Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Poor Start, Worse End Foil Devils

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Poor Start, Worse End Foil Devils

Article excerpt

SUNRISE, Fla. - Devils goaltender Cory Schneider wanted to take this defeat all on himself.

Still, his team's 5-3 loss to the lowly Florida Panthers on Friday night at BB&T Center had been a complete team effort, from a poor start to a disastrous third period with multiple terrible turnovers thrown in between.

What made this one worse was that Devils coach Pete DeBoer had warned his players for two days not to overlook this Panthers team, which still sits 15th in the 16-team Eastern Conference. And the Devils came out flat and, though they rebounded to grab a 3-1 lead, finished even worse, giving up four unanswered goals. Scottie Upshall scored the go-ahead goal 10:00 into the third period, beating Schneider inside the far post with a wrist shot from the right circle. Vincent Trocheck's empty-net goal with 32.5 seconds left sealed it for Florida.

"Your teammates need to be able to trust the goalie that if they do turn the puck over or if they make a mistake, he'll be there to bail them out," Schneider said, "and I just feel the last few games I'm not giving my teammates that trust that if they make a mistake I'm going to be there to make the save."

The loss left the Devils two points out of a playoff spot with now only 15 regular-season games remaining. Coming off wins over Carolina and Philadelphia, they had hoped to string together three consecutive wins for only the second time this season.

"That one hurts, but we've got to pick [it] up," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "We've got a big game [tonight at Tampa Bay]. We've got another opportunity to win two out of three. That's the only way you can approach it. I thought we were really poor in the first period and then in the second and third we gave up eight or nine shots and they seemed to capitalize on every chance they got."

Schneider gave up four goals on 21 shots and has surrendered 15 goals in losing his last three starts. …

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