The New Jersey Devils put up a fight, but couldn’t complete the effort against the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks.
By Patrick Comia
They took the Sharks the full length of regulation, but the Devils came up one goal short in their 2-1 loss at the Rock.
Coming into Friday night, San Jose was undefeated through their first three games of the hockey season, outscoring their opponents 12-1. Their goalie Martin Jones was one of the main reasons the Sharks have found success, already having two shutouts in three starts.
And, it was almost made three last night. Jones turned aside almost every shot he faced, stopping 31 of 32.
That one shot he missed was one sorely needed by the Devils, who must have been left scratching their head at some of the saves he made. Late in the third period with less than four minutes remaining in regulation, Adam Henrique secured extra ice time for both teams.
After the Sharks were called for too many men on the ice, the Devils capitalize off a deflection in front by Henrique (2). The initial shot came from the point, off the stick of Damon Severson who received an earlier pass from Jordin Tootoo.
Before that Devils Power Play goal, Jones had a shutout streak of over 234 minutes dating back to the Sharks first game against the Los Angeles Kings on October 7th.
This would have been the go-ahead goal with little time remaining in regulation, if it were not for an earlier goal being waved off for the team.
In the second period, the Devils had a short-handed chance started by Stephen Gionta. The forward took the puck straight at Jones, while being defended. The intial save was made, as Gionta tried to stop himself and avoid bumping the Sharks goalie. Jacob Josefson came in to corral the rebound and put into the back of the net.
However, the officials on the ice called it off, due to Gionta interfering with the goalie, impeding his ability to make a stop on the puck. Here was the play in question:
No challenge was made by head coach John Hynes, which was a borderline call that could have gone against the Devils.
Despite the non-call, the team did a good job keeping the Sharks in check, who were minus Logan Couture. All night, it seemed the Devils were just one skate behind or just passed the puck out of the reach of a potential breakout play.
But very few odd-man rushes were see, though Cory Schneider was a huge factor in the Devils net. He made save after save, letting everyone know he hasn’t loss any sleep from being a new dad.
Schneider stopped 31 of 32 shots faced in regulation, and kept his team in the game all night.
The Devils had their chances on the power play, which included an opportunity to break the game wide-open in the third period when the Sharks were called for two delay of game penalties giving the Devils five-on-three man-advantages.
Despite not capitalizing on their opportunities, the Devils took the Sharks to the limit, concluding in a shootout. Unfortunately, San Jose would get goals from Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns, while Martin Jones turned away two of the three Devils shooters.
The winless Devils will now have to wait till Sunday afternoon, when they visit New York City and renew their rivalry with the Rangers, a team that’s struggling for offense and are currently on a two-game losing streak.
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