Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Earn a Point in Loss to Pittsburgh

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Earn a Point in Loss to Pittsburgh

Article excerpt

NEWARK – The Devils are still looking to secure their first postseason berth since 2012, but they're already playing playoff-type hockey. Thursday's game against the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Penguins had that sort of feel to it, if the game was a test to see if the Devils are ready for hockey's biggest stage, they nearly passed.

Coach John Hynes made it clear that his team still has some studying to do.

In front of a sellout crowd, the Devils managed to salvage a point in a 4-3 overtime loss to Pittsburgh after Sidney Crosby scored in a way only Sidney Crosby could, just 19 seconds into the bonus period. The Devils now have 89 points and the Florida Panthers are still three back after losing in overtime to the Ottawa Senators.

But the Devils shouldn't even have been in overtime, Hynes said. They had a third-period lead, albeit a slim one, after Blake Coleman put them ahead 3-2 just over five minutes into the period. But the Penguins tied it up because the Devils failed to stay composed.

"When the game gets down to the closing minutes there's a level of intensity that you have to have and a level of decision-making that you have to have," Hynes said. "That part is a really key learning lesson for us. Near the end of the game, we wouldn't have to be under so much duress if we made better decisions in that area."

A sellout crowd had The Rock rockin' as Kyle Palmieri, Taylor Hall and Coleman scored goals and Keith Kinkaid made 31 saves.

It was the second time in four games played between the Metropolitan Division opponents they needed bonus time to decide the outcome.

A little over five minutes into the third, Travis Zajac fed Coleman who blitzed to the net and used some fancy stickwork to get a shot off on Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray, who failed to control the rebound and Coleman backhanded it in to give the Devils a lead. …

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