A Win is a Win as Devils Homestand Continues
The Devils were 2-1 going into last nights games against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks and surely felt the need to get a bit more offense than they could muster against the North Stars. Well, they got the offense, but seemed to have forgot about defense.
The Devils power play clicked, converting on 4 of 8, but when giving up only one power play to the Blackhawks, the shots were distressingly close (35 to 27). To make matters worse, the Blackhawks would score the first of the game on the penalty kill.
"We didn't do our job in our own end. That is something we have to find a balance in after a tight game like against Minnesota," Devils coach Terry O'Reilly explained after the game, "But we also have to give credit to the Blackhawks, they are a young team and they brought a lot of energy, especially in the first."
In fact, the Blackhawks would go into the intermission up 3-1 with shots even at 13. The second period tightened up with the Devils have the edge in shots 10-9 but both teams would score to keep that 2 goal advantage for the Blackhawks intact.
But the 3rd period would be a different matter. Whatever was said in the locker room, keep saying it, because the Devils looked like a whole different team. By 4:43 of the 3rd, the Devils would tie it up on a powerplay marker from Boschman and a 5v5 goal by depth center Hannu Harvenpaa (his 2nd of year), but Chicago would pull ahead just 25 seconds later on King’s 3rd of the year only for the Devils to score 3 straight from Boutillier (his 1st) and Zezel (numbers 4 and 5 on the year) to put the Devils up by two with under seven minutes to play. Chicago would make it interesting late on Richardson's 2nd of the year but couldn’t muster another.
Devils’ backup Peeters was shaky in his first outing of the year, stopping only 20 of 25 before McLean's night off was nixed.
The Devils quirky 14 game homestand continues tomorrow night when the St. Louis Blues come to town. The Devils have to take advantage of the extended home ice if they want to hold onto their position once the inevitable long road trips begin.