The Devils lost, 2-1, to the Bruins at TD Garden tonight in Boston's home opener. Here's what we learned:
1) Slow starts are not an effective ingredient in winning hockey games. The Devils had only six shots on net in the first period and played the majority of that frame in their own end. They had trouble getting through the neutral zone, getting pucks past their defense and, when they did, they couldn't sustain any offensive pressure. As Kyle Palmieri said after the game, they "didn't play well enough to earn two points."
2) Closing teams out has been a challenge so far. After a lackluster first, the Devils pushed back hard in the second and scored the first goal of the game early in the third, but they immediately fell back on their heels and let the Bruins back into the game. After Palmieri's power play goal, the Bruins had the next eight shots on goal, a total of 17 in the third period and scored twice for the win. As captain Andy Greene said after the game, "We found a way to lose tonight and it's unacceptable."
3) Pretty sure we already knew this, but it's worth repeating. Cory Schneider is a beast of a goalie. He stopped 34 shots and gave the Devils every opportunity to win this game tonight with huge save after huge save. In the first four games, he has a 2.00 GAA and .952 save percentage.
The Devils will regroup at practice tomorrow afternoon and prepare for their next game on Saturday against Minnesota at Prudential Center, 7 p.m.