Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Looking for Elusive Win

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Looking for Elusive Win

Article excerpt

WINNIPEG, Manitoba - At the end of Saturday afternoon's practice at MTS Centre, Devils coach Pete DeBoer tried to lighten the mood for his struggling team with a shootout competition.

On the line was a potential chance to participate in the shootout in a game.

"The rules were that whoever won I would strongly consider," DeBoer said.

The Devils are 0-2 in the shootout this season and 2-9 over the last two seasons and the competition lived up to those records.

Only four players scored in the first round - defensemen Anton Volchenkov and Peter Harrold and left wings Ryan Clowe and Rostislav Olesz. The second time through, none of the four scored, so there was no actual winner.

Some of the Winnipeg Jets coaches watched the whole thing from the stands. After it was over, DeBoer jokingly yelled up to them, "We better win in regulation."

Off to a 0-2-3 start to the season and 0-1-2 on this five-game road trip, the Devils desperately need a win of any kind over the Jets tonight.

Despite another disheartening loss Friday night in Calgary - a 3- 2 decision with Flames rookie Sean Monahan scoring the winning goal with just 2:43 left in regulation - the Devils were upbeat Saturday.

DeBoer sees the players in his locker room pulling together through a trying time.

"I don't think there's any doubt we have that here," DeBoer said. "Little things: the mood today on the ice, the energy we had out there. We've had an emotional week, emotionally draining week with how we've dropped some games and it would be easy to walk in here and drag your (rear end) around and our guys haven't done that. They're ready to play [tonight]."

There's no question these are trying times for the Devils, mostly because they haven't won a game yet. The way they've lost hasn't helped either. They blew a 3-0 third period lead in a 5-4 shootout loss in Edmonton on Monday and a 2-0 second period advantage in a 3- 2 overtime loss in Vancouver on Tuesday night. …

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