March 11, 2012

Devils Stun Islanders

Sometimes it only takes a couple of minutes for a game to go completely South, and a much needed two points can turn into walking away empty handed.

Or, it may only just take 14 seconds.

That's all the Devils needed on Saturday night to defeat the Islanders 2-1. The result was unfortunate and both teams deserved the win as much as the other because it was a very well played game of hockey.

The game really had everything you could have wanted in it. Johan Hedberg and Anders Nilsson were both stellar, being called on to make a few remarkable saves. Hedberg is having a great year mostly due to an increased workload which has allowed him to get more into a grove.

Defensively, both teams were being very responsible. They were also pretty aggressive along the boards. Just like the game last Sunday, both teams were taking the playoff atmosphere and running with it.

John Tavares finally beat Hedberg with about 12 minutes to go in the game. The Islanders and Nilsson continued to shut the door on the Devils. That was until David Clarkson shook the man covering him, Andrew MacDonald, and was able to fling a harmless looking shot towards Nilsson that he was perhaps not expecting. He was set and covering the post well, but the shot just sneaked in for Clarkson's 28th of the season.

P.A. Parenteau took a boarding call, one that had a lot of people debating whether or not it was actually a penalty. A first glance it looked bad, but the hit in slow motion appears to look different. Parenteau had no bad intent on the hit, and the Devils player lost his balance a bit. Parenteau was already coming in fast. The way the league calls those hits these days, 9 times out of 10 you will get hit with a penalty.

It only took five seconds after the call for the Devils to cash in on the power play.

Jack Capuano said after the game that he was happy with the way that the team played, and that it was "just one of those games." In truth, the Islanders lack of scoring made this one of those games. A few times, although they were nice opportunities, the Isles shot pucks right into the chest of Hedberg.

After 58 minutes of solid play, the Islanders saw it all go away in 14 seconds. On top of that, they had to erase it from their minds and prepare for Sunday night against the Rangers. That's not an easy task to do.

We'll see how they respond Sunday night.


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