The Devils are shutout in their second straight game against the Rangers.
On Thursday, the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers played in game two of four straight “Hudson River Rivalry” matchups. The Rangers took game one in a three-goal shutout that was ugly for the Devils.
The Devils’ have almost no chance at making the playoffs and will spend the remainder of the season building chemistry and developing the youngsters.
The Devils would immediately have the disadvantage in this game with Pavel Zacha still sidelined and Jesper Bratt sitting out with an undisclosed injury.
Let’s look at the lineup changes:
• Andreas Johnsson takes Bratt’s spot as 2nd line RW
• Mikhail Maltsev takes Johnsson’s spot as 3rd line LW
• Marián Studenič returns in Maltsev’s spot as 4th line LW
• MacKenzie Blackwood in net
1st period: Pretty ugly
There isn’t much to say about the first period from the Devils’ perspective other than the fact that it was poor all-around.
They were just horrendous defensively, gave up another goal on an odd-man rush, finished the period with only three shots on goal, and looked lost on the power play. They conceded three goals and did nothing offensively.
It didn’t look like it, but would the Devils be able to climb out of this deep hole?
2nd period: Missed your chance
The Devils were the much hotter team to begin the second period. They dominated play and spent several minutes in the Rangers’ zone. That’s evident in their nine shots on goal.
Unfortunately, this wouldn’t last. The Devils ended up slacking and gave up a terrible goal on yet another odd-man rush. It was a truly awful defensive effort that symbolized how poorly the Devils have been playing.
3rd period: Back-to-back shutouts…
The Devils didn’t concede a goal in the third, but they looked pretty discouraged throughout. They had just four shots on goal in the final 20 minutes of the game.
This was another all-around terrible game for the Devils who looked lost in every aspect. Bratt and Zacha’s absences were pretty glaring, but the team is clearly in a tough spot right now.
Key Moment: The first of four
The key moment of the game for the Devils was the first goal they conceded. It was scored in the first minute of the game and almost completely killed any chance they had to do anything.
The Devils continue to struggle, especially in terms of scoring goals and scoring goals when they find themselves down in the game.
Player of the game: Michael McLeod
Like Tuesday, no one on the Devils played particularly well, but Michael McLeod was the best of a bad bunch in Thursday’s game. He had a poor offensive game, but showed his worth as a two-way forward, doing well defensively.
McLeod’s numbers: 15:31 TOI, 61.90 CF%, 0.38 xGF, 0.12 xGA, 0 GF, 0 GA, 0.32 Game Score, 0.95 defensive rating, -0.44 offensive rating, and 0 individual rating.
Stats are courtesy of Hockey Stat Cards and Natural Stat Trick.