Struck Again: Devils Drop Sixth Straight

Are you kidding me?

The New Jersey Devils dropped their sixth (yes, sixth) consecutive contest on Tuesday evening at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts beat the Devils for just the third time in the Prudential Center by a score of 5-2. Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias netted goals for New Jersey.

This is the Devils' first losing streak of six or more games since December, 2010.

Jersey's Team allowed the opposition to score the first goal of the game for the seventh straight time. Nate Thompson tallied his fourth of the season 17:04 into the opening frame. Another defensive breakdown led to the early deficit; the Devils had a great forecheck going at the other end of the ice before Henrik Tallinder (still not sure why he's in the lineup) turned the puck over. The Lightning swooped down the ice and cashed in on the opportunity.

Things did not get much better in the second period. Martin St Louis scored his sixth goal of the year on an odd-man rush 5:53 into the middle frame. Alexander Killorn scored his fourth of the season 13:13 in.

Enter Keith Kinkaid.

Johan Hedberg was lifted for the Devils' rookie prospect after allowing his third goal of the night before the mid-way point of the game. The highlight of the night came when number thirty-five in red stone-walled Steven Stamkos on a breakaway attempt. I am standing by my tweet that I sent out earlier regarding the save. I'll let you check it out for yourself.

Keith Kinkaid was strong in his NHL debut tonight, surrendering just one goal, but his efforts were not enough as the Devils lost their sixth consecutive game. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images.

Perhaps the third period was the light at the end of the tunnel. After the Devils had fallen behind by a score of 4-0, on a goal that came as a result of a bad no-call for goalie interference, Adam Henrique slid a short-handed goal past Tampa Bay goaltender Anders Lindback. Patrik Elias netted a power play goal just a few minutes later to pull the Devils within two.

The comeback was too little, too late, however, as an empty-net goal from B.J. Crombeen sealed the victory for the Lightning.

Final Thoughts:

  • We played better at the end of the third. I finally made the trek across my living room to pick up my Devils hat, which had been thrown violently against the wall earlier in the game. Maybe this will be the spark that the Devils need to get something going.
  • Pete DeBoer said in his post-game interview that Johan Hedberg will start in goal on Thursday evening. I am really not sure what his thought process is behind this move, but I guess that is why he gets paid to make decisions and I do not. Maybe he knows something that the fans do not.
  • Not making excuses, but the Devils got a bad game out of the officials tonight. Again, this is not the reason that they have lost six games in a row, but it does not help. The first two Tampa Bay goals came immediately following bad no-calls that could have put New Jersey on the power play. Steve Bernier was hit with a high stick in the offensive zone just seconds before the Bolts broke out and scored. Ryan Carter was interfered with prior to the second Bolts' goal. Keith Kinkaid was also somewhat interfered with on his only goal against tonight.
  • I have full confidence in saying when Marty and Dainius Zubrus are ready to return, this team will get it going.
  • Remember when Krys Barch was productive? Yeah, neither do I.
  • Here's what needs to happen: Stefan Matteau comes back in and plays in Janssen/Barch's place. When Zubrus comes back, he replaces the other. Tallinder needs to sit and Anton Volchenkov needs to play. And for the love of hockey, Pete DeBoer has got to stop jumbling the lines so much during the game. It's one thing to do it in practice, but these guys need to get used to each other out on the ice! Set the lines at the beginning of the game. Keep it that way until the final buzzer rings.

The Devils are back in action on Thursday evening against the Buffalo Sabres. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM. Devils Army, you have got to ROCK the ROCK! This game will be interesting after the two teams battled out a tough game last Saturday afternoon.

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Until Thursday, Go Devils! Gotta keep the faith.