In 1973, the Exorcist was nominated for Best Picture at that year’s Academy Awards. 40 years later, the Jets took a long hard look at the NHL’s version of Linda Blair, and merely shrugged their shoulders. The Jets went into hell, (Actually Newark, but pretty close) and doubled up the New Jersey Devils 4-2, on the same night the movie industry hands out the Oscars.
The win gives the Jets a 3-1 record on this road trip, and was a nice bounce-back game, after a tough loss to Philadelphia the previous day.
One of the main reasons the Jets have done so well on the road, is their quick starts. That trend continued as Zach Bogosian opened the scoring just 2:30 in, as he finished off a lovely feed from Blake Wheeler. The Devils levelled the score midway through the first, as Winnipeg native Travis Zajac fired home a wrist shot over the glove of Ondrej Pavelec. Steve Bernier gave the Devils the lead late in the first, as he flipped home his fifth of the season off a scrum in front of Pavelec.
The middle frame started off all Devils as they put on pressure in the Jets end. But Pavelec and company held the fort. Then a miracle happen. The Jets scored a power play goal. Grant Clitsome, whose defensive lapse led to the second goal, made amends by snapping home his second of the season. It was the Jets first goal on the power play, in 22 opportunities. Late in the second, Evander Kane extended his point streak to seven games, as he split the Devil defenders, before making a gorgeous move around Jonas Hedberg to pocket home his seventh of the season.
The final period saw the Jets play some strong defensive hockey. They shut down the Devils at every opportunity. Andrew Ladd continued his goal scoring ways, as he wired home his team-leading 10th of the season at the 7:46 mark of the third. The Jets did get some breaks as well. With about six minutes left, referees Mike Leggo and Francis Charron blew the whistle, just as Marek Zidlicky fired the puck into the open net. Both referees claimed they lost sight of the puck. On top of that, they missed Ron Hainsey putting his hand on the puck in the crease. At the very least, the Devils should have been awarded a penalty shot, but were denied.
Devils goalie Martin Brodeur was supposed to start today for the Devils, but was complaining of “soreness” during warmups. The future hall of fame netminder was relegated to back up duty today. Jets forward Antti Miettinen played in his first game of the season, but only lasted 17 seconds into his first shift, as he took a puck in the midsection and did not return. Dustin Byfuglien was hit hard into the boards midway through the third period. Big Buff skated off very slowly favouring his leg. He returned for one shift, then limped his way into the dressing room and did not return.
The Jets have one game left on this road trip, as they visit Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night before returning home on Thursday night to face these same Devils.
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