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Early Concern for 0-3 Devils

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Jordin Tootoo and Adam Henrique look on at a shot against Predator’s goalie Pekka Rinne. Photo Credit: Associated Press.

EAST HANOVER, NJ – Nothing has gone right in New Jersey thus far, this season. The Devils are off to their worst start since the 2001-2002 season, having scored only five goals in three games.

The penalty kill has looked atrocious, as the team has allowed a power-play goal in each game. Fan support has been reflected by their poor play, as well. Only 11,117 fans were in attendance at the Devils 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators, on Tuesday night.

“We’d like to sometimes get off to a better start,” rookie head-coach, John Hynes told “We’ve been playing from behind by quite a bit, whether it’s one or two goals.”

“There are times in games where we’ve been able to generate offense, but there are also times when we play 5-on-5 and not have a scoring chance for 10 or 11 minutes.”

Along with not winning a game in three tries, the Devils have not even held a lead through 180 minutes of play.

Certainly fans did not expect too much of a turnaround from last season. New Jersey is in a rebuilding phase with a new head-coach and a slew of young, inexperienced talent. However, with three straight losses, many fans are wondering when the Devils will get there first two points.

Hynes insists that is not in the mind-set of his players going into Friday’s match-up, against former head-coach, Pete Debour’s 3-0 San Jose Sharks.

“It really never came into thought of whether we were going to chase it or not because the focus is always to try to get us to play well together as a team and understand the process of winning and things like that,” Hynes said. “It’s more: How are we going to get ourselves to be able to play a 60-minute game and get on the board? That’s really been the mindset more than whether we’d be chasing the win or not.”

New Jersey would like to get over the hump sooner, rather than later. They are going to have to start generating more scoring chances and possessing the puck longer in their opponent’s end.

One positive to take away from the first three games, is that the Devils had scored a power-play goal in each of those contests. They are 3/9 so far. They also put more pucks on net then Predators (23-20), on Tuesday, marking the first time they have outshot an opponent in the early going.

The Devils are tied for last in the Eastern Conference. They have only one player with a positive +/- so far, in right-winger Brian O’Neill.

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