NEWARK, N.J. - The Devils may have lost the previous two games to the New York Rangers, but they did it in different ways.
New Jersey suffered a 3-0 loss (with an empty-netter) Tuesday night in a game that was highly competitive. The same can't be said for the Devils' 4-0 loss Thursday. And with Game 3 of a four-game Hudson River Rivalry Week series coming Saturday, Devils head coach Lindy Ruff wants more of what happened Tuesday.
"I'd like to see a lot of what I saw in Game 1," Ruff said. "The response has always been good. There was some stuff that we did well (in Game 2). But we didn't skate well as a team and we didn't have near the energy that we had in the game before."
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Part of the problem in Game 2 was the low number of shots for New Jersey (16). Missed shots and blocked shots have been an issue of late for the Devils.
"The missed nets are becoming a growing concern when you're not scoring," Ruff said. "We talked a little bit about that. We met. We showed some video."
Many of the Devils' misses have come as a result of trying to pick the corners of the net. The team is navigating the delicate balance of placing a perfect shot into the top corner and just getting it on net.
"You're walking a real fine edge," Ruff said. "Numbers say if you hit the net, you have a better chance of scoring, but you just can't shoot it into the goaltender's chest either.
"You're always going to miss nets, but (we're) trying to find a way to lower that number."
Though the Devils have been shutout in each of the past two games, forward Janne Kuokkanen thinks it'll just take one goal for the team to break through.
"We just need to the puck to the net and get the greasy one there," he said. "That one will help us and I hope then there will be more."