Offense Struggles Again, but Devils Earn Shootout Victory


For the first time in what feels like forever, the New Jersey Devils won last night in a shootout , a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. It was the first Devils’ win in a shootout following an 0-for-18 stretch dating back to March 10, 2013, coincidentally against Winnipeg.


While the Devils got the shootout monkey off their back, it was an overall ugly game.

"“It was nice to get the win, but I think our game’s got another level,” Ryane Clowe said. If we thought we played a good enough game tonight, we’re kidding ourselves. We’ve got to turn it up another level. That includes me as an individual right through all the guys. As a team, we’ve got another level.” (Gulitti, 10/31)"

Patrik Elias added:

"“We’re not skating as well as we should, for whatever reason. You saw how we played in the first few games of the season. For six or seven games, even though we lost some of them, we were still playing well. That’s what we’ve got to get back to.” (Chere, 10/31)"

Aside from a first period goal on a delayed-penalty call allowed by Cory Schneider, he was a brick wall in net. He stopped 21 of 22 Winnipeg shots, and did not allow a goal on three Jets’ chances in the shootout.

"“I thought Cory was outstanding; if he doesn’t play as well as he does we don’t get anything,” Peter DeBoer said. “I thought after first goal, he was the difference for us to hang around. We had to open it up to push for a goal and he was there when we needed him to be.” (Morreale, 10/31)"

As stated, it was the Devils’ first shootout win in nearly 20 months, and Jacob Josefson – who scored the shootout winner – continues to contribute since filling in for an injured Martin Havlat. In regard to his performance, Josefson said:

"“Of course, it feels good to contribute in any way you can and it was nice to get a shootout win here. These two points were big for us.” (Gulitti, 10/31)“Hopefully it’s the start of something good [in the shootout] and we can get a roll going here, but we’d rather win the games before the shootout. (Morreale, 10/31)"

To the pleasure of most Devils fans, it is important to note that Bryce Salvador didn’t see any ice time after about five minutes into the third period. But DeBoer hinted that this wouldn’t be a normal occurance.

"“We were down. If we were up, a guy like Salvador is playing all the time. If we’re down, we’re looking for offense at that point and you readjust the bench forwards and defensemen.” (Gulitti, 10/31)"

Lastly, while it was an offensive struggle for nearly the entire duration of the game, the Devils defense provided a much needed solid performance following their eight-goal meltdown on Tuesday in Pittsburgh, and DeBoer noted:

"“Our kids made some great plays back there tonight. I thought Severson made a couple great plays defensively. We gave up a late 2-on-1 and he made a great play. Merrill made a great play on the tying goal. We’re asking a lot of our young defensemen. I thought Lars had a good game. We’re asking them to play a lot of minutes, a lot of situational minutes and I think they’ve all risen to the occasion.” (Gulitti, 10/31)"


First and foremost, to win a shootout was an unbelievable feeling to experience considering the Devils have lost every shootout in more than a year and a half.

To see contributions from Josefson is great, especially because he seemed to be the forgotten man coming into this season because of his past lack of success.

On the flip side, however, Josefson’s line was the Devils’ best line last night, providing energy that the top-nine could not provide – and that continues to be a problem for the Devils. Passing was not crisp and scoring chances were relatively non-existent, as the majority of New Jersey’s 27 shots on goal were low-percentage shots.

The only accomplishment made by the Devils offense last night was a simply beautiful goal by Michael Ryder that tied the game late in the third period.

Adam Larsson played a great defensive game last night, and I still don’t understand why he is regularly a healthy scratch. He’s making it more clear that he should receive more playing time. Severson continues to impress as well, and Jon Merrill, who was an atrocious -5 on Tuesday in Pittsburgh, had a nice rebound game.

Also, not having Salvador on the ice for the majority of the third period and overtime made the team more exciting to watch, and gave Devils fans’ a glimpse as to what life can be like minus Salvador.

So all in all, it was an ugly win, with a lot of negatives, but also a lot of positives to take away from the performance. And of course, it always helps that the Devils came out on top in this one.

The Devils look to make it two straight victories as they take on Columbus tomorrow night at Prudential Center.