New Jersey Devils waste a big opportunity to gain some ground

The New Jersey Devils wasted a big opportunity to gain some ground in the standings.
New Jersey Devils v San Jose Sharks
New Jersey Devils v San Jose Sharks / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils had a late-night tilt with the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. The Philadelphia Flyers lost earlier in the night so the Devils had a chance to get within three points of a playoff spot. 

Unfortunately, they were defeated by the Ducks 4-3 at Honda Center. They dominated the entire game but couldn’t get enough past Lukas Dostal. They put a remarkable 55 shots on him but were only able to bury 3 goals. 

As good as Dostal was for the Ducks, Nico Daws was as bad for the Devils. He gave up 3 on 14 shots in the first two periods. Akira Schmid came in relief for the third period and made a save on every shot he faced. 

It is not good for New Jersey to blow this one with the opportunity they had in the standings. Anaheim is one of the worst teams in the league and they dominated them with nothing to show for it. 

The New Jersey Devils were unable to get a big win on Friday night

The big story of the game is going to be how the game ended. Tyler Toffoli scored a power-play goal late in the third period to bring New Jersey within one. 

When they were trying to tie it with the goalie pulled, the Devils were awarded a penalty shot with two seconds left in the game because the Ducks intentionally pushed the net off. Lindy Ruff chose Jack Hughes to take the shot and he didn’t score. 

Hughes has five points in his last two games so it is clear that he is back to being himself post injury but this is going to be tough for him to swallow. He puts a lot of pressure on himself to be one of the best. 

All seems hopeless for the Devils right now. They don’t get good goaltending and they are in a hole when it comes to the standings. However, you know Jack Hughes and company are going to play hard over the last month of the season. 

If they play the way they did on Friday night, they can win games. Jack Hughes is elite and some of the other all-star caliber players on this team are playing well too. This feels like a devastating loss but they have to remain positive. 

New Jersey is back in action on Sunday afternoon. They finish off California with a visit to the Los Angeles Kings who beat them at Prudential Center back in mid-February. This is about as must-win as a game against a Western Conference team could be.