Devils out of sync in 5-3 loss to Flames

Robert Aitken Jr., The Record on

Published in Hockey

NEWARK, N.J. — The first homestand of the season for the Devils has been a successful one in the standings with a 3-2-0 record. Even with a winning record during the first stretch of the season, the two losses by the Devils have been duds, including Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Calgary Flames.

Andrew Mangiapane scored twice for Calgary to tie him for the NHL lead in goals in the early season. Mangiapane's sixth and seventh goals of the year both came during a four-goal first period for Calgary, who have scored at least four goals now in three straight games.

A Devils shutout was prevented as a result of a mistake in goal by Flames goalie Daniel Vladar. Vladar went behind net to field a puck, sending the puck directly into the waiting stick of Pavel Zacha. Zacha had a defender in front of him, but no goalie in net and found the opening to put a goal on the New Jersey side of the scoreboard.

After surrendering a fifth goal in the third period, the Devils brought the score closer on a pair of goals. Rookie Dawson Mercer scored on a great feed by Andreas Johnsson for his second goal in the NHL. Minutes later on a power play, Mercer scored again for his first multi-point game in his fifth career game.

A first to forget

Right from the start, this was not the Devils' night. All four Calgary goals came within the first 12:56 of the game as the Devils looked messy and out of sorts on the ice.

New pairings on the ice were abandoned before the first intermission as the Devils only mustered four shots on goal to match the number of shots Calgary had put into the net. The Flames had 10 shots on goal in total during the first 20 minutes.

Changes were coming for the Devils in the second period and beyond. That included both in goal and keeping some players off the ice entirely.

Sharangovich and Bratt sit in second


Head coach Lindy Ruff has made it evident that accountability is going to be important for the Devils this season. Ruff has not been afraid to shuffle up lines to not reward pairings that aren't functioning. Beginning the second period, forwards Jesper Bratt and Yegor Sharangovich sat on the bench.

Bratt had only 4:55 of ice time in the first period and sat for the entire second period. Sharangovich only had 8:34 of ice time through the first two periods after also sitting in the second. Neither had a shot on goal during the first period while Bratt had a plus-minus of -2 in that span.

Both returned to action in the third period. Bratt and Sharangovich each had a pair of shots on goal during the first four minutes of the third period.

Not so Daws-ome

Nico Daws began his NHL career with a lot of excitement on Saturday. Three days later, Daws tried for a repeat performance and couldn't escape the first period.

Daws allowed three goals among seven shots he faced before the rookie was sent to the bench in favor of Scott Wedgewood.

Wedgewood quickly allowed the fourth Flames goal, but settled in after that. Wedgewood finished with 20 saves, at times having to stand on his head to keep the score as close as it was.

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