The Devils lost, 3-1, to the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at Prudential Center with Travis Zajac getting the lone goal. Here's what we learned:
1) The Devils were solid in the faceoff circle all night long, led by Zajac who won 17-of-24 (71%).
2) Blake Pietila hasn't been flashy since being called up from Albany last week, but he has been effective as he earns more confidence from the coaches and, subsequently, more ice time. But tonight, we saw how his tenacity can result in offensive opportunities. First, when he used his speed after forcing a turnover for a breakaway and then when he battled for open ice in the slot for another scoring chance below the hashmarks.
3) After the game, head coach John Hynes said he was happier with the effort tonight, they just didn't get the results. The problem is this game is all about results and he said the Devils need to work smarter by making better decisions with the puck, especially in the defensive zone, if they want to put themselves in a position to be successful.
The Devils get right back after it tomorrow as they host Dallas at 5 p.m. Be sure to get to Prudential Center early to enjoy the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, including the opportunity to have your picture taken with the Stanley Cup. It is open to the public from 2-5 p.m.