Devils manage franchise-low 11 shots, fall to Red Wings

NEWARK — It was a record-tying performance, just not the type of record the Devils would have liked to tie.

The Devils recorded 11 shots, equaling a franchise record for fewest in a home game, and they also recorded their third straight loss, falling 3-1 to the Red Wings at the Prudential Center on Friday night.

“We didn’t play our best game of the year,” winger Steve Bernier said. “There [are] a lot of bad things around right now, but we need to focus on the good things.”

There weren’t a ton of good things to focus on, as Johan Franzen and Tomas Tatar scored third-period goals for Detroit to give the Wings their fifth win in six tries.
Cory Schneider made 18 saves for New Jersey, but on a night the Devils couldn’t get anything going offensively past a first-period Adam Greene goal, that wasn’t enough.

“We didn’t cash in [on] some of our chances. We have to be opportunistic. We have to find a way to score two or three and we didn’t do that,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said.

“It’s easy to look at the shot clock and say that [11 shots on goal is not enough]. We’ve generated 21 shots and generated the same amount of scoring chances. [If the shot clock says] 21, you feel better about it? It doesn’t matter.”

Franzen snapped a 1-all tie when he scored his ninth of the season with 7:20 left in the third. Standing in the low slot, Franzen poked a Gustav Nyquist pass past Schneider.

“It’s always hard to defend when you change sides for the defender so I tried and sneak around the back post and found it through the crease,” Franzen said of his goal.

The Devils led 1-0 at the first intermission on Greene’s fourth goal of the season.

Having drawn a high-sticking call on Franzen, Greene weaved his way through all three zones before finishing a give-and-go with Patrik Elias by tipping a centering pass under Jonas Gustavsson (10 saves) 13:43 into the game.

“It wasn’t our best period but we came out the way we did against a good team [and] we have to take that and build off it. We just couldn’t seem [to] build off it and get it going,” Greene said.

“They were kind of sitting back on the drop pass, before I gave it to Patty. Tried to make the play to Patty and he made a great saucer over to me, and [I] just tried to hang with it to get it over his pad.”

The power-play goal was the only one the Devils scored on four opportunities with the man advantage.

Detroit drew even at 1-all after Joakim Andersson scored with 36 seconds left in the second period. The scoring sequence began when Daniel Alfredsson fired a diagonal cross-ice pass to Drew Miller from the blue line.

Miller attempted two backhands, which Schneider stopped, but the Devils’ goaltender was unable to stop Andersson’s jam shot. The goal was the fourth of the season for Andersson.

The game stayed tied until Franzen’s goal.

Tatar’s power-play score at 18:57 of the third was Detroit’s only goal on five attempts with the man advantage. The power play was assessed when Schneider was called for playing the puck outside of the trapezoid. The Devils disputed the call, and replays showed the goaltender was inside the trapezoid.

“I don’t know,” DeBoer said when asked whether the NHL should institute an instant replay system on disputed judgment calls. “I’m not looking to solve it, just get it right.”

Both teams were content to take away the middle of the ice, and as a result, neither team generated much offensively.

“I don’t think it was any tighter than any other game,” the Devils’ Travis Zajac said. “We just didn’t execute coming out of our own end sometimes. For us, we have to play in the other end.

“We [needed] to elevate our game as it went on and we didn’t.”