Coming off of a 5th straight victory and 1st on the road during the streak, 2nd against the Rangers in that stretch, the Devils returned home to take on the Blues from St. Louis. As the Devils in the last week have been forming an identity for themselves as a team that can compete with the league’s elite clubs, they would face yet another challange in St. Louis, who in their last 10 holds a strong record of 6-2-2 winning in their last game, looking to extend that to a 2 game win streak. What seemed to be a game that would be won by New Jersey, it didnt necessarily result that way.. The Devils would score first, then give one up before the period would close. At the start of the 2nd, St. Louis would take the lead before loosing it and then going down by 1 when New Jersey would answer the call, scoring twice in the second with goals by Henrique and Elias. With a victory in site, it was a surprise tip in goal scored by the Blues with under six minutes left in the period that would tie it, eventually forcing an overtime period which would FURTHER lead to a shootout that’d be won by St. Louis. All good things must come to an end at some point. The Devils would drop their first game in the second half of the year, their first defeat since they played the Sabres January 24th.
Looking to rebound at home after a close game against the Blues, New Jersey would play host to the Florida Panthers. Like their game against St. Louis, the Dev’s would score first, and early… just over a minute in is when the Devils would hear the goal horn. Almost like a mirror to their loss against St. Louis, Jersey would allow a goal before the first 20 minutes would close, allowing both teams to head to the locker rooms tied up. The remainder of the game would be all Panthers, no Devils. It was as if New Jersey was in a shell for the closing 58 minutes of play, which is utterly embarassing if you ask me. Florida would score in the second period just once and once more on the empty net in the final minutes of the third. Florida would walk right in, and out of Newark as easily as its put. 3-1 the final against the Cats, a game who’s importance doesnt shine as brightly as it should to the team I believe, as well as us fans. Thats almost as disappointing as being outshot 24-1 in the third period of a game versus Philadelphia (Devils 6-4 Flyers).
The Devils need a serious rebound game tomorrow night on the road and what better opponent to play against than the slumping Buffalo Sabres who currently reside in 14th place in the Eastern Conference. Jersey’s Team dropped their last head-to-head matchup against the Sabres in a shootout which was determined by stellar goaltending by U.S. born goalie, Ryan Miller. In next week’s installment of Second Look, i will be recapping games against the Sabres (2/14), Anaheim (2/17), and a bout north of the border against Montreal (2/19).