Newark, N.J. - The New Jersey Devils had an up and down game tonight in a tough loss against the division rival New York Islanders.
Damien Brunner and Michael Grabner both had two goals tonight. Brunner struck first, tapping in a shot by Dainius Zubrus bounced off the top of the net and landed into the crease.
Grabner beat Martin Brodeur under his stacked pads after the first of many defensive breakdowns and lack of hustle by Marek Zidlicky. Grabner’s second goal came in the same fashion, Zidlicky melt down causing a break away and another goal.
Zidlicky had two more mishaps that Brodeur bailed him out of. Overall Zid had another terrible game and should be scratched next game.
Anyway, Michael Ryder had a quick snap shot that beat Evgeni Nabokov over the blocker.
The Islanders gained their first lead of the night with a Frans Nielsen backhand, but it only lasted just over six minutes. Brunner continued to play great with a game tying goal at 7:04 in the third period.
The Devils dominated the over time period, but nothing would go in.
The shootout went on for six long rounds. Nabokov stopped all six shots from Brunner, Clowe, Elias, Zajac, Ryder, and Jagr, but Brodeur could not stop the sixth and final shot from Matt Moulson.
The Devils fell to 0-1-1, but any point helps. There were a lot of good things to take away from this game, the new players were fantastic tonight, and event the power play looked great. The Devils had two power plays that they did not score on, but Adam Henrique hit the crossbar and the puck movement was much better than years past.
One downside for tonight was Zidlicky and a few other defensive problems. If Zidlicky continues to be a defenseman he needs to stop carrying the puck down low, stop turning the puck over, and needs to hustle more.
Another thing learned tonight is that the fans do not like the new goal song. Each goal was booed by the entire stadium after the song started playing.
The Devils play their next game on the road against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, October 7th.
1st Star – Michael Grabner
2nd Star – Damien Brunner
3rd Star – Martin Brodeur