The New Jersey Devils are going to get used to this whole overtime thing.
For the fourth consecutive game, New Jersey played more than 60 minutes. For the third straight game, the Devils lost in overtime, this time to the New York Islanders.
And for the second time in those three defeats, a silly overtime penalty cost New Jersey.
Brad Boyes‘ power play goal at 2:01 of overtime was New York’s third man-advantage tally of the game, lifting New York to a 5-4 win over the Devils on Thursday night at Prudential Center.
John Tavares, who assisted on Boyes’ winner also potted a pair of goals, as the Islanders won their second straight game.
The Devils’ third line came to life, as Steve Bernier and Ryan Carter each pumped in goals. The Devils have now earned points in all six games they’ve played, falling to 3-0-3.
The Devils had a power-play in overtime, but could not find the answer. New Jersey was 0-for-5 with the man-advantage, failing to net a power-play goal for the first time since opening night, coincidentally on Long Island.
Adam Henrique hadn’t played for the New Jersey Devils since Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Still, the Devils’ second-year center– who often hears his name chanted “Hen-rique” from the Prudential Center crowd– picked one of the timeliest junctures to record his first goal of 2013.
The Devils trailed 4-3 after Mark Streit’s third-period marker and were in danger of dropping their first in regulation. Yet, Henrique scooped up a loose puck, and beat a sprawling Evgeni Nabakov to tie the game at four.
Henrique, who started on the fourth line, played 14:19– including some power play time in the first period.
“It felt nice just to be out there,” Henrique told MSG-Plus’ Deb Placey during the first intermission. “I tried to keep it simple. I feel good.”
In the first “Devils Advocates” podcast, I picked the Islanders to be the NHL’s surprise team.
Thus far, they haven’t disappointed.
Led by the NHL’s top power-play unit– which is clicking at an incredible 37.5 percent clip– the Isles are now in a tie for first in the Atlantic Division.
I know we’re just six games in, but a Devils/Islanders playoff series is enticing to the hockey fan in me.
Although, given Tavares’ prowess and Nabakov’s history, the thought of playing New York in a seven-game series is a bit scary.
Our Dave Turner put Steve Bernier and Ryan Carter in the “cold” section of this week’s “Hot/Cold” column.
Evidently that was exactly what the third liners needed to spark their games.
Bernier-Carter-Gionta was the Devils’ best line on Thursday night, registering two goals and five points.
Stephen Gionta had two assists. Give 30-year old Matt Anderson credit, too, as he had the primary assist on Carter’s game-tying goal at 6:21 of the second.
Give New Jersey a ton of credit though.
The Devils show the ability to turn around a two-goal deficit. They did it Sunday in Montreal, and they did it Thursday against the Isles.
The Devils never led, trailing 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3, answering the bell each time with goals to gain that all-important point.
The Devils’ two most-maligned defensemen weren’t much better on Thursday.
In fact, New Jersey’s defense was pretty bad altogether.
Though Henrik Tallinder sniped New Jersey’s first goal by a defenseman late in the second, he also took a cross-checking penalty that led to Boyes’ game-winner. Marek Zidlicky and Andy Greene, each of whom have struggled, also took penalties that led to New York’s other two power-play goals.
Bryce Salvador also failed to clear the puck on Tavares’ first power-play marker, and New Jersey’s defense lost Keith Aucoin on his goal at 2:41 on of the second that boosted New York’s lead to 2-0.
Martin Brodeur, who made 30 saves, also had a terrible giveaway, which led to Boyes’ game-winner.
Adam Larsson, playing in his first game of this season, also re-directed Streit’s shot by Brodeur, putting the Isles up 4-3 at 11:32 of the third.
For the sixth straight game, David Clarkson was on.
Maybe this is what we should expect from “Clarky.” He had the primary assist on Henrique’s goal, and he led the team with six shots on goal.
Former Devils Eric Boulton dropped the gloves with current Devil Kris Barch.
It was a heck-of-a-fight, with both sides landing haymakers.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic:
Pittsburgh (4-3-0) 3, N.Y. Rangers (3-4-0) 0
Up Next: We get our first glimpse at
Cindy Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the high-flying Penguins, when the Devils trek to Pittsburgh, Saturday at 1 p.m.
Pat Pickens is a lifelong Devils-fan and New Jersey native. To pay the bills, he works as a sports reporter for Hearst in Connecticut. Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter here.