Buffalo, N.Y. - The New Jersey Devils still cannot figure out how to win games, they are now winless in seven straight games after tonights shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres. This losing streak is now the longest for the year, one more than the six game losing streak we saw in late Feb. to March.
Overall, it has been an extremely difficult month and a half for the Devils and it shows no signs of stopping. The shootout loss tonight is now the fourth straight shootout loss.
There were a few good aspects of tonights game including power play and shorthanded goals.
The Devils found themselves down early, again, giving up a goal 4:22 into the first period. Early goals have been a problem for the Devils as of late. In the last two weeks the Devils gave up goals less than five minutes into the game against Buffalo, Toronto, two against the Islanders, and lastly Ottawa. Early goals suck out every bit of momentum the team could have.
Tonight a turnover by Andy Greene left Patrick Kaleta wide open to score in front of Martin Brodeur. Greene made two mistakes on this play, first turning it over and then watching Kaleta move right past him to score.
The Devils scored on a power play with 1:40 remaining in the first period off the stick of Steve Sullivan. Hard work from Steve Bernier allowed him to center it for Sullivan.
Just over halfway through the second period Steve Ott gave the Sabres the lead. Brodeur tried to make a sprawling save but Ott just beat him under the crossbar.
Mark Fayne allowed the Devils to get a point when he scored a shorthanded goal 5:46 into the third period. The shorty was the Devils NHL best 10th of the year. Maybe the Devils should be shorthanded the entire game, that way they could actually score a goal.
After a scoreless overtime Sullivan, Patrik Elias, and Travis Zajac could not score one goal in a shootout, disgraceful for a team that was so successful last season in the skills competition. Nathan Gerbe scored the game-winning-goal in the second round of the shootout.
The Devils come back home Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins in their season finale. The Devils lost the first two match ups against the Bruins, a win would be very nice to get, but do not hold your breathe.
Attendance - 18,703
1st Star - Ryan Miller
2nd Star - Patrick Kaleta
3rd Star - Steve Ott