The New Jersey Devils (25-29-12) lose their eighth straight game as they fall to the Columbus Blue Jackets (42-17-6) for the second time in three days. The game was scoreless entering the third until Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his fourth goal of the season to break the tie and Cam Atkinson scored an empty-netter (his 30th of the season!) to seal the win for the Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves to earn his 6th shutout of the year and his third straight. Keith Kinkaid made 23 saves on 24 shots faced, posting a .958 save percentage, which was a stark improvement over his last start (a 6-4 loss to the Islanders on February 19th). He gave his team a chance to win but they couldn’t help him out.
It was another frustrating loss for New Jersey. The Devils have been shutout seven times this season, twice by Columbus, and three times in their last four games. They have now lost six of their last seven games by a single goal.
The Devils did outshoot the Jackets 33-25, after averaging 17 SOG over their previous three games. Beau Bennett and Kyle Palmieri led the team in shots on goal with five each, and Taylor Hall had four. It wasn’t a bad game; the Devils played relatively well all night long and they kept throwing pucks to the net but they could not find their way past Bobrovsky. On a positive note, however, I only had to hear the cannon once because I missed the first goal.
How did the kids do tonight? Blake Coleman had two shots on goal, three hits, and a blocked shot. Miles Wood had two shots on goal on two blocked shots. Nick Lappin and Pavel Zacha both had a shot on goal and a blocked shot. Steven Santini had a shot on goal and two hits. Joseph Blandisi had a hit and a blocked shot. Stefan Noesen had two shots on goal. Damon Severson had two blocked shots.
And it’s frustrating, I get it. It’s frustrating for the team, it’s frustrating for the fans, it’s frustrating for the organization. Let’s accept it and move on. There’s no changing the past.
The two teams will face each other one last time this season on March 19th at the Prudential Center (it’s Kids’ Day!) but before that, the Devils will look to get back in the win column on Thursday when they face the Colorado Avalanche; puck drops at 9PM.