The New Jersey Devils took the Philadelphia Flyers to overtime on Saturday afternoon, but they got beat on a late deflection from Jeff Carter to lose 3-2.
I can't say the Devils played very well; but I also can't say that the Flyers did either. Throughout the game in regulation both teams had streaks of dominance. Philadelphia opened the score when Mike Knuble put in his own rebound and the team continued to do well for the following few minutes. The Devils responded early in the second when Zach Parise tipped a Colin White slapshot past Martin Biron; and then they looked good for the next few minutes. And so forth when Scott Hartnell tucked in a rebound, and when Brian Gionta capitalized on the power play by capitalizing on a great play stated by Mike Mottau and Dainius Zubrus.
Overall, it was a very intense and up-and-down hockey game. That it went into overtime was a fair outcome, from what I've seen. Moreover, that the Devils got beat on a deflected shot is more bad luck than it was a Devils' failure. Of course, this is a results-oriented business and given how most of the last 8 goals were scored against New Jersey was, the skaters - be they defensemen or forwards - needs to improve on picking up loose pucks in their own zone. This is interesting as the Devils generally thrive on snagging errant passes and forcing bad plays by the other team in the neutral zone and at the top of the zone. Still, given how loose pucks in front and rebounds can result in real easy chances for the other team, it's something to focus on. Another area is penalties: the Devils (and the Flyers) just took waaaaaay too many minors, particularly in the second period. Some of these were absolutely terrible calls: Dainius Zubrus got tagged with goaltender interference when he was shoved into Biron's arm; and Patrik Elias got 2 for roughing for just shoving Scott Upshall (I think it was him?) after a play was dead - despite that Upshall shoved his fist into Elias' face first, and despite that it's a routine occurrence in hockey games.
That all said, the Devils did play much better and more consistently than they did on Friday night. Did everyone have a great game? No. Paul Martin, in particular, wasn't great; I'm not sure why Patrik Elias was playing at right wing (as noted by Rich Chere
); and I'm not really looking forward to future endeavors of Sheldon Brookbank playing at forward. Still, the loss really can't be blamed on any one player and a bad break in overtime ended it. On any other given night, maybe it works out in the Devils' favor. At least the Devils got something out of it and they can rest up a bit before hosting Toronto on Wednesday.
Labels: 2008-09 Postgame, Devils Rivals