Star of the Game: Mattias Tedenby gets our star of the game. He showed a lot of energy early in the game and he looked extremely comfortable on the team’s second line. He got an assist on the Clarkson GWG goal.
Goat of the Game: Let’s get creative here and say the Islanders offseason training. They had no legs for most of the first two periods. They were beaten to most loose pucks and could not keep up with the Devils speed. They showed better spurts in the third period. I think most Devils fans were worried about how quickly their team could adjust to game speed. They did easily because the Islanders came out with cement skates. That helped the Devils feel comfortable at both ends of the ice and it paid off.
Turning Point: As weird as it sounds, the Hamonic goal got things going for New Jersey. After a strong 40 minutes, they Devils came out flat to start the third. Henrik Tallinder took the penalty that lead to the PP. After two a pair of defensemen fell down in the corner, Hamonic buried his shot all alone in the slot. There was immediate jump in their legs after that. It quickly paid off as Clarkson, Tedenby and Patrik Elias helped keep a puck in on the right side of the offensive zone. It finally came to Clarkson who was unmarked and ripped it five-hole through Evgeni Nabokov.
Instant Analysis: Overall, a solid game. What stands out to me, is that I was more impressed with the offense than the defense. I thought I would see exactly the opposite. A few different line combinations out there than what we saw in Game Six against Los Angeles. I thought each line was pretty good. A pair of goals came from the top line. The Gionta line grinded it out as per usual and Jacob Josefson and Stefan Matteau brought some energy. Not worried about the defense…a few more games under their legs will do them well. Also, Tallinder had two assists tonight. I didn’t see that coming. A pleasant surprise from a player that normally frustrates me.