What Happened: The New Jersey Devils lost to the Buffalo Sabres in the shootout by a 4-3 mark on Saturday afternoon. Andrei Loktionov scored with just over eight minutes to go in regulation to get the Devils at least a point.
Star of the Game: Jason Pominville –He got the scoring started. He tied the game up after the Devils took the lead and then scored the opening goal of the shootout. Big-time performance from a big-time player.
Goat of the Game: The Refs – Way too many penalties called in this game. They never got the game under control after David Clarkson and Steve Ott dropped the gloves just moments into the game. It set the tone for a very chippy, aggressive game which brought about a lot of borderline penalty calls.
Turning Point: Loktionov’s goal. The Devils needed that one in the worst way. Would have been crippling to take a loss in regulation.
Offense: B-minus – Three goals from this team is a good night. Thank goodness for the CBGB line. They actually provided some punch to the offense. The top line with Ilya Kovalchuk, Stefan Matteau and Loktionov had some nice shifts during the last half of the game.
Defense: C – They actually weren’t that bad today. They were actually in good position on the last few goals. Still a few too many penalties from them, though.
Goaltending: D-plus – Couple of questionable ones from Moose. He should have covered before the puck came to Jochen Hecht and probably should have gotten all of Pominville’s second goal. Big downfall came in the shootout, where he got burned twice.
Special teams: C – Great PK. Bad PP. I think this is what we can expect for the rest of the year. Not sure what the answer is on the power play. David Clarkson has been invisible on offense. I think that may be the biggest problem.
Instant analysis: Trying to take the positives out of this, but it’s getting tougher to do that. My biggest hope from this game, is that this team gets pi**ed off. Ryan Miller taunted them at the end of the game. Tyler Ennis and Patrick Kaleta took cheap shots at several of their players. Enough sulking. It’s time to get mad and take it out on some one. At least they got a point. A winless road trip would really hurt. They need a pair of points up in Toronto. We could break this team down a million ways but there’s no point in trying to figure out what this team can be until they win a game.