Devils looking to get back on track
Thursday, 10.30.2008 / 11:44 AM / News
By Eric Marin
|Brodeur has faced 108 shots in the last three games.|
The Devils' head coach stressed Thursday that his club needs to rediscover its winning form.
"We've just gotten away from our game," Sutter said. "We've gotten away from the identity of our team. And it's showing. It's showing in our play... in our shots against. It's showing in our quality shots. It's showing in a lot of things. [But] it's certainly correctable."
New Jersey (5-2-2) dropped a 6-5 shootout to Toronto Wednesday at Prudential Center and remained winless since topping Dallas 5-0 on Oct. 22. The Devils saw a 2-0 first-period lead evaporate on three straight second-period goals by the Leafs in a span of 3:18.
Colin White's first of the season broke a 3-3 tie in the second, but Toronto answered with two more in the third to take a 5-4 lead.
Zach Parise's team-leading seventh goal of the season – his fifth in as many games – tied the contest at 5-5 with 8:43 left in regulation.
New Jersey's leading scorer with 12 points, Parise has scored in all but two games this season, and has been held without a point just once in nine contests. With nine points in five games, he has climbed into a tie for fifth in the league.
Martin Brodeur faced a career-high 48 shots against the Leafs, who won it on Niklas Hagman's deciding goal in the fourth round of the shootout. Brodeur has seen 108 shots over the last three games – 81 in the last two alone.
With 543 career wins, Brodeur remains nine victories shy of surpassing Patrick Roy's all-time mark.
Reducing opponents' scoring chances will be an important first step. The Devils are back in action Saturday against Atlanta, and close out the four-game homestand with games Monday against Buffalo and Wednesday against Tampa.
"You're not going to win every game, but it's how you win games and how you lose games," Sutter said. "The last two games we've lost [at home], we gave ourselves no chance to win. Last night, we were very fortunate to be where we were after 60 minutes."
Jamie Langenbrunner, Matt Halischuk and Petr Vrana participated in Thursday's skate at AmeriHealth Pavilion. Halischuk picked up an assist on White's goal to record his first career point in his NHL debut Wednesday... Nicklas Bergfors and Sheldon Brookbank, both of whom were scratches Wednesday, also skated. Kevin Weekes was in net.
Brian Gionta posted two assists Wednesday to extend his points streak to four games (1g-3a-4pts)... Dainius Zubrus' goal in the first period against the Leafs stretched his points streak to three games (2g-1a-3pts).