5 Moments That Ruined New Jersey Devils Season

The New Jersey Devils season continues to fall further and further outside the playoff picture. Let's find the five moments where it all went wrong.

New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13)
New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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2. March 1st
Jack Hughes misses a penalty shot

This one still hurts. The Devils needed the game against the Anaheim Ducks. It would have brought them back within striking distance of a playoff spot. They needed to win as the Red Wings were surging and the Flyers were floundering. The Devils were looking at an uphill climb, but it was a climb that was possible.

However, the Devils needed this win. A Frank Vatrano goal late in the second period put the Ducks up two. That left the Devils in desperation mode for the entire third period. The Devils ended up getting 10 high-danger chances that period, but they only ended up with one goal. Tyler Toffoli scored a goal with just over two minutes left in the game.

Lukas Dostal stopped 52 shots that game. The Devils did everything they could. Well, except for their very last chance. That was when Vatrano pushed the net off its moorings clearly on purpose, and by NHL rule, that's a penalty shot.

Dostal didn't get credit for a save on Jack Hughes on the penalty shot. That's because there was no shot. With just two seconds left in the game, Hughes tried to dangle to the high heavens, and he lost control of the puck before getting a shot off.

The Devils ended up losing, and the next day they got the doors blown off by the Kings. That led to the Devils selling at the deadline, taking assets for Toffoli and Colin Miller. This was likely the moment Tom Fitzgerald decided this team wasn't going to fix itself without major changes, and Lindy Ruff was fired that Monday.