It was business as usual for the New Jersey Devils on Monday night as they simply did not have enough firepower, and once again it cost them in the standings. This time it might have been a crippling blow to their playoff chances.
New Jersey's slim playoff hopes took a huge hit in a 1-0 loss to the Flames despite a strong effort from an undermanned lineup that simply could not catch a break. The Devils remain three points out of a wild card spot, and with only three games remaining are going to need a ton of help to make the postseason.
The Devils were just one of three teams to get shut out on Monday (there were only three games) joining the Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks in getting blanked on the scoreboard. Vancouver didn't attempt its 10th shot of the game until midway through the third period, and on the rare occasion that it did get something near the net Ducks rookie goalie John Gibson was on the scene to make every save he needed to make in his NHL debut, eliminating the Canucks from playoff contention.
In Winnipeg, Ilya Bryzgalov had a little fun with the Jets fans and recorded his second straight shutout -- and his third since joining the Minnesota Wild -- after being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers at the NHL trade deadline.
All the NHL Scores
Flames 1, Devils 0
Ducks 3, Canucks 0
Three Things We Learned
1. Mark Giordano is still the bright spot in Calgary
It has been yet another lost season for the Calgary Flames, but at least Mark Giordano continues to be an emerging star on the blue line. He scored his 14th goal of the season in a 1-0 win over the Flames and was a rock in his own end of the ice. He won't get any Norris Trophy consideration playing on such a bad team and in relative anonymity, but Giordano is quickly becoming a legitimate No. 1 defenseman.
2. Ilya Bryzgalov loves it when you try to throw him off his game
Ilya Bryzgalov has been a welcome addition to the Minnesota Wild in his brief time with the team, and on Monday he recorded his third shutout, and second in a row, in a 1-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets. He also wasn't scared off by the taunts of Jets fans, and even demanded more of them ... while his team was defending in the defensive zone. Since joining the Wild his save percentage is over .920.
3. John Gibson seems to be ready for the NHL
The Vancouver Canucks didn't really challenge him much, but John Gibson, prized goalie prospect for the Anaheim Ducks, made quite a statement in his NHL debut by stopping all 18 shots he faced in a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. In 45 games this season in the American Hockey League Gibson had a .919 save percentage to go with a 21-17-4 record.
The one play or moment from Monday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
When the Devils were set to have one minute of five-on-three power play time midway through the first period, coach Pete DeBoer knew it was an important moment in the game. So important, in fact, that he used his timeout at that point to try and set up the perfect play to get his team what would have been an important 1-0 lead. Whatever play he drew up was thrown right out the window just 14 seconds later when Travis Zajac was sent off for interference. The Devils never capitalized, never scored, and were shut out again. That sequence, combined with Ryan Carter's potential first period goal being waved off because he kicked it in and Kris Russell swiping a puck off the goal line made for quite the frustrating night in New Jersey. Just one of many during the 2013-14 season.
Stat of the Night
Cory Schneider allowed just one goal on Monday night and still ended up taking the loss. In what might be the perfect stat to sum up the 2013-14 New Jersey Devils, that is the sixth time this season Schneider started a game, allowed one goal, and still ended up taking the loss. No other goalie in the league can say that this season. Eddie Lack has lost five such games in Vancouver, while Schneider's teammate, Martin Brodeur, has lost three games the same way.
Post to Post
- Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo was suspended four games by the NHL on Monday.
- Jeremy Roenick vs. Patrick Marleau: The ultimate infographic.
- Evaluating the season of Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning signed general manager Steve Yzerman to a four-year contract extension.