NEWARK, N.J. – With 2:23 remaining in the game and the Devils down 4-2, Adam Henrique backhanded a shot at the net. He tried lifting the puck over a falling Cam Ward, but Ward flashed his glove to make the save.
It wasn’t the only good scoring chance the Devils failed to capitalize on in the 4-3 to the Hurricanes on Wednesday.
“[It’s] very frustrating I guess,” defenseman Eric Gelinas said “We had a couple and that could’ve been the game changer. Unfortunately it didn’t go in. We have to put those in to win some games.”
After Jaromir Jagr scored his 691st goal to cut the deficit to 4-3 with 1:47 left in the game, the Devils kept producing chances.
They just couldn’t score.
“Patrik [Elias] almost hit me cross. I was by myself, I would have [had] a breakaway, and he hit Travis in the leg. I was standing [with] 10 seconds to go. I would probably score,” Jagr joked after the loss.
In the first period, Travis Zajac generated a scoring chance on a backhand attempt, but Ward stopped the shot. Not long after, Zajac hung around the left side of the net and redirected a feed.
But Ward made the save again.
“It is frustrating but it happens and I think there’s games where everything goes in, and then there’s games like tonight where you get those chances,” Zajac said.
“They just don’t seem to make it to the net and things like that but you just have to stick with it. I mean we’ve all been there at certain times so we definitely know how to get out of it.”
In the second period, Jagr hit the post.
“We had good bounces on our side three, four games before now,” Jagr said.
“Two saves [Ward] made today and he probably [is] going to have two saves in the top-10 in Sports Center. That’s never happened before. Not even Michael Jordan had two times over the night, so he was just in the zone. We just have to make sure he doesn’t do that same thing when we play on Friday.”
Also in the second, the Devils scrambled for the puck around the net while Ward was down. Steve Bernier and Elias fought for the puck but couldn’t covert.
“We were pushing throughout the game and we didn’t have a lot of puck luck around the net,” head coach Peter DeBoer said.
New Jersey gave up three goals in the second frame, included a shorthanded tally on a turnover generated from a bad bounce. It put the Devils down 4-2 entering the last period.
“I thought we battled back really hard then they kind of stopped playing, they were just kind of laid back and we took it to them and we were running out of time,” Martin Brodeur said.
New Jersey attempted 22 shots on net, including nine int he last period. Another 11 attempts never made it to the net because they were blocked by Carolina.
The Devils have lost three straight.
“We just [have] to work hard,” Gelinas said. “The bounces will go our way sometimes and we just have to keep battling through it.”