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Devils Fall in Overtime Stinger to Red Wings

Two-goal leads have not been hard to come by for the New Jersey Devils this season; however, keeping them has been a different story. Tonight’s failure to protect a two-goal lead ended in a 3-2 overtime loss coming at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings.

The Red Wings came into Newark following a day of rough travels. Their flight could not land on Thursday due to the snowstorm in the Tri-State area and had to fly in Friday, forcing them to rush in a quick practice. Everything looked to favor the Devils but Detroit had other plans.

After a lackluster start to the game, Devils forward Pavel Zacha blasted a one-timer past Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier. Jesper Bratt received the lone assist on Zacha’s first of the season.

Zacha, who was recently sent down to the AHL affiliate Binghamton Devils, seems to have found his game. “I was happy that it finally got in there for me, but the result is that we lost,” he said. “We’re lucky we have a back-to-back so we can focus on the next game.” Zacha and the Devils had a 1-0 lead after the first.

The tempo of the game immediately picked up once the second period began. Just 34 seconds in, a scrum ensued that sent Devils defenseman Damon Severson and Red Wings winger Justin Abdelkader to the box to sit for roughing. New Jersey started to find their legs and controlled the pace of the period.

The game began to open up a bit with both teams trading chances at either end. New Jersey’s top line of Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac was buzzing, generating numerous high-danger chances without finding the back of the net.

With just under five minutes remaining in the second period, Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy took a holding penalty and New Jersey was off to their second consecutive penalty kill. It was the Devils, however, that capitalized on special teams.

Blake Coleman received a clean breakout pass from Severson, gained the blueline and ripped a wrist shot past Bernier’s glove to give the Devils a two-goal lead. Andy Greene picked up a secondary assist on Colemans seventh tally of the season.

It did not take long for Detroit to respond. Just over two minutes later, Luke Glendening took a shot from just inside the faceoff circle, beating Kinkaid to cut the Devils lead in half. Dennis Cholowski and Tyler Bertuzzi picked up the helpers on Glendening’s third goal of the season. New Jersey led 2-1 after two.

The third period saw a shift in the balance of the game. Detroit started to tilt the ice in their favor before ultimately tying the game up with just under seven minutes remaining in the game. Red Wings defenseman Michael Rasmussen took a shot from the point that beat Kinkaid to knot the game at two. New Jersey, however, decided to challenge the call for goaltender interference. The call remained a good goal, however, after video review showed Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy push the Red Wing player into Kinkaid.

The game went into overtime and New Jersey spent majority of the period chasing in their own end. With just 51 seconds remaining in overtime, Dylan Larkin scored on a 2-on-1 to send the Red Wings home with a win.

Following the loss, head coach John Hynes was not too pleased with one of the goals his team let up. “I think on one of the goals, we had the chance to get the puck out,” he said. “There were situations where we didn’t execute when we needed to.”

This marks the second overtime loss and third total on home ice for the Devils this season. The Prudential Center has been an advantage so far this year but this one stings.

Luckily for the Devils, they have a quick turnaround as they travel to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes on Sunday. This game can be forgotten as they move onto the next one.

“We just have to regroup, refocus and get ready for tomorrow,” Kinkaid said.

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