Complaints from Home Ice aside, the Devils are having great success on the road. In fact, it’s so good, they are tied for second place in NHL records for most consecutive away wins to start the season with 7. (First place belongs to the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres with 10).
The game wasn’t in the Devils pocket from start to finish. In fact, it didn’t look like the Devils were at the top of their game, missing players like Patrik Elias, Jay Pandolfo, and Paul Martin.
It took David Clarkson, in round 4 of the shootout, to score the tiebreaking goal and win the game for the Devils. Tampa Bay netminder Antero Niittymaki did an excellent job of keeping the puck out of the net, but one goal by Travis Zajac in the second got the Devils ahead by one.
Tampa Bay tied things up in the third with a rush down the ice.
Overtime came and went without any incident, and the shootout began. The first three shooters for the Devils were Zach Parise, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Travis Zajac. No surprise there, except that they all pretty much tried to same type of shot and either missed or hit Nittymaki’s glove.
Martin Brodeur kept the Devils in by stopping every shot that came his way – almost. The first shot by Andrej Meszaros went past Brodeur but rang it off of the post glove side.
Nevertheless, at the end of three rounds, the shootout score was tied at 0. Tampa Bay stuck Vincent Lecavalier stepped in for the fourth shot and still could not find the back of the net for the Lightning. David Clarkons happened to be the Devils fourth – a bit of a surprise as you would not consider him as a forward with the scoring touch.
Clarkson, as you may recall however, was slated to have the breakout season of his career and has shown a more offensive edge with the team, and currently sits third in total points and goals, only being beaten by Zach Parise (6g, 8a, 14p) and Travis Zajac (6g, 5a, 11p).
Devils next game is at home (sigh) against the Washington Capitals. The team is looking to get only their second win at home. Although they sit fifth in the Eastern Conference, only 3 points behind the fourth place Rangers, they will soon be in trouble if they continue to loose at home.
Still, although they have only played in 12 games, their last 10 game record is 8-2-0, the same “Last 10” record of the Pittsburgh Penguins (who sit first in the conference) and the Buffalo Sabres (who sit third).