Ducks fall to Devils in shootout for third consecutive loss to open trip
Tomas Tatar and Jesper Bratt scored in a shootout and Nico Daws stopped both Ducks attempts to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 victory Saturday night.
Tatar also scored in regulation and Daws had 33 saves for New Jersey (22-32-5), which won three of the four games on its homestand.
Daws, playing in his first shootout, stopped Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry in the tiebreaker.
Tatar scored on a backhander on the Devils’ first shot, and Bratt beat Anthony Stolarz with a forehand shot after a nice move.
“I made the first move on both of them and kind of made it easy for them,” Stolarz said. “Obviously not the way you want to go out for a goalie going 0 for 2, but overall I thought I played well and felt really good out there.”
Terry scored in regulation for the Ducks (27-24-10), and Stolarz made 39 saves. The Ducks have lost six of their last eight games, including three straight to begin a five-game trip.
Kings forward Dustin Brown sustains an upper-body injury and Matt Roy leaves with a lower-body injury in 5-0 loss to San Jose Sharks.
Daws has been impressive the last seven days in winning three of the four games on the just completed homestand, giving up eight goals. The 21-year-old has started the last seven games and is 6-4 on the season.
“We’ve been given that opportunity to just keep playing him through games, and if there was a game he didn’t like, I guess he knows he’s going to play,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “I think that’s a good feeling for a goaltender.”
Daws is getting the chance because New Jersey’s top goaltenders, Mackenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier, are hurt and probably out for the season.
“He’s been a huge part of our team right now,” Tatar said. “He’s making some key saves. He’s standing very tall for us.”
Terry gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead with 8:58 left in the first period with his 28th goal of the season. He took a cross-ice pass from Max Comtois and beat Daws with a shot from the top of the right circle to the top left-hand corner of the net.
Tatar tied the score early in the second period with his 11th goal. Jesper Boqvist set it up, stealing the puck at the Devils’ blue line and feeding Tatar for a shot in close to cap a two-on-one break.
Both goaltenders came up big in the third period to keep the score tied.
Stolarz stopped Pavel Zacha on a short-handed attempt and Dawson Mercer in close twice. He stopped Jack Hughes in close in the overtime.
Adam Henrique scored and John Gibson made 26 saves in the Ducks’ 4-1 loss to the Predators on Thursday in Nashville.
Daws had a stop in close on Adam Henrique on the Ducks’ second power play in the third period. Henrique also hit his second goalpost of the game in the third period.
“The boys were on tonight for sure,” Ducks defenseman Josh Manson said of the goalies. “I mean, we tested their goalie pretty good. He made some good saves, and [Stolarz] was there for everything we need him to be.”
Ruff passed Al Arbour for fifth on the NHL games coached list with 1,608. ... Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek was the Devils’ first 40-goal scorer when he had a career-high 46 goals in 1987-88. ... Manson (upper body) played for the first time since Jan. 29 and had an assist on the first goal. ... Ducks defenseman Jamie Drysdale missed his first game of the season. He was a healthy scratch after being a minus-7 in the last two games. ... New Jersey wore a sharp green warmup jersey before the game with shamrocks to note St. Patrick’s Day next week.
Ducks: At New York Islanders on Sunday night in the fourth game of a five-game trip.
Devils: Open three-game trip to Western Canada on Tuesday night in Vancouver.
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