Shootout Gives Devils Extra Advantage
For most teams, overtime isn't something to look forward to.
Whether they do hope for the tie-breaker or not, the Devils have found themselves playing in a number of games that couldn't be decided in regulation.
11 to be exact.
Overall, New Jersey has lost just one of those overtime games, finshing victiorious 10 times.
The Devils are 2-0 in the extra five-minute session, and are 8-1 in shootouts, an aspect in which they have excelled tremendously.
The Devils have the two best shootout players in the league this season, goali-wise, in left-winger Ilya Kovalchuk and left-winger Zach Parise. Kovalchuk has gove 6-7 this season and Parise has gone 6-9. Normally, they go 1-2 in the shootout, and, if necessary, Patrik Elias, who set the Devils record with his 384th-goal last week, will finish it off for New Jersey.
Last night, after giving away a 3-0 lead to the Capitals -- a team they will likely be jockeying for playoff position with -- Kovalchuk buried his shootout attempt, Parise made a deke and lifted his back-handed shot high, and Elias finished it off with a goal of his own, giving the Devils their 8th win in the shootout on the season.
Elias is tied for second in the NHL with four goals in the shootout, having a 4-6 mark.
In net, goalie Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg are among the top goalies in terms of percentages. Hedberg is second in the NHL with five wins in the shootout, and Brodeur is third with three wins.
Hedberg has a .667 save percentage this season, and Brodeur has yet to give up a shootout goal, stopping all six attempts against him.
In last night's win vs Washington, Brodeur made two stops -- with both shooters going glove-side -- to give the Devils the win. Most notably, he robbed Alexander Ovechkin, who ripped a wrist-shot from the slot, with a glove save.
There are no shootouts in the playoffs, but, come April, if New Jersey doesn't find themselves on top of the Atlantic division, they will likely be in good shape, largely because of their ability to finish close games.