It wasn't the result the Devils were looking for on Thursday night, falling 5-2 to the Calgary Flames and getting outplayed in every aspect from the second period onward. But the one positive is that the team has a chance to redeem themselves right away with a game tonight against the Edmonton Oilers.
"The last seven games or so we were playing very well," said Taylor Hall. "Tonight wasn't a step in the right direction but we have to reverse that."
Heading into Thursday's game, the Devils had only lost one game in regulation in their previous seven, with a 4-1-2 record. What the team hopes to do is ensure that one loss doesn't become two when they meet the Oilers. That, says, Hall, starts with simplifying their game.
"When you're not feeling totally 100% skillwise out there, the best thing to do is keep it simple but I think as a team we struggled with that," Hall remarked. "We were in our end a lot and made it really hard for Mackenzie. Another chance to get it back tomorrow night but not a game we can take anything from."
Devils captain Andy Greene talked about how the game got away from them in Calgary.
"We had a pretty good first there but in the second we were trying to play a little too much east-west instead of north-south like we've been doing well here lately," he began. "We didn't sustain any offensive pressure. Last few games we had some good pressure and good shifts. Tonight it was one and done."
Head coach John Hynes talked about how the reason the Devils weren't able to generate much offense five-on-five is because of their inability to defend in their own end.
"We didn't get out of our own zone and we were one-and-done in the offensive zone," he said, echoing the sentiments of Greene. "When you can't get out of your own zone and can't recover pucks, you don't play any offense."
Hynes talked about the team needing to correct this right away. The club will not skate before the game against the Oilers as is tradition on back-to-backs but will meet early in the day to go over some particulars.
"We have to be better in certain areas. We have to address this with the guys tomorrow and we have to be ready to go."
Following morning skate on Thursday, Coach Hynes was asked about the status of Jesper Bratt, who participated in all on-ice activities with the team. Hynes said he was close to returning.
"He looks good. He's not gonna be ready today, so we wanted to have him go through a regular morning skate," he began. "He's doing some contact now, and if all that is good later then he should be cleared for tomorrow."
-- Marc Ciampa, NewJerseyDevils.com
DEVILS (4-6-4) at OILERS (10-5-2)
TV: 9:00 p.m. ET; Televised on MSG+
Tonight's game is the second of two meetings between the two teams this season.
They met early in the season, with the Oilers prevailing 4-3 in a shootout.
Last season, the Devils won both meetings with the first one coming in Sweden by a 5-2 score and the second one this past March at Rogers Place, 6-3.
Devils team scope:
The Devils dropped a 5-2 decision to the Calgary Flames on Thursday, which ended a two-game winning streak. In their last eight games, however, the Devils are a solid 4-2-2 and have a chance in these next two games to come home with a very successful road trip.
With 14 points in 14 games (two goals), Taylor Hall leads the way for the Devils. Kyle Palmieri is second on the team with 10 points and Jack Hughes is third with nine. Palmieri leads the team in goals with six.
Oilers team scope:
The Oilers have dropped their last two games but overall are enjoying a fine start to their season with a 10-5-2 record. They are currently tied for top spot in the Pacific Division with 22 points.
Leon Draisaitl is second in the NHL in points with 29 and tied for second in goals with 13. Connor McDavid is tied for fourth in the NHL with 26 points. James Neal is fifth in the NHL in goals with 11 and second in power play goals with eight.
Mike Smith is tied for sixth in the NHL with a 2.22 goals against average.
By the Numbers:
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have combined on 14 overtime goals going back to the start of the 2015-16 season. That's the most in the entire NHL in that time. Draisaitl has nine career overtime goals, which is the most in Oilers history. McDavid is tied for second (with Jari Kurri) with seven.
At the end of October, Draisaitl had 12 goals and Neal had 11. They became the fourth set of teammates in NHL history to score 11 or more goals in an October. Neal's 11 goals are four more than he had all of last season, when he netted seven goals in 63 games as a member of the Calgary Flames.
Devils -Connor Carrick (fractured finger) is out; Jesper Bratt (upper body) is day-to-day
Oilers - Kyle Brodziak (back) is out; Adam Larsson (leg) is out; Joakim Nygard (ribs) is out; Josh Archibald (foot) is day-to-day