What a game. I know some feel the regular season doesn't matter all that much, but games like today's afternoon game between the New Jersey Devils and the Pittsburgh Penguins make a compelling argument against that notion. Today's game had it all. It had a lot of physical play. It had a lot of penalties. It had downs (the Devils' power play in the first period) and ups (the Devils' power play in the third period). It had shifts and highlights of sheer amazement. It had events that are simply rare. Of course, relevant to us, the New Jersey Devils prevailed 3-1 to extend their own winning streak to four games while ending the Penguins' own streak.

The Devils opened up the game on the wrong foot. David Clarkson lazily tripped Evgeni Malkin within the opening minute and the Penguins made him pay when Simon Depres' shot went through traffic, off Brandon Sutter's stick, and past Martin Brodeur. It was 1-0 before many fans even got to their seats. The Devils battled back and Pittsburgh was more than happy to help them with three straight penalties. The Devils squandered the six minutes of the man advantage and generated exactly one shot on net across all three. It's one thing to not score on a power play and Pittsburgh's penalty kill has been pretty good. However, the Devils just lost pucks, struggled to get into the zone after the Penguins' first clear, and made poor decision after poor decision. They did play better near the end of the period at even strength, though.