Devils coach Pete DeBoer did not want to put too much importance on the start of a three-game road trip tonight against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre.

But he realizes these games could be crucial in the Devils’ playoff hopes.

"They're important. It's not do or die. At the same time in this condensed schedule you can look at every week as critical,” DeBoer said. “You don't want to put yourself in a bigger hole than you need to. We're also very aware that everybody is going to go through stretches like this. It's just trying to keep (the losing streaks) as short as possible."

The trip did not start well as Andrew Ladd scored early in the game and then again late, lifting the Jets to a 3-1 victory over the Devils, who have now lost three in a row.

“When things aren’t going your way, you’re not getting those bounces and tonight was a prime example of that,” goalie Johan Hedberg said. “We just need some breaks here and there.”

The Devils are 1-4-1 in their last six games.

With the score tied, 1-1, Jets forward Nik Antropov cross-checked Steve Bernier at 11:39 of the third period but both players were sent off when Bernier was given a minor penalty for embellishment.
Skating 4-on-4, Ladd scored his second goal of the game at 11:59. Dustin Byfuglien carried the puck behind the net and tried to wrap it around the left post. It was blocked by defenseman Marek Zidlicky, but Ladd put the loose puck in with Hedberg on the other side of the crease.