What Happened: The Devils got out to a 3-0 lead, only to see their lead evaporate behind four third period goals by Edmonton. Patrik Elias scored a shorthanded goal to force overtime, but New Jersey failed to score in the shootout once again, to fall 5-4.
Star of the Game: David Perron. Perron scored the game-tying goal off of a faceoff with a brilliant shot that beat Brodeur over his right shoulder. He also added the eventual winning goal in the shootout, with a slick backhand shelf shot to light the lamp.
Goat of the Game: The entire team in the third period. Defensive breakdowns galore. The first goal was an inability to clear out the net. The second goal was a shot from the point that no one got in front of. The third, all possible because of Travis Zajac's inability to win a faceoff in the defensive zone. The fourth goal was by far the worst, as Anton Volchenkov and Andrei Loktionov both went towards the puck, leaving Taylor Hall all alone to beat Brodeur.
Turning Point: The power play goal by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was when it all went south for the Devils. The Oilers were crashing the net hard and Nugent-Hopkins grabbed a lose puck and got the Oilers back in the game. The rest is history.
Offense- A-minus - They moved the puck well, scored early goals and looked very good through the first 40 minutes of play. They scored four goals. If that's not enough to win a game, that's on the defense. Seeing Jaromir Jagr rip a gorgeous shot for his first goal as a Devil is a good sign.
Defense- D - More breakdowns in their own end. Those are quickly becoming a theme so far this season. They needed to do a better job of clearing bodies out of the crease on the power play goal that got everything started. The fourth goal was the worst breakdown, as Anton Volchenkov was not in position, which allowed Hall the space in front.
Special Teams - C-plus -The power play got an early tally. As a whole, the man-advantage has looked solid so far. They're moving the puck and creating chances. With time, the PP has potential to be a strength. As for the PK, they failed to keep the Oilers off the board at a crucial moment. For a team that likes to crash the net such as Edmonton, they needed to do a better job of clearing people out.
Goaltending- C-plus -Brodeur wasn't terrible. The first goal was a scramble in front and the second seemed like it was slightly tipped. Was Brodeur great? No, but outside of getting beat 1-on-1 by Hall and giving up two goals in the shootout, he played a decent game.
Instant Insight: This is a tough pill to swallow for this team as they blew a huge lead and failed to pick up another point when they had the chance. Just like the first two games, there are positives and negatives to take away. If that's going to be the theme, then this team is going to struggle to win games. Sure, it's nice to see Damien Brunner and Michael Ryder off to good starts.
The worst thing out of tonight, was the shootout loss. Eight shootout attempts, zero goals scored. In an 82-game season, where you're most likely going to have ten-plus shootouts, if the Devils are going to be completely uncompetitive in the end-of-game skills competition, then they will most likely be on the outside looking in of the playoff picture. You can't just give up the extra points like that.
Tomorrow night's contest in Vancouver becomes an even more important contest, as the Devils are still winless after their first three games. We'll have the scoop on Cory Schneider's return to British Columbia tomorrow.