Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Devils 2 - Islanders 1, OT

In a surprise twist of fate, the Devils pummeled the Islanders with shots and came out with a 2-1 win in overtime. Thanks to Zach Parise's deflection after regulation, the Devils secure their eleventh straight playoff berth. IPB has their own thoughts on the game here.

Should this game turn into another loss, I was prepared to just type this exact same post word for word. Well, prepared is the key word; it wasn't exactly the same game. There were many similarities. The Islanders started a non-regular goaltender, Jimmy MacDonald. When he was announced as the starter, there was much profanity from my mouth. The Devils were constantly on the attack and pounded Joey MacDonald with shot after shot. But like last time, the finishing was hard to come by. 46 shots in regulation and the only one that beat him was a laser by Patrik Elias in the second period. When you consider that the Devils had 18 of their shots blocked and 10 miss the net, you begin to appreciate how the Devils rolled the Islanders after the first ten minutes of the game.

In comparison, the Islanders were only allowed 22 shots at Martin Brodeur and the only one they got through was caused by Andy Greene not picking up a loose puck. Well, not quite. But for someone who has been given a chance to get back his spot in the line up, Greene didn't have a great game (he even fell down once in his own zone untouched). I can't imagine Sutter having much patience for Greene to earn that spot, and Greene didn't do it with how he did last night. Anyway, back to the one goal allowed. Josef Vasicek just powered through and past Sheldon Brookbank - no major task should you have some pace - and powered that puck into the net.

Regardless, the Devils did improve the last game against the Islanders. They only conceded two penalties; and only the too many men on the ice penalty was just stupid. Once they got going, the Devils didn't let up in the game save for a few shifts in the third period. New Jersey continued attacking and shooting from nearly everywhere; but they just couldn't crack the MacDonald code. Fortunately, in overtime, the Devils figured they would try a deflection and, lo and behold, it worked. (Aside: Congratulations to Parise for a new career high in goals with 32!) I would have liked to have seen much better finishing; but there's not a lot to complain here. The Devils certainly earned their victory, they didn't choke in a tied game like their last game, and they have to feel good about how they went about it in the second and third periods. Sutter certainly does, according to Tom Gulitti.

They can't think too much about it, as they host the Boston Bruins tonight at the Rock. Hopefully, they'll have a better time turning more of those shots into goals. Vitaly Vishnevski will be back in the line up tonight according to Gulitti. Colin White is questionable and it may be Brookbank will sit, so maybe Greene will have another opportunity to become a regular again. Regardless, I wish the Devils the best of luck tonight.


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