New Jersey Devils Rout San Jose Sharks 5-2 To Complete Cali Trip


What a way to finish up the California road trip and head into the All-Star Break. The New Jersey Devils showed up from start to finish and routed the San Jose Sharks 5-2. Every single player on the Devils played an outstanding game, Cory Schneider looked as good as ever coming off an injury and the team rolled to victory. This might have been the best 60 minutes of hockey the Devils played all season. There was never a let up; they skated the whole entire game and had 34 shots!! They finished the Cali trip 2-1-0 which is a great feat seeing as those are some of the best teams in hockey. Scoring five goals twice and picking up four out of six points is a wonderful way to go into the break. The Devils will now have eight days off to rest, relax and then hopefully go on a run.

First Period

Jan 19, 2015; San Jose, CA, USA;New Jersey Devils defenseman Adam Larsson (5) congratulates New Jersey Devils right wing Jordin Tootoo (20) after Tootoo scored a goal during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

This was one of the best periods the Devils played all season. Yeah, it was that good. They made one mistake, a turnover by Scott Gomez that lead to Joe Pavelski’s goal, but other than that it was a terrific frame for New Jersey. They outshot San Jose 17-8 (that’s not a typo) and dominated large portions of the period. In contrast, the Devils had just 15 shots all last game against Anaheim. Now, it’s one thing to get shots and it’s another to put the puck in the net – this time the Devils did both. Jordin Tootoo, who had a great period all-around including four shots, got the Devils even at one when he put home his third consecutive shot at Alex Stalock. Jacob Josefson and Tim Sestito did good work behind the net and Tootoo finished the play off.

Then, just 35 seconds later, Steve Bernier would give the Devils a lead. This goal must’ve been sweet for Bernier who was a former first-round pick of SJ in 2003 (one pick ahead of Zach Parise). Gomez atoned for his turnover by creating one this time as he stole the puck from Brendan Dillon and fed Bernier who put home his own rebound. The California road trip has turned into a revenge tour for Bernier after he scored two goals in Los Angeles, the site of his infamous boarding penalty in Game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.  The Devils were the better team the first 20 minutes and they had a deserving lead heading into intermission.

Second Period

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The second didn’t start too great as the Devils allowed San Jose to tie the game up just four minutes in. Marek Zidlicky made a bad step up at the defensive blue line allowing the Sharks to walk in on a 3-on-2 where Matt Nieto finished off the cross-ice pass. However, the Devils were still playing fantastic as they kept peppering Stalock with shot after shot – they would finish the period with 29. Finally the Devils would get their lead back and it was Mike Cammalleri, the team’s leading goal scorer, who now has 15. The goal came on the power play after Brent Burns elbowed Tim Sestito in the head, his third minor of the game. Cammalleri found the puck in the slot where he threw it at the net and it deflected in off Matt Irwin. The Devils were now up 3-2, but the period wasn’t over. Adam Larsson took a bad penalty in the last three minutes and it took some strong saves from Cory Schneider to keep the lead after 40 minutes.

Third Period

The key to the third was the penalty kill. The Devils got in a bit of trouble midway through the frame as they took a pair of penalties that gave San Jose over three minutes of consecutive PP time including 12 seconds of a 5-on-3. Travis Zajac won a huge faceoff and subsequently cleared the puck to kill off the two man disadvantage and then Schneider took care of the rest. He made a few terrific saves like a left pad stuff on Joe Thornton and a point-blank try by Patrick Marleau. Schneider was terrific all night stopping 34 of 36 shots fired at him and earned #1 Star honors due to that. Then Zajac got in on the offense as he put the Devils up two when he sent home a rebound on his backhand. Martin Havlat, the former Shark, picked up an assist on the play so that must feel good for him. Adam Larsson also picked up an assist on the goal to go along with another strong performance that saw him total 23:42 TOI, three shots, four blocks and a +2.

You think the Devils were done? Oh, but they weren’t. Zidlicky took a minor penalty and it didn’t matter because Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson combined for a shorthanded goal to put the Devils up 5-2. Henrique poked the puck past the Sharks’ defender at the blue line and raced down the ice for a 2-on-1. He floated a pass over to Josefson who calmly deposited the puck past Stalock. The Devils were absolutely terrific for 60 minutes tonight and truly earned this victory. We now have eight days off to enjoy it!