New Jersey Devils Play With Fire, Get Burned 6-2 By Montreal


The New Jersey Devils have lived dangerously the past few weeks. Far too often they would play poorly, get outshot by a wide margin and yet still find a way to win or at least get a point. Tonight, well that would be a different story; their luck would finally run out. You can’t expect to get away with playing like garbage and have your goalie bail you out night after night. Tonight’s 6-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens is no reflection on Keith Kinkaid, but the Devils were finally shown why you can’t forget to have your 18 skaters show up and expect to win. Kinkaid was brilliant even though he let in six goals. He made some ridiculous saves that kept the game close for most of the night. Montreal was just too much as they fired 44 shots compared to the Devils’ 23.

Feb 7, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk (27) celebrates a goal by center Tomas Plekanec (not pictured) against New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid (1) during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

New Jersey’s three game win streak and five game point streak both came to an end tonight. They had a great homestand record wise going 4-0-1, but they still weren’t playing good hockey by any means. They needed a strong game tonight in Montreal and it actually started off well. Mike Cammalleri got the Devils on the board just 1:33 into the game as he deflected home a Peter Harrold shot. It was Cammy’s 18th goal of the season, by far the team leader, and he’s got a real shot at 30 this season. Then the Devils fell flat on their face as they finished the period up 1-0 but were outshot 14-3. You knew it was only a matter of time before Montreal made them pay.

The second period was more of the same but the Devils were surviving in large part thanks to Kinkaid. Then the whole game unraveled on one play. Dainius Zubrus took a double minor high-sticking penalty halfway through the frame and Montreal was able to score on both parts of it. Mark Fraser didn’t help matters by making an abysmal turnover leading to one of the goals. Peter Harrold would take a questionable penalty late in the period and the Canadiens would make it 3-3 on the PP when Tomas Plekanec blasted one home. From up 1-0 to down 3-1 just like that.

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Jacob Josefson would score early in the third to cut the deficit in half off a beautiful feed from Tuomo Ruutu and Marek Zidlicky, but that was as close as the Devils would get. Montreal would explode for three goals during the period and make it a blow out. I felt so bad for Keith Kinkaid who deserved so much better. The one saddening thing is that Adam Larsson and Andy Greene, who have been so rock solid the last month or so, both had brutal games. They combined for at least seven giveaways and forced Kinkaid into some highlight reel saves. It wasn’t a banner night for those two or anyone on the Devils.

Tonight is one of those nights that shows just how poorly the Devils have been playing the last two weeks. Putting the record aside, they’ve been terrible outside of goaltending since the All-Star break – really the whole season. Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid can’t do it all on their own. They need help and they’re not getting it. Monday at home against Edmonton is a must-win game for New Jersey so we’ll see what team shows up.

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