It has to be a frustrating season for the New Jersey Devils. They've been so close so many times this season but simply can't find a way to consistently get in the win column. Friday's 2-1 shootout loss in Toronto was the latest example as they played a strong game but simply could not finish against Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier until Michael Ryder's innocent looking wrist shot from the wall found its way in.
And then the game went to a shootout, where the Devils' season long struggle continued.
The Devils are now 0-4 in games decided by the shootout this season, while their shooters are 0-for-14. That's right, the Devils have not only failed to win a game in a shootout this season, their shooters have failed to score.
If two or three of those coin flip games go a different way the Devils' season might look a little different right now.
An unlucky team? Or the sign of a team that just doesn't have enough talent?
Elsewhere on Friday, the Anaheim Ducks used a dominating first period performance from Ryan Getzlaf to cruise past the Sabres, while Colorado improved to 13-2 with a win over Calgary. Ondrej Pavelec recorded a shutout for the Jets in their blowout win over the Nashville Predators.
All the NHL Scores
Maple Leafs 2, Devils 1
Jets 5, Predators 0
Avalanche 4, Flames 2
Ducks 6, Sabres 2
On Friday we asked you five burning questions about the day's games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Will David Clarkson do anything in his first game against his old club?
He didn't record a point but his line played very well. Clarkson finished the night with 20 minutes of ice-time and recorded two shots on goal in the Leafs' 2-1 win.
2. Can the Avalanche avoid back-to-back losses?
They did. The Avalanche improved their early season record to 13-2-0 with a 4-2 win over Calgary. Jean-Sebastien Giguere was outstanding in net as he turned aside 30 of the 32 shots he faced, while the Avalanche received offense from Ryan O'Reilly, Paul Stastny, John Mitchell and Matt Duchene (empty net goal).
3. Will James van Riemsdyk play center and, if so, how will he do?
He scored the game-winning goal in the shootout, so that was nice, but he struggled mightily in the face-off circle winning just six of his 15 draws as a center and failed to record a shot on goal in his 22 minutes of ice-time. So, there were some problems during the game itself but he did come up big in the tiebreaker.
4. Will the Anaheim Ducks remain unbeaten at home?
Oh yes, and this one wasn't even close. The Ducks just completely dominated a Buffalo team that had four(!) teenagers in the lineup. At times it looked like men against boys as this game wasn't even as close as the 6-2 final score. The Ducks are now 7-0-0 on home ice this season.
5. Will the Nashville Predators score four goals or more against theWinnipeg Jets?
That would be a no, because the Predators failed to score even one goal against Ondrej Pavelec. Even worse? The Predators allowed the Jets to score five goals.
The one play or moment from Friday that will be making headlines over the next couple of days.
It might not be from any of the games, but from the trade talks and roster moves coming out of Edmonton. Ladislav Smid was moved to Calgary, Ilya Bryzgalov is on his way, and more rumors were circulating. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the Oilers seem to be willing to try anything at this point.
Stat of the Night
Ryan Getzlaf's three first-period goals matched the total number of goals that the Buffalo Sabres have scored in the first period all season. Even worse for the Sabres: In 49 regular season games under coach Ron Rolston the Sabres have won just nine games in regulation following their most recent loss.
Post to Post
- The Florida Panthers fired coach Kevin Dineen on Friday, and more changes could be coming.
- Goal scoring droughts happen to everybody, even the best players in the league.
- An interview with the guy that made this crazy Sharks jersey.
- The Oilers traded Ladislav Smid for some magic beans.