Newark, N.J. - The New Jersey Devils finished off their home and home series against the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night at the Prudential Center. Rookie forward Reid Boucher made his NHL debut and played rather well.
The Devils got off to a slow start to the Habs, and got scored on in the opening period by former Devil great Brian Gionta. Gionta got left alone on a 2-on-1 and finished the goal barely over the glove of Cory Schneider.
The Devils were scoreless again in the second period, but came very close on a couple opportunities. At this point it seemed as though they could not buy a goal.
The Devils came out strong in the third scoring two unanswered goals by Andrei Loktionov and a beautiful shot by Michael Ryder. Boucher notched his first NHL point with an assist to Ryder’s goal. He earned himself the crowd chants of “Boucher! Boucher!”
But Lars Eller tied it at 16:10 after a power play had just expired. The Devils were in need of another goal.
Patrik Elias scored a late goal at 18:54 after stealing the puck from P.K. Subban to get an opportunity to net the game-winner.
However, horribly, the Devils lost the lead just 29 seconds later on a tip-in from David Deharnais to tie the game with less than a minute left. The goal was reviewed for a high-stick, but the goal was not overturned.
The Devils dominated overtime with a few good chances including a shot that rode the bottom of the crossbar but did not go in.
The Devils entered tonight’s shootout 0-4 and scoreless in 14 chances. Boucher got the first shot and made a great move to beat Peter Budaj for the Devils’ first shootout goal of the year. But the Habs scored the next two shots and the Devils failed with Travis Zajac and Elias.
The Canadiens stole this game away from the Devils, just like two nights ago in Montreal. The Devils only came away with one of four points. These are games that the Devils need to win. They cannot be giving away the game with just over 30 seconds remaining.
The Devils play again Friday night at home against the Detroit Red Wings. It will be their first meeting of the regular season since 2011-12, back when they were in the Western Conference.