Talking Red

Game 8: Moose Magic Thwarts Isles

Posted in on by Dan Pennucci

On the heels of a disappointing 5-1 loss to Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, the Devils went into Super Sunday’s matinee with the Islanders seeking to avoid their fifth-straight defeat. Two late goals from grinding winger Steve Bernier and a shutout from Johan Hedberg helped secure a 3-0 victory over their Long Island rivals. New Jersey’s penalty kill did a tremendous job keeping the Islanders off the board, killing all seven power plays the Islanders had. In his second start of the season, Hedberg’s 22-save effort helped deny an offense that, three days earlier, hung five goals on the Devils. Moose made several key saves to keep the game knotted at zero, doing his best to match the outstanding play of the Islanders’ veteran netminder, Evgeni Nabokov, who played exceptionally well in the loss.

Hedberg’s goaltending grew even more critical late in the third period as the game was careening toward overtime. At the tail end of a power play with under five minutes of play remaining, Steve Bernier slammed home a loose puck from an Andy Greene shot that deflected off of Adam Henrique in the slot, leaving Nabokov helpless with 3:54 remaining. Bernier added his second 70 seconds later to put the game out of reach, bouncing the puck off Nabokov from behind the goal line. David Clarkson further sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 22 seconds remaining, giving him five tallies on the season.

New Jersey faces the Rangers on Tuesday for the first time since last May’s Eastern Conference finals.

See below for highlights and notes on Sunday’s game:

-David Clarkson has nine points through the Devils’ first eight games, including five goals.

-Andy Greene has three points in the last two games, picking up two assists on Sunday in addition to notching the team’s only goal in Saturday’s loss to Pittsburgh.

-Adam Henrique has a goal and an assist in his first three games since returning from a thumb injury on Thursday.

-Adam Larsson has averaged 18:22 of ice time in the last three games, but has not registered a point yet. He almost grabbed his first assist of the season Sunday after firing a soft wrist shot that was deflected by Ilya Kovalchuk in the high slot, only to be denied by a tremendous save from Nabokov.

-Anton Volchenkov played 16:38 in Sunday’s victory but still has not received word if he will be granted an assist on Chris Kunitz’s goal from Saturday’s loss.

-All seven of the Islanders’ power plays came within the first two periods of the game.

-Bobby Butler saw some power play time with the second unit and played 7:04 in his season debut, finishing with one shot on net.

-Stephen Gionta and Jacob Josefson created several shorthanded chances, all of which were denied by Nabokov.

-Krys Barch played a mere 2:54 in the win, his lowest total ice time in his five games. He did have his third fight of the season, dropping the gloves with fellow pylon Matt Carkner.

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