Before their game against the San Jose Sharks, the New Jersey Devils won two straight games on pure luck. They beat the Anaheim Ducks in overtime when Ben Lovejoy scored a goal in his own net. They then beat the Los Angeles Kings when Jagr got a pass across the middle in overtime that he put past Ben Scrivens.
That luck seemed to have run out against the Sharks. They did their best to attempt a comeback. The Devils played extremely poorly in the first two periods, and could not muster more than one goal in a strong third. Despite another great goaltending performance, the Devils could not come up with the victory. Patrik Elias‘ power play goal just after eight minutes into the third was all the Devils could get in the back of the net.
The Sharks came out and were dominant early. They won every board battle and the Devils’ forwards looked outworked and outplayed. It was something that fans didn’t expect after the way they talked about the poor performance against the Kings. This game could have easily been 4-0 instead of 2-0 after the first period.
Martin Brodeur provided another great performance to try and give his team a chance to win. So much for everyone denouncing his hot streak because of a lack of shots — Brodeur stopped 28 of 30 shots, and was perfect in the second and third periods. Brodeur stopped almost every chance the Sharks had, and there were plenty of them. He even recovered from getting hit in the back of the head to finish the game.
The offense did have a few chances besides Elias’ goal, but none were successful. The team only got 19 shots for the game. If they are going to keep up with the rest of this division, then they are going to need to shoot the puck much more than they did on this trip.
The Devils came back to the East Coast, winning two out of three games. They will not be away from the Eastern Time Zone until December 23 when they play the Chicago Blackhawks. This is a stretch where the Devils need pull away from the lesser teams of the Metropolitan Division. They were jumped over by the New York Rangers and is only one point ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers for fourth place in the division.