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3 Takeaways Devils’ 4-2 Loss to the Panthers

Lindy Ruff New Jersey Devils

Over the past couple of games, New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier has spoken about his team needing a full 60-minute effort. On March 18, Hischier’s team lost their game and an important two points in a span of 2:30. After a difficult opening frame, they earned two goals in the second period and entered the final intermission with a 2-0 lead over the Florida Panthers.

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Statistically, everything was in New Jersey’s favor. They entered the contest with a record of 6-0-1 when playing a road game on a Saturday this season and were an impressive 28-0-2 when leading after the second period. A collapse seven minutes into the final frame became the story as the Devils witnessed their lead evaporate.

“We had the perfect situation going into the third and we just gave it away,” said Jonas Siegenthaler. “It shouldn’t have happened.”

Here are three takeaways and some quick hits. 

Devils Faced a Desperate Panthers Team

The Devils knew what to expect before they stepped onto the ice to face the Panthers. A quick look at the NHL standings told the story.

“Tonight is going to be a hard game,” said head coach Lindy Ruff during his pre-game media availability. “It’s a great game to be involved in and our desperation has to be as good as theirs.”

Lindy Ruff, New Jersey Devils (Kristy Flannery / The Hockey Writers)

The Panthers are in the hunt for a wild-card spot with their biggest competition being the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are 5-4-1 in their last 10, and the New York Islanders, who have won their last two contests. On March 16, Florida scored seven goals in the first 20 minutes of their matchup versus the Montreal Canadiens and eventually won by a final score of 9-5.

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Desperation was in the air as 17,321 fans took their seats in Sunrise, Florida, on March 18. The Devils’ Atlantic Division opponent came out with the pedal to the metal and quickly earned the first four shots of the game. Florida dominated play as Ruff watched his team get outworked and outplayed. There was no doubt that if it wasn’t for their goaltender, New Jersey would have been in an early hole, which leads me to my next takeaway.

Schmid Put on a Clinic

“Huge save from Akira Schmid!”

It was a phrase fans heard play-by-play announcer Bill Spaulding frequently say during the broadcast when referencing netminder Akira Schmid. The 22-year-old earned a second consecutive start and was…

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