In their final game of a three-game homestand all versus Western Conference, the New Jersey Devils were outplayed by the St. Louis Blues and victimize by familiar faces.
By Patrick Comia
The winning formula that started last Friday by beating the defending the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks could not be sustained against the St. Louis Blues.
Even after out playing their opponents in the first twenty minutes of the game, the Devils could not get the puck past Blues goalie Jake Allen, who stopped all 24 shots he faced in a 2-0 victory. It was second in a row, with his previous shutout coming against the Nashville Predators where he made 45 saves.
The first twenty minutes, the Devils looked one step ahead of the Blues in generating offense and battling for loose pucks. On the defensive side, their sticks got in the way of the blues passing lanes causing several turnovers. It seemed they did everything right but score.
They outshot the Blues, 11-6 but there was something off with the Devils. Yes, they generated scoring chances and had several looks. However, they held onto he puck one second too long, and tried to be fancy with the decisiveness, something that was not seen in their previous victories over the Vancouver Canucks and Blackhawks.
Unfortunately, that would come back to haunt the Devils, as it kept the Blues in the game.
The team would fall victim to a pair of former teammates. Martin Havlat, who was making his season debut for the Blues, got the scoring started in the second period.
Scott Gomez was credited with the assist, as Havlat’s one-time would prove to be the game-winning goal.
Despite being down one goal, the Devils still had chances to tie the score. However, the Blues would add another goal thanks to Magnus Paajarvi, wristed a the puck above Cory Schneider, who kept the Devils in the game making save after save.
For the game, Schneider made 26 of 28 saves in the loss, where he is 7-4-1 on the season.
For the Devils, they need to get back to their grinding, hard-working style of play. No need to make the fancy plays, and quicker decisions with the puck. Those two things got the Devils in trouble, they will need to avoid those if they are to continue climbing up the Metropolitan Division.
The Devils next game is on Thursday, as they travel to the United Center and play a rematch with the Blackhawks.
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