New Jersey Devils Need To Stop Giving Up Hat Tricks

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates with teammate Nicklas Backstrom #19 after scoring his third goal of the game for a hat trick against the New Jersey Devils in the third period at Capital One Arena on January 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates with teammate Nicklas Backstrom #19 after scoring his third goal of the game for a hat trick against the New Jersey Devils in the third period at Capital One Arena on January 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils are in a bit of a funk after a stretch of solid play. They need to start better and stop giving up hat tricks.

The New Jersey Devils aren’t in a good spot right now. They were playing well for a while there but have fallen off over the last two games. This game against the Washington Capitals was their second visit to Capital One Arena in a week. They beat them the first time around on Saturday night, so it was clear they would need an even better performance this time around because they couldn’t sneak up on them.

The Devils allowed Alex Ovechkin to score his 25th career hat trick in the 5-2 rout. He had the first two of his three goals in the first period. This Devils team needs to be better at the beginning of the game. They give up the first goal a lot. This team is going to lose more than they win when they do that. It would be nice to see them clean it up. Ovechkin is a legendary goalscorer but overall, they need to be more protective for the entire 60 minutes.

Ovechkin’s hat trick was the second given up by the Devils in as many games. Auston Matthews scored on in their most recent game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. These are two of the three best goal scorers in the league right now so it isn’t that surprising but it can’t continue to happen. The Devils are a team that has the capability to score at times but they need to clean it up in all areas right now.

Cory Schneider had to come in relief of Louis Domingue for the second straight game. This time, according to the Devils, it was because of an injury. He was okay in relief. He gave up a goal on the first shot of his appearance, but he settled down after that. It is unclear exactly what his immediate future is going to be, but he is taking it in stride. One thing is for sure, Cory Schneider has been a good teammate since his demotion.

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There will be one more game for the New Jersey Devils before their mandatory bye week and All-Star Break. It is against the Columbus Blue Jackets who have played rather well lately. It is a tough challenge before the guys get a little bit of a rest. It would be nice to see them get a win and go into the break on a happy note. They will need to be much better than they were last night if that is going to be the case.