Devils Fall to High-Powered Penguins in Season Opener
Added by Tim Purcell on October 4, 2013.
(Photo via NJ.com)
The New Jersey Devils took to the ice to face-off against their Metropolitan Division rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, at Consol Energy Center, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Taking on arguably the most talented team in the NHL, Devils head coach Pete Deboer knew a slow start would be all the Penguins needed to make their mark.
From the drop of the puck, Pittsburgh took to the early attack with that high-tempo offense they are expected to have night in and night out. New Jersey, on the other hand, did not look like a team that wanted to play early on. They were not able to find their legs, and were unable to keep up with the face paced Penguins offense. After a very sloppy first period, the Devils found themselves down by two, and that proved to be more than enough for Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
Chuck Kobasew scored the Penguins first goal of the season midway through the first period off of a big juicy rebound left by Devils goaltender Cory Schneider. Brandon Sutter took a shot from the slot the Schneider was able to answer with shoulder-shrug-save, but Kobasew was there to slam home the easy rebound to open the scoring. A little under three minutes later, Penguins star captain Sidney Crosby placed one past Schneider high/glove side, to put the Pens up 2-0.
For the rest of the evening, it was all about Fleury. Once the Devils finally found their legs in the second period, they took control of the game. New Jersey outshot Pittsburgh 21-9 in final 49 minutes, but were unable to solve Fleury. The Pittsburgh net-minder has faced a lot of critics who have doubt in him this season. Last year did not end well for Fleury, after being benched in the first round of the playoffs against the New York Islanders. Each critic, though, was silenced last night when he received his 250th career win, in a 27-save performance.
A goal was just not meant to be for the Devils. In the third period, center Travis Zajac took a shot from just below the face-off circle, which rang off the post, and was blindly caught behind the back of Fleury. After a save like that, you knew it was just that kind of night. The Devils best chance of the night happened when Adam Henrique was awarded a breakaway, after being hauled down from behind in the latter stages of the third. The goal would not mean much to the game, after Craig Adams scored his first of the year, and the Penguins third of the night, but it would have given New Jersey some confidence. Henrique could not have made a better move. He deked to his backhand, to his forehand and tried stuffing it in past the right pad of Fleury, but he was up to the task yet again.
New Jersey seemed snake bitten all night long, but it just one game they will have to quickly forget. The Devils will play their home-opener tonight at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, as they take on a young Islanders club tonight. Martin Brodeur is expected to make the start opposite Evgeni Nabakov. Reply Forward