NEWS

Sutter focusing on the details

Wednesday, 01.7.2009 / 5:03 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Sutter focusing on the details
newjerseydevils.com – Devils head coach Brent Sutter doesn't plan to make any drastic changes, but said Wednesday that he wants his team to get back to focusing on the details.

The Devils have won four of their last six, but have allowed the first goal three times over their last four outings, including Sunday's comeback overtime win over Ottawa.

New Jersey fell behind, 3-0, Tuesday in Carolina before making things close in a 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes.

Elias had a goal and an assist in Carolina to tie Zach Parise for the team lead in points.
Watch Patrik Elias highlights 
"You have to recognize why you're not playing well because eventually that catches up to you," Sutter said. "Last night [in Carolina] wasn't one of our better games. We didn't give up many scoring chances, but we didn't create a lot of quality scoring chances either because we did some things that we don't normally do. It comes down to getting the players' level of play back to where it needs to be."

Sutter's bold move to pull Scott Clemmensen on the power play with eight minutes left in regulation helped the club chip away at the three-goal deficit, but New Jersey's comeback bid came up short.

Paul Martin's power play goal on the improvised 6-on-4 made it 3-1 with 7:48 left, and Patrik Elias added his 18th of the season with 21.5 seconds remaining. Sutter revisited the goaltender move following Wednesday's practice at AmeriHealth Pavilion.

"It's a hunch that you have," he said. "At that stage, what do you have to lose? What are you protecting, a 3-0 lead and a power play with eight minutes left when you haven't had many scoring chances?"

Sutter pulled it off once before while coaching in Red Deer (WHL), and wound up scoring off the ensuing 6-on-4 while trailing 3-0. The Rebels scored at even-strength, then again on a man advantage before winning 4-3 in overtime.

"When you look at the first one, we scored on it, we did it again, and if we scored on that one with four-and-a-half minutes left it would have been a 3-2 game," said Sutter of the Devils' Carolina rally. "And we scored with 21.5 seconds left. It's just a hunch you have. You don't want to be doing it all the time, but every now and then when it occurs, you react to it."

Elias, who added an assist against the Hurricanes, tied Zach Parise for the team points lead with 46 (18g-28a), and extended his points streak to four games. He supported Sutter's gamble.

"I liked it," Elias said. "You're down 3-0 you have a power play and usually in this game it's tough to get back from a three-goal deficit, in the third period, especially. It was a good move." 

Sutter said he used Wednesday's skate to get his players back where he feels they need to be. New Jersey hosts slumping Atlanta on Thursday, then heads west to open a six-game road trip beginning Saturday in Los Angeles.

"We're still finding ways to win games, but if you continue to let things get away from you it's just going to snowball," Sutter said. "We're trying to nip things in the bud and make guys realize it and see it and we're going to deal with it.

"At this point in time there's no need to shake anything up. I think it's just little things since the Rangers game [on Dec. 27] that we've allowed to get away from our game. There are things that we have to get better at doing again."

NJD NOTES
Sutter said that defenseman Colin White (upper body) will be back in action Thursday after missing five games. As of Wednesday afternoon, no decision had been made on who will come out of the lineup.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59