The Devils will watch the video to see where things went wrong, but they'll have little time to dwell on Wednesday's 6-1 loss to the visiting Boston Bruins.
They got the start they wanted, drawing first blood on David Clarkson's team-leading 15th of the season in the opening period. But it was all Boston the rest of the way.
Patrice Bergeron scored twice and David Krejci added a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who tallied the next half dozen. Tim Thomas finished with 30 saves and kept the Bruins in it early, when the Devils were outshooting them 7-1 and 11-3 to start the game.
New Jersey (21-16-2) suffered consecutive losses for the first time since dropping four in a row from Nov. 26-Dec. 3. They're back in action Friday, when they host Florida.
"It was a tough night to stand there," said coach Peter DeBoer. "It wasn't a good night. Not a lot of good things happened. This League doesn't allow you to feel sorry for yourself. We've got a busy week, we're in the middle of five [games] in [eight] nights. The good news is, we get to get right back at it Friday."
Martin Brodeur made 21 saves on 27 shots. The Bruins led 3-1 after two periods before tacking on three more in the final frame.
"We got our butts kicked out there," Brodeur said. "You can't really sugarcoat it any other way. They really dictated the way the game was played and it didn't look like we had any answer for them both offensively and defensively."
Boston, which saw a seven-game winning streak snapped on Dec. 31, entered with a 21-3-1 mark in their last 25 games. Zach Parise offered that the Devils weren't at their best against one of the East's elite.
"I guess it was a wake-up call," said the captain. "Beforehand, we knew we would have to work and win pucks all over the ice. I think a lot of times we got beat, different times two of our guys got beat by one guy. When we're playing well, that doesn't happen. It's not as if we weren't prepared. We knew what we were getting into. It's the best team in the League. It's the best team in hockey right now."
Travis Zajac missed his first game since returning from offseason Achilles tendon surgery. Anton Volchenkov (lower body) missed his second straight.
Brodeur believes the Devils will just have to move forward.
"We have to look at what we did wrong against that team," he said. "But it's not the end of the world here. It's one matchup, we wanted to measure ourselves against the top team, and we failed. We have to get back at work and try to build it up.
"We have a tough couple of games this weekend. We just have to come through here and forget about this one. There's no sense in being down. We'll take it, I'm sure we'll think about it tonight and tomorrow we'll be back to work. That's what hockey is. In the regular season, you always have a next day, so we have to get prepared for that."
Clarkson connected on the power play to open the scoring in the first period. He's now two goals shy of his single-season career high of 17 (2008-09).
The Bruins were applying shorthanded pressure when Parise intercepted Brad Marchand's pass for Adam McQuaid at the right point. Clarkson joined the rush with Parise, burying a perfect feed past Thomas' catching glove at 4:24.
The Devils had the majority of the early chances and were outshooting Boston, 7-1, when the Bruins answered on the scoreboard. Andrew Ference's slapshot from the left point went in off Gregory Campbell's skate at 8:15, tying the game at 1. Video review determined no distinct kicking motion.
Clarkson's tally came with Johnny Boychuk in the box for putting the puck over the glass. Henrik Tallinder was whistled for the same infraction later in the first, and the Bruins converted. Krejci slipped a cross-crease pass through Mark Fayne to Nathan Horton, who made it 2-1 at 13:17.
Bergeron cashed in on a breakaway to put Boston ahead by a pair in the second period. Horton had just finished serving a minor for holding as Bergeron blocked an Adam Larsson shot and carried the puck up ice. He solved Brodeur with a forehand deke for a 3-1 score at 4:02.
Marchand set up Bergeron's second of the night from the slot 2:13 into the third. Krejci's redirection goal of a Dennis Seidenberg shot was allowed to stand at 4:50 when video review determined it was not hit with a high stick. Shawn Thornton capped the scoring with 5:37 left in regulation.
• Patrik Elias played in his 999th NHL game and is expected to reach the 1,000 games played mark Friday against Florida.
• The Devils recalled C Steve Zalewski from Albany (AHL) on Wednesday. He took part in warmups but did not play.
1 - 0 NJD
1 - 1 Tie