Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Slumping Devs Drop out of 8th

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Slumping Devs Drop out of 8th

Article excerpt

BOSTON - The Devils played this game before this season.

They outplay one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference for much of the night and can't find a way to score enough goals to win.

In Thursday night's 1-0 loss to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden, there was one thing new -- they didn't score at all.

It was the first time this season they were shut out, and it happened in a game in which they had a season-high 40 shots on goal. But they couldn't put any past Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, which made Jaromir Jagr's skate deflection goal 1:20 into the second period stand up as the winner.

"The guys did everything we asked them to do, but score," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "So, you can't fault the effort or their execution of the game plan. ... It's that time of year, though, you have to forget about it, move forward and get ready for the next one. The next one is the most important one now."

The next one - Saturday night at home versus Toronto - is essential now that the Devils have fallen out of a playoff spot. With the Islanders picking up one point from their 2-1 shootout loss in Washington on Thursday, they take over seventh place in the East.

In eighth place are the Rangers, who, like the Devils, have 39 points, but have played one fewer game. They also own the tiebreaker on the Devils with more non-shootout wins.

With Washington taking over first in the Southeast Division, Winnipeg fell into 10th place, one point behind the Devils, and Philadelphia is only two points back of the Devils after winning in Toronto on Thursday.

"We look at the standings like everybody else," Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said. "When you see yourself outside the picture here, it's concerning. There's no doubt about that."

The Devils have 11 games left to get back in the picture, but eight of those contests are against teams holding playoff positions - and they have only one win in their past 25 games over the conference's top eight. …

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