Devils Fall to Flames; Playoffs in Jeopardy
Sometimes the luck is there for the New Jersey Devils and sometimes it just isn’t.
The Calgary Flames, who currently sit in the 13th position in the Western Conference, came to the Prudential Center Monday night to put forth one of their best performances of the year. Despite a rousing 31- shot performance for the Devils, it just wasn’t enough to avoid another defeat.
The Devils started the game off sharp and continued that way, unlike some of their recent games when the team stumbled out of the gate in the first period. It looked like the Devils had grabbed a crucial first period goal with about one and half minutes to go, as Ryan Carter, in front of the net, had the puck bounce off of his skate then off of the inside of Flames’ goalie Karri Ramo’s pad. The referee waved it off, and even after video review decided it was kicked in and was not a goal. After the game Carter spoke to NHL.com writer Mike Morreale about the non-goal.
“I saw it off my foot and between the goalies pads; [Ramo] got a piece of it and that’s what propelled it in,” Carter said.
The Devils would then skate through a powerful second period, but again came up empty handed as Ramo (who Devils color broadcaster Chico Resch nicknamed “Rambo” for his excellent play) kept the door shut on ten more shot attempts. Just 23 seconds into the third period the Flames broke through with the one, and only, goal of this game, off of a terrific slap shot from Mark Giordano on the power play. After having their streak of 11 straight scoreless penalty kills stopped, the Devils nevertheless produced chance after chance after chance. They spent the last couple of minutes pressuring Ramo’s net as much as possible, but he was up to the task and kept everything out.
Devils forward Jaromir Jagr also commented to Morreale after the game. About Ramo, he said, “We just couldn’t score today. That’s what you love or hate about hockey; games like that. We weren’t able to score and it was just perfect game by him [Ramo]. Like baseball, it was just a perfect game. Sometimes you don’t know how that happens, but it just happens.”
This disappointing loss now leaves the Devils’ playoff fortunes to the mercy of the Columbus Blue Jackets; if Columbus wins their next two games, the Devils are eliminated from playoff contention. However, the Jackets don’t have the easiest of schedules, with just one home game out of their final four, and three games against teams fighting for playoff positions. That means it’s not over just yet for New Jersey. Ryan Carter told Morreale that “the fact of the matter is [Columbus] still has to win games so we have to make sure we win. If we win games, it puts some pressure on them. We know we’re chasing Columbus and they’ve got to do what they have to do, but we have to take care of business, too.”
The Devils next play on Thursday night at 7:30 PM EST in Ottawa, taking on the Senators. The game will be on MSG Plus.
Listen live every Monday at 11am as Sam Mines hosts “The Penalty Box” on Double G Sports Radio.