The New Jersey defense completely fell apart in the third period against the Hawks. They allowed four goals, including one with just over a minute and a half left in the game and the Devils down by one. With the number of games where the Devils found a way to score at the end, it was really heartbreaking to see them blow it at the end like they did.
Of those four Blackhawks goals, one came off a bad hand pass by Andy Greene, another came off a Michael Ryder turnover, one ricocheted off of Marek Zidlicky‘s skate and the final one came on a complete misplay by Jon Merrill. Not to take anything away from the Blackhawks, especially Patrick Sharp who scored a hat trick in the game, but the Devils were sorely responsible for every goal.
Whether it was terrible decision-making or lackadaisical play, they team let Martin Brodeur and themselves down. That said, you expect a lot better from Brodeur than allowing five goals on 22 shots.
It wasn’t all bad. They played much harder than the first meeting between the two clubs. Zidlicky made up for his mistake by scoring two goals only about six minutes apart. Greene scored the other goal for the Devils to tie the game at one in the second period. Mike Sislo played very well in his first game as an NHL player.
The Devils go right back at it tomorrow night when they take on the Buffalo Sabres. They desperately need these two points when they play teams that they have more points than. Being in fourth place in the division but only ahead of seventh-place Columbus by two points, this division is going to be a race to the end. They already squandered points tonight, and can’t do it again tomorrow.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to their NFL, MLB and NBA content for this site. You can follow him on Twitter here.