I touched on resiliency being a good thing in the article about the month of November, which it is but at the same time, it is a little concerning as well. Being able to erase a big lead is something to appreciate but I would rather see a team that doesn’t let the opposition build up a large lead.
Game vs Nashville
I thought the Devils played a decent first period. Both teams were scoreless until the last couple of minutes where we saw a flurry of activity. Taylor Hall had a nice reaction to a puck that was floating in midair as he smacked it home for his 6th goal of the season to tie the game at 1. The Predators were able to grab the lead with only 39.3 seconds remaining in the 1st as Subban snuck one past Kinkaid. You always worry about those goals scored either in the first or last minute of a period. As the second period started, the Predators really appeared to put their foot on the gas. They were cycling the puck really well and just causing all sorts of problems for the Devils. It really looked like the Devils winless streak of OT losses or 1 goal losses was going to come to an end in a blowout loss to Nashville. Coasting with a 4-1 lead, it looked as if the Predators were going to sneak yet another last minute goal into the net at the end of the 2nd but Kinkaid somehow managed to get his glove on the shot before trickling off the post. Surely a 5-1 lead would have been too much to come back from even though the idea of erasing a 4-1 deficit was pretty hard to comprehend, especially given how lopsided the 2nd period seem to be.
On the first shift of the 3rd, Cammelleri got the game to 4-2 and then at :55 seconds into the 3rd period, Greene followed up a Vern Fiddler shot to get the Devils within one. Suddenly the idea of tying up this game didn’t seem too farfetched. The Devils played a much better game in the 3rd and eventually tied it up on a Henrique PP goal. Kinkaid found some confidence and momentum and stayed strong in net, especially when the Predators turned up the heat with a few minutes to go.
The streak of 1 goal games would continue with the Devils forcing OT after being down 4-1 but could they snap the streak of losing 1 goal games? The Predators seemed to control and dominate much of the OT period. Cammalleri and Greene both started the OT period and got stuck on the ice during their first shift and were out there for 2:06 and 2:21. What looked like a possible game-winning odd man rush by the Predators turned the other way when Filip Forsberg missed the net. The Devils took the puck and created their own odd-man rush the other way with Hall sliding it by Subban to feed Cammalleri who then put it by a diving Pekka Rinne for the game winner.
It was an incredible comeback win but like I said above, you don’t want to have to dig yourself out of a huge hole so often.
On Friday, the Devils waived Reid Boucher who was then picked up by the Predators on Saturday prior to the Devils/Predators game. Boucher was a 4th round draft pick by the Devils in 2011. In 2012-13, he went on to score 62 goals for the Sarnia Sting, breaking the team record of 58 held by Steven Stamkos. However, in 83 games with the Devils, Boucher has only scored 11 goals and had 18 assists and just didn’t live up to the hype that his days with the Sarnia Sting created. He honestly never really grabbed the opportunity to succeed when it was handed to him. With Hall’s return to the lineup, Boucher’s departure makes room for other guys like Quenneville and Wood to stay in the NHL.