Devils Win First Shootout Since March 2013
March 10, 2013, a date which was 600 days ago, and 18 Devils shootouts ago. On that date, the New Jersey Devils were at home against the Winnipeg Jets in a game that would be decided in a shootout. The Devils would go on to win that game 3-2, winning the shootout 1-0 with Patrick Elias scoring the only shootout goal between the two teams. Nobody who left that arena that night knew that they just saw the last New Jersey Devils shoot out win in exactly 600 days
600 days later, October 30, 2014, the New Jersey Devils once again hosted the Winnipeg Jets. The only difference, the Devils had not won a shoot-out since that day over a year and a half earlier. They had gone an NHL record 18 straight shootouts in which they ended up losing, including 0-13 last season. It could be argued that if they had only won 5 or 6 of their shootouts last year, they might have made the playoffs.
Cory Schneider was impressive between the pipes, allowing only 1 goal on 25 shots, and denying all three players during the shootout. This was arguably Schneider’s best performance in goal this season, posting a .960 save percentage for the game, which was his second best percentage for a game (he posted a .966 @ Florida on 10/11). Although he had a lower save percentage in this game, he played all but 6:56 of the game either down, tied or in a shootout. This performance was a huge rebound from his last game in Pittsburgh where he gave up 5 goals on 23 shots.
Hopefully, this is not the sole shoot out win of the season for the Devils. As they saw last year, losing shootouts can drastically change a team’s chances of making the playoffs. A team that wants to make the playoffs can’t afford to lose more than half of the shootouts that they are in. If the play of Cory Schneider in goal tonight was a sign of how good he can be on a daily basis, the New Jersey Devils are in for a good season.