Devils still have to learn one vital part of the game

November 23, 2014 - The Star Ledger - View Full Article

They were less than three minutes away from a huge road win over Flames

CALGARY, AlbertaDevils teams throughout their glory years were unforgiving in holding onto leads late in games.

This team has yet to learn that vital part of making the playoffs.

“Traditionally that has been one of the strong points of Devils hockey throughout the years,” backup goalie Scott Clemmensen said Saturday night. “Obviously each team is different from year to year. Good teams find ways to win in those situations. I’m not saying we’re not a good team. We’re obviously going to look at film and learn from it so it doesn’t happen again.”

Although they lost to the Calgary Flames, 5-4, in a shootout, it was the the fact that they had a 4-2 lead with just over two minutes left that was so irritating to the Devils.

“It’s disappointing. That’s a game we should’ve won,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “We had a dozen chances to extend the lead. It’s a combination of us not having the killer instinct and getting the next goal, and making some mistakes in the last three or four minutes.”

The Flames pulled goalie Karri Ramo with 2:42 left. Twenty seconds later, they pulled to within a goal.

With Ramo still out for an extra attacker, the Flames got a goal from Curtis Glencross with five seconds left to send the game into overtime.

"We only had a few seconds left. We just have to lock it down," Elias said.

Mistakes proved costly.

“A lot of little things,” DeBoer said. “We got on the wrong side of the guy in the front of the net. We didn’t get a puck out on the wall. We turned the puck over in the offensive zone with the goalie out and gave it back to them. A bunch of little mistakes.”

A big problem.

“A little bit lately. There are games we do a great job and there are games that we just don’t do it,” Patrik Elias noted. “You can’t forget that we still have three or four young guys in the back there. But it’s up to the veterans, too. Sometimes it’s us making the mistakes.”

The Devils killed off five of Calgary’s six power plays. Excellent work, but the one power play goal was a huge difference.

Clemmensen said he was not aware of the Flames/ knack for coming back late in games this season.

“I was not aware of that. There is something to be said about being in certain situations and feeling comfortable as a team, whether it’s playing with a lead or playing from behind. I was not aware of that, but you see how they have their success," Clemmensen said.

“It wasn’t pretty. They got traffic in front, threw it at the net and whacked away.”

The Devils are 1-1-1 on their western Canada road trip, but 2-1-0 would have looked a lot better.

“It was right there for us,” Clemmensen said. “Obviously a disappointing outcome. Had we won in the shootout it would've lessened the pain of giving up two goals late.”

Rich Chere may be reached at rchere@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ledger_NJDevils. Find NJ.com on Facebook.




Devils and Scott Clemmensen fall to Calgary Flames, 5-4, in shootout | Rapid reaction

November 23, 2014 - The Star Ledger - View Full Article

Adam Henrique scores a goal and adds assist

CALGARY, Alberta — Adam Henrique scored a goal and assisted on one from Mike Cammalleri but the Devils fell to the Calgary Flames, 5-4, in a shootout Saturday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Devils have not won a game in Calgary since Dec. 23, 2007.

Backup goaltender Scott Clemmensen contributed a solid performance but lost in the shootout. The Devils are 1-1-1 on their 4-game western Canada road trip.

HIGHLIGHTS

Jaromir Jagr's pass set up a one-timer for Cammalleri that resulted in a first-period goal. The assist was Jagr's 1,768th, moving him three behind Marcel Dionne for 5th all time. He is also three points behind Steve Yzerman for 7th all time.

Patrik Elias set up a goal from Henrique. It was the 599th assist of his NHL career.

Henrique had another strong game, scoring a goal and assisting on Travis Zajac's power play goal by hitting the crossbar.

The Devils' penalty killers continued to be effective. Killing off 4 of 5 shorthanded situations, they killed off 23 consecutive power plays before allowing a goal.

LOWLIGHTS

Calgary's second period goal came after the Devils were unable to clear the puck in their own zone. It was a seemingly avoidable breakdown.

Penalties kept the penalty killers too busy.

Devils are 1-2 in shootouts this season.

FIGHTS

None.

The Traveling Jagrs, dressed like Jaromir Jagr at various points in his career, were in Calgary Saturday night. (Rich Chere/NJ Advance Media) 
HEALTHY SCRATCHES

Devils: RW Damien Brunner, RW Jordin Tootoo, D Peter Harrold

Flames: RW Brian McGrattan, LW Brandon Bollig, D Raphael Diaz

NOTABLE

Just as they did in Edmonton, the Traveling Jagrs attended the game Saturday night in Calgary. Jagr (laughing) on why they idolize him: "You know why? They understand hockey. They love good hockey."

Scott Clemmensen was recounting some of the unusual situations he's been sent into games: “I've gone into a shootout. I’ve gone in at the start of overtimes. I’ve gone in for a shift. I was in Florida sitting on the bench and (coach) Kevin Dineen said, ‘You’re going to go in for a shift. I want to give Jose (Theodore) a break.’ I went in and played a shift.

“I’ve gone months in between starts here before. I’ve seen an injury and come in and played stretches of games for weeks or months at a time. I guess that just means I’ve been around long enough.”

Cory Schneider's streak of 20 consecutive starts ended. According to Elias Sports, the only other goalies to start the first 20 games of a season since 2005-06 are Evgeni Nabokov (43 straight in 2007-08 for San Jose) and Miikka Kiprusoff (23 in a row for Calgary in 2007-08).

THE WEEK AHEAD

Tuesday: Devils vs. Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena, MSG Plus, WFAN-AM 66, WFAN-FM 101.9, 10 p.m.

Friday: Devils vs. Detroit Red Wings at Prudential Center, MSG Plus, WFAN-AM 66, WFAN-FM 101.9, 7 p.m.

Saturday: Devils vs. New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, MSG, WFAN-AM 66, WFAN-FM 101.9, 7 p.m.

Rich Chere may be reached at rchere@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ledger_NJDevils. Find NJ.com on Facebook.