Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils' Woes Continue as They Lose to Penguins

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils' Woes Continue as They Lose to Penguins

Article excerpt

NEWARK - There are segments to a season and the Devils, having stumbled through the first part of 2016-17, came out of the three- day Christmas break looking to use the time before the All-Star break next month to get back into the playoff race.

Instead, it was more of the same as they were swept in a home- and-home series by the defending Stanley Cup-champion Penguins, including giving up another crippling goal late in a period.

The Penguins, paced by Sidney Crosby's dominant three-point performance, scored four unanswered goals for a 5-2 win on Tuesday night at Prudential Center.

"There's a stretch from now to the All-Star break, then it goes up another notch," Devils coach John Hynes said. "We have to focus on the short term of now until the All-Star break."

Next up for the Devils (13-15-7), in a 1-8-1 slump and who allowed at least four goals for the 14th time in their last 19 games, is a home-and-home with Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals, starting Thursday night at Washington.

Including Tuesday's game, the Devils have 16 games until the All- Star break, Jan. 27-30, nine of them home games and six against Metropolitan Division rivals.

Overall, 23 of the Devils' final 48 games are within the division.

Cory Schneider, who has now allowed at least four goals in nine of his last 13 starts, made 23 saves for the Devils while Marc- Andre Fleury made 21 saves for the Penguins (23-8-5).

The Devils went 1 for 7 on the power play - scoring on their first one - and failing to close the gap on a four-minute man advantage after Ian Cole bloodied Taylor Hall's mouth with a high stick at 14:02 of the third period.

The Devils' inability to capitalize with another power-play goal cost them in the second period as the Penguins, who had protected a lead heading into the third period 51 straight times entering Tuesday's game, took a 3-2 lead. …

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