Well, the New Jersey Devils (28-39-14) drop their last home game of the season to the New York Islanders (40-29-12) and go 1-3-0 in the season series. They were outscored 4-2 but they outshot the Isles 39-20. Anders Lee (2), Adam Pelech, and Jason Chimera all scored goals for New York, while Beau Bennett scored both Devils goals and it was nice to see him get rewarded on the score sheet. He now has eight goals on the season.
Keith Kinkaid stopped 16 of 20 shots against in his last start of the season, posting an .800 save percentage, while Jaroslav Halak stopped 37 of 39 shots against (.949 save %). Halak was on his game all night long and had a shutout going until the third period. The Isles did their part to keep their postseason hopes alive; they’re watching the scoreboard now (Toronto/Pittsburgh are tied at 2 as of right now).
There isn’t a whole lot to talk about game-wise (I had the game on in the background because I have a calculus exam on Monday). The Devils went 0/3 on the man advantage and killed all but one of New York’s four power play opportunities. They were better in the faceoff circle, winning 53.7% of them. They did have 39 shots on goal; John Moore and Kyle Palmieri led the team with six apiece, Taylor Hall had five. Blake Coleman had five (!) hits tonight.
It would have been nice for the team to win. They would have knocked out the Islanders from playoff contention. They would have given the fans one last thing to cheer about. They could have won for Patrik Elias, who skated one last lap around The Rock tonight (it was emotional and I cried for half an hour straight, right through puck drop). They let him skate on his own, which is usually a gesture reserved for rookies. He had fun with warmups and so did the rest of the team. He went to the locker room and spoke to the team. When he came back out for puck drop, his wife and daughters joined him; it was a really sweet moment and he was emotional (as was I and most of everyone watching). They had Greene, Zajac, and Henrique give bouquets of flowers to his wife and daughters (which was also really sweet!), and then they invited Stephen Gionta to join Elias for the puck drop (with John Tavares out), which was also a nice gesture. You can tell that all of this meant a lot to Elias. We’re all going to miss him very much.
But a new era is beginning in New Jersey. 24 hours separates us and the upcoming offseason (unfortunately). The Devils will play in their last game of the season tomorrow evening against the Red Wings in the last ever game at Joe Louis Arena; puck drops at 5PM.