Devils fall in shootout to the Islanders
Cory Schneider made 27 saves in the shootout loss to New York on Thursday nightby Amanda Stein @AmandaCStein / newjerseydevils.com
It took four rounds of a shootout for the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders to settle the score.
After a standout performance by Cory Schneider, he was bested in the shootout by Islanders Josh Bailey who scored the only goal of the shootout as the Islanders beat the Devils 2-1 on Thursday night.
Here are 10 Takeaways from the game:
1. It has been a long while since Cory Schneider dressed as the starter for an NHL game. Schneider saw his first bit of NHL action since December 14th, 2018 when he took to the ice at Prudential Center on Thursday night. Schneider led his teammates out onto the ice, and made 23 saves on 24 shots in regulation, the lone goal he gave up was to Mathew Barzal on a breakaway midway through the first period. In overtime, Schneider made three saves on three shots before the game went to the shootout.
2. Ben Lovejoy was back on defense on Thursday night, back in the lineup after sitting out the previous six games on the Devils Injured Reserve list with an upper-body injury. Lovejoy resumed his spot skating alongside Will Butcher and played 15:49.
3. The puck went bar-down for Devils Kevin Rooney to open the scoring against the Islanders on Thursday night. Rooney's second goal of the season 5:32 into the first period. Rooney accepted a pass at center ice and went streaking down the left side of the ice and took a shot from atop the circle. The puck went up and over Thomas Greiss glove hand, hit the cross bar and into the net.
Rooney's goal was assisted on by Kurtis Gabriel and Jesper Bratt. For Gabriel it was just the second point of his NHL career and his first point this season.
4. The lead that Rooney provided for the Devils to start the first period was the first lead the Devils have had on the Islanders this season, having trailed in the three prior meetings between the two clubs. (Credit: Craig Seiden, NJD Radio Statistician)
5. Early in the first period, the Devils went down a forward as Travis Zajac was struck by a puck in the head on an Islanders clearing attempt. Zajac played just 3:24 of the first period after the puck ricocheted off the glass and into his head. He immediately went to the Devils locker room. Zajac missed the first several minutes of the second period, but soon rejoined his teammates and finished the game playing 16:21 in regulation time.
6. For Zajac it was also a milestone night, where he took sole possession of 5th all-time on the franchise's games played list. He passed Scott Neidermayer with his 893rd game with New Jersey.
7. The Devils athletic trainers were certainly busy on Thursday night. Miles Wood was another player to head down the tunnel after a collision in front of the Islanders net in the second period. Wood took a second shift after his collision but proceeded to skate off the ice and down the tunnel. Wood did not return to the game, finishing the night with one shot on goal and 7:58 of playing time.
8. New Jersey's penalty kill came up big yet again against an opponent. What has been a big bright spot for the Devils this season continued against the Islanders with the penalty killing group going 4-for-4 against the Islanders.
9. Gabriel was throwing his body around against the Islanders on Thursday night, a physical presence for coach John Hynes on the ice. Gabriel recorded a career-high seven hits against the Islanders. He beats his previous high, which he recorded just two day prior to facing the Islanders when he recorded six against the LA Kings.
10. The Devils continue their four-game homestand on Saturday when they welcome Minnesota Wild for a matinee matchup, followed by hosting the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.