The game, similar to the December 30th game against the Islanders earlier this season
, was another goaltender's duel. The Devils came out a-fire with 15 shots in the first period, helped in part to four New York Islander penalties. The Islanders started the game slowly, mostly in their own end, and taking stupid penalties. Each of those four penalties were the result of lack of discipline and dangerous play. The Devils had it all except for the finishing, reminiscent of the Buffalo game last week.
However, the game did not turn out to be a repeat of the Devils' dominance. The Islanders picked it up in the second period and the two teams would trade off a lot of scoring chances that were either resulting in shots going wide or Martin Brodeur/Rick DiPietro making the saves. However, halfway through the second period, the Devils finally broke Rick DiPietro. Zach Parise stumbled on a cross-ice pass during a two-on-one with Travis Zajac, so Parise tried to sneak one in the right corner of the net. DiPietro's leg got it, but he could not cover it and Jamie Langenbrunner jammed it home to give the Devils the lead.
As the game went on, the Devils started becoming the better team. The Islanders kept trying, but the Devils not only kept pace but kept pounding Rick DiPietro with shots. Forcing the Islanders up front to scurry back down the rink to backcheck and help out their goaltender. The Islanders played the Devils hard and DiPietro was great, but the Devils proved to be harder with Martin Brodeur shutting the door on every opportunity. Brad Lukowich in particular on defense was exceptional; and the forwards were good in their own back checking - John Madden and Scott Gomez each having 3 takeaways. The game was truly iced when Madden dished a rushing Jay Pandolfo for a one-timer goal while shorthanded. A Jay Pandolfo goal from a chance that originally was a two-on-one while shorthanded. Pandolfo goals are usually pretty rare; but tonight's was both pretty and incredibly shocking that it even happened. It ended up sealing the deal, and the Devils then held on to win.
Good effort for 60 minutes. While the Devils could score more and for awhile I felt tonight was going to be the Devils' 22nd win by one-goal; but the Devils kept working and were rewarded with a second one. They were good at take-aways, they didn't take too many stupid penalties, and took every advantage for a counter attack after the Islanders failed to score again and again. Again, the biggest fault would be the power play, but I've noted that so many times before so this isn't new. That and the Devils won, kind of hard to complain about the team's fourth win over a division rival this season.
Martin Brodeur re-asserts his dominance this season with his tenth shutout, his 90th all time. Keep in mind, Brodeur's single season record for shutouts is 11. The way the Devils are playing, it's very possible that he breaks that record this season.
Labels: Devils Postgame