Jokinen tied the game for Carolina early on in the second period. The Canes added another goal 18:29 into the middle frame to take the lead. Patrick Dwyer tallied his fourth of the season to put Carolina in front 2-1.
New Jersey made some clear adjustments in the locker room between the second and third periods. They came out with a faster pace of play and had several quality chances. Ryan Carter took a loose puck away from a Carolina defender and sneaked one by goaltender Cam Ward to tie the game at two. Carter's second goal of the season came 1:34 into the third and shifted the momentum back to the Jersey side.
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Mark Fayne, who missed the morning skate yesterday due to a death within his family, took a useless (a very useless, that is) penalty 6:31 into the third which sent the Hurricanes to the powerplay attack. Jiri Tlusty wasted no time and scored less than a minute later what would be the game-winning goal.
The Devils had a chance to tie the game late in the third but were shorthanded, yet again, after Andy Greene was called for tripping with under three minutes to play. Jiri Tlusty iced the game with his second goal of the night (an empty-netter) and propelled the Hurricanes to a 4-2 victory.
- The Devils did not play their best game of the year last night. You win some, you lose some. New Jersey has a big divisional match-up coming up this Friday night and can make a quick response to last night's game by beating the Flyers on home ice.
- The stupid penalties have to stop. Nothing more to say here.
- Despite not playing so great, the Devils had a chance to win this game. Clarkson could not connect on a golden opportunity early on in the third in which he and Henrique had a 2-on-1. Butler also fanned on a shot as the puck was trickling across the crease with under a minute to play. It was a difficult shot, but one that he could have made.
- Dainius Zubrus has been placed on Injured Reserve. Andrei Loktionov has been recalled from Albany. I am excited to see what this kid's got. Hopefully, he gets a solid opportunity to play and produces.
As mentioned, the Devils are back in action on Friday night against the Philadelphia Flyers. I will be at the game, so stop by and say hello. Section 107, row 7, first seat! We have to ROCK the ROCK on Friday and say NO to orange! Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM EST.