Another week, another struggle for the Devils offense to get something…anything…going. Luckily the goaltending has been up to the challenge, which helped spur the team to 3 out of 4 much needed standings points on the weekend, despite only scoring 3 times. Time to look back:
The weekend began with a trip east to Rhode Island to take on the Bruins. And it started off as usual, with the Devils first on the board. Adam Henrique scored his 3rd on the season with just under 6 minutes left in the period for a quick 1-0 advantage (lone assist to Joe Whitney, finally back in the lineup after Mattias Tedenby sat out due to illness). Chris Bourque tied the game in the second on a power play tally. Other than that…more of the same. Devils took shots, nothing went in. Meanwhile Keith Kinkaid was solid in keeping his team in the game, coming up big on his own. The Devils survived a near heart attack inducing overtime, overcoming a 7-1 shot differential and killing off a Corbin McPherson holding call halfway through the OT session. It was on to the shootout, where only Matt Anderson was able to score in his round (Bobby Butler, Jacob Josefson, Whitney and Henrique were all denied), but Kinkaid gave up goals to Bourque and Jamie Tardif in the final round to secure the hard luck shootout loss, the team’s second in a 7 day span. Kinkaid played well despite the loss, stopping 37 of 38 Bruins shots in regulation and overtime.
It was back to home ice on Saturday night and Game 3 of the Time Warner Cable Cup series against the Phantoms. No one was able to get on the board during the first period, despite the Devils outshooting Adirondack 14-10. Bobby Butler finally broke through with just over 6 minutes remaining in the second, getting his first of the season past Scott Munroe for a 1-0 Devil lead. Four minutes later, Eric Wellwood tied things up at 1. The real story of the period was the special teams play on both sides, as each had to kill off extended 5 on 3 time and were successful. Frazee even came up big in stopping a couple of short handed breakaway chances. Early in the 3rd, Matt Anderson came through and broke the tie. And Frazee took care of the rest, only needing to stop 5 Phantom shots in the period to seal the much needed Devil win. Four Devils each contributed an assist, and Frazee earned #1 star honors by stopping 22 of 23 shots and lowering his GAA to a miniscule 1.48, good for fourth in the entire league. (I should note that Kinkaid is 17th with a 2.32 GAA.)
-Forward Chris McKelvie finally broke into the lineup last night, leaving Harry Young as the last active player on the roster to get into a game.
-No changes on the long term injury front, although there was a positive sign of one of those players coming close: Eric Gelinas was spotted in the building last night, the first time I’ve seen him since preseason. Alexander Urbom finally returned Friday night after sitting out since October 20th. Mattias Tedenby sat out the weekend due to illness, not sure of when he’ll return to the lineup.
The Week Ahead:
Three games coming up this week. Monday afternoon the Devils host Norfolk in a Veterans Day afternoon tilt, the first of only four matchups between the two teams this season. Then later this week the team makes the long trek to The Rock…not Prudential Center, but to Newfoundland, for a two game set against St. John’s on Friday and Saturday. Hopefully the offensive spark pops up sometime this week…