UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Some nights, the New Jersey Devils will have it.
Other nights, they simple won’t.
The latter was the case on Saturday night, as the Devils (9-3-3) fell to the New York Islanders (6-7-1) at Nassau Coliseum, 5-1.
The Devils, behind goalie Johan Hedberg, played a solid first period, but it all fell apart in the second frame, when New York got three goals less than four minutes apart to jump out on New Jersey.
John Tavares scored two of his three goals in that stretch, adding a third-period goal to complete the hat trick and help the Islanders get their first regulation win over the Devils this season.
Two of Tavares’ three goals came on the power play as New York scored three total power play goals on the night.
New Jersey’s lone goal came in the third period — a power play strike from Marek Zidlicky.
It was Hedberg’s first regulation loss this season. He finished with 28 saves for the Devils.
Islanders’ goalie Evgeni Nabokov turned away 30 of the 31 shots he faced to notch a big win for the Islanders, who have now won back-to-back contests after dropping five consecutive games.
Even with the loss, the Devils still hold leads in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with 21 points.
Matt Moulson added a second-period goal and assisted on all of Tavares’ goals for an impressive four-point night.
Despite the loss, the Devils believe that it wasn’t as lopsided as the box score might suggest.
“I don’t think it was a 5-1 game, but that’s what the scoreboard said so we’ll have to deal with it,” Devils head coach Pete DeBoer said, according to the Bergen Record.
New Jersey will have Sunday off before returning home for a Monday afternoon game against the Ottawa Senators at 1 p.m. It will be the Devils first meeting against Ottawa this season.