The New Jersey Devils reached a shootout Saturday night for the 10th time this season. They lost for a 10th time.
Frans Nielsen and Brock Nelson beat Cory Schneider and the Devils came up empty against Anders Nilsson in the tiebreaker to give the New York Islanders a 2-1 victory at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Nilsson denied Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias in the shootout. New Jersey, which has lost 14 consecutive shootouts dating to last season, has scored once in 30 attempts this season.
"I don't have an answer for the shootout," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "From a coaching perspective, if your forecheck's not working or your D-zone coverage or your power play, you can break it down and make corrections. It's a different animal. For whatever reason, we've got a block."
Nielsen also scored in regulation for the Islanders; Nilsson made 23 saves in the win.
"They're not gonna quit … it's a reflection of the guys that we have in that room," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "They believe in the system we play. I mean, you saw what we did last year. To me, it's we drafted a lot of these guys. They're high-character guys. They've got a tremendous work ethic, they've got tremendous character and no matter how much ice time an individual gets, they're very supportive of one another. They're positive on the bench, even when things aren't going [well].
"We've faced some adversity, and that's what I like about the young group. We've got some games left here and we're going to continue to approach it and we're going to try and win every game and go about our business like we normally do."
Henrique scored for New Jersey, which earned one point and trails the Detroit Red Wings by five for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference's race to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Schneider stopped 19 of 20 shots for the Devils, who are 2-4-2 in their past eight games.
When Nielsen scored in the opening round, it marked the fifth time in six shootouts that Schneider has allowed a goal to the first shooter he's faced.
"It's simple -- you either stop it or you don't," Schneider said. "For whatever reason, I'm not stopping it right now. I don't know if it's in our heads or what, but we all know it's there and there's no real point in elaborating on it. Just not good enough."
New York, which had 10 rookies in the lineup, broke a scoreless tie when Nielsen was credited with his 23rd goal of the season 2:12 into the second period. After Josh Bailey made a nice play in the neutral zone to get the puck to Nielsen, the Islanders' center tried to send a pass in the slot to Anders Lee, but the puck deflected off Elias and past Schneider.
Henrique tied it at 10:20 with his team-leading 25th goal. With the teams at even strength, Damien Brunner made a nice move around Islanders defenseman Kevin Czuczman and set up Henrique for a shot that Nilsson denied. But the Islanders goalie left a juicy rebound in front, which Henrique easily tapped in to make it 1-1.
Devils defenseman Jon Merrill left the game with 7:07 remaining in the third period when he was struck in the face by a Travis Hamonic slap shot. Merrill quickly headed for the dressing room and did not return.
Forward Stephen Gionta sustained an undisclosed injury early in the third; his status for the game Monday against the Florida Panthers at Prudential Center is unknown.
"We've got to move forward and find a way to get a win," DeBoer said. "It does no good sitting, wallowing in what happened here tonight. We get ready for a big game on Monday night."
The Islanders host Florida on Tuesday.
Material from team media was used in this report