The New Jersey Devils blew a great opportunity in the desert

The New Jersey Devils blew a great opportunity in the desert.

New Jersey Devils v Vegas Golden Knights
New Jersey Devils v Vegas Golden Knights / Candice Ward/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils took a trip to visit some Western Conference teams. After a strong win over the Dallas Stars last week, they came into their match against the Arizona Coyotes feeling good about themselves. 

Instead of taking care of their business against a much worse Yotes squad, the Devils let Arizona take advantage of New Jersey’s bad starts. 

After going down 3-0 in the first period, it was always going to be hard to come back. Although they showed some fight in the second to score a goal, they were unable to get it tied. The Yotes added an empty netter and took the 4-1 final score victory. 

Not being able to go to Mullett Arena and pick up a strong win felt like a wasted opportunity. It felt even worse knowing that a back-to-back situation against the Vegas Golden Knights was coming up in less than 24 hours. 

The New Jersey Devils are in big trouble following their trip out west

When they got to T-Mobile Arena, they had a scoreless first period which was a better situation than the day before in Arizona. Dawson Mercer scored a goal that was waved off because of goaltender interference. Timo Meier made a great power move to create the goal but he could keep from making contact. 

The second period was more of the same. Jake Allen and Logan Thompson, especially Allen, played very well to keep the offenses off the board. With all of the skill involved in this game, nobody would have guessed that they’d enter the third tied at 0. 

Early in the third period, however, Nico Hischier scored to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. Jesper Bratt and Jack Hughes didn't get an assist but they caused some chaos to create the chance.

The lead only lasted for about two minutes though as William Carrier tied it up. He scored on a double deflection thanks to a great play made by Noah Hanifin and Alex Pietrangelo. That is a fantastic defense pair and they are going to dominate down the stretch.

At 11:06 of the final frame, Jack Eichel put Vegas on his back and scored a beauty. Hanifin picked up his second assist of the game and Vegas had the lead.

New Jersey was unable to tie it up although they came close. William Karlsson finally scored once they gained possession with the goaltender pulled.

Speaking of goaltenders, both played very well. Jake Allen was excellent for the Devils as he made 34 saves on 36 shots but the offense couldn't give him enough support. They finally have some good goaltending and they can't score.

Logan Thompson wasn't tested as much but he made 20 saves on 21 shots. They have two very good goaltenders that can get it done in Vegas.

This was a bad weekend for the Devils. They could have gotten within a couple of points of the playoffs by winning some very winnable games but couldn't get a single point. They sit at 68 points and they trail the bottom Wild Card team by six points. Their next game comes on Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Newark.