June 2, 2012

Devils hope to test Quick more often in Game 2

By Jesse Connolly

After mustering just 17 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, the Devils know they have to be better on Saturday night in Game 2. Otherwise, they face the prospect of heading to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4 down two games to none.

Jonathan Quick (Hamden, Conn.) only needed to make 16 saves in the series opener on Wednesday. As far as New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer is concerned, the Devils simply can not expect to walk away from Game 2 victorious if they test Quick as infrequently again.

“We've got to do more,” DeBoer said on Friday after practice. “I think we made it too easy on him. We had some opportunities, but we didn't do enough to make it tough on him.”

While Quick deservedly earns plenty of credit for his superb playoff performance to date, the defensemen in front of him have been equally spectacular, especially the top pairing of Drew Doughty and Boston College alum Rob Scuderi.

Devils forward Travis Zajac said the key to scoring more goals starts with finding ways to get around Los Angeles’ defense and creating more chances.

“Well, we got to start from the beginning getting pucks behind their D,” Zajac said. “They stand up well. They got back pressure all the time from their forwards. For us, we have to get pucks behind them and go to work. 

“You look at the other series, Philly, Rangers, we were able to create some offense from off our cycles, from going high to low, to the points, getting traffic, getting shots in net.  We definitely didn't do enough of that (in Game 1). We’ll have to execute I guess in that part of our game. Hopefully everything else will take care of itself.”

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.