The Devils lost, 5-2, to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Prudential Center Tuesday night despite goals by PA Parenteau and Adam Henrique (PPG). Here's what we learned:
1) The Devils were 1-for-7 with the man advantage. While they've been fairly consistent with getting at least one PPG per game, they haven't made the most of the opportunities they've been given with a conversion rate less than 20%. "We should be able to make teams feel like they're going to pay for taking penalties against us and, if we're not going to score on them, we should at least get momentum from them and I don't think that happened tonight," Taylor Hall said. "Power plays should be fun and, right now, they're not."
2) After another strong first period that found the Devils with a 2-1 lead, second periods, with rare exception, have been particularly brutal for the Devils. Tonight, they were outshot, 10-6, and outscored, 2-0, including one in the final six seconds of the period. "Another late goal in the second. It was 3-2 and you would have thought it was 5-1," said goaltender Cory Schneider. "We just need to be better at the end of periods, myself included, and come up with the save and get to the third tied."
He continued: "We didn't have a good start to the third. Gave them a couple good looks, breakaway chance, goes in the net, again...I'd like to come up with a save on a breakaway, keep it 3-2, but while we had a couple descent looks, I didn't see the urgency from every one to really want to tie that game and then they get the empty-netter. You know, it might have just been an empty-netter, but could we have stopped that one from going in the net? Probably. We've got to take some pride in not giving up four or five a night and bearing down and believing we can get back in these games. We have to change that mindset and be better going forward."
3) If you're looking for a bright spot in this game, check the faceoff circle. The Devils finished the night at 63%, well above their usual 50/50 average. What's even better is that they were consistently winning faceoffs at that high rate all night. As head coach John Hynes said after the game, there were times when they did a lot of things right to put themselves in a position to win, but it wasn't always a consistent effort throughout the full 60 minutes and that's where they need to take the next step.
The Devils will welcome their fathers, with an uncle and father-in-law mixed in for variety, to practice on Wednesday before they head to Washington, DC for the annual fathers' trip and a game against the Capitals on Thursday.