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Devils Never Give Up

The Devils have been on one of the most ridiculous streaks in team history as the team manages over and over to keep itself in games by scoring huge goals in the 3rd period.

It all started with a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh nine games ago that saw the Devils winning 1-0 going into the 3rd period.  Skinner on Pittsburgh tied the game less than a minute into the period in what should have been a massively deflating goal. Instead, Bobby Ryan answered less than 20 seconds later with his 22nd goal of the year on a great pass by Kane. With the lead again, this time the team managed to up the lead by two when Ryan scored on a great individual effort with 7 minutes left in the game. Despite being outshot in the 3rd period 15-8, Miller actually stood on his head for once and only let that one shot get by him, making 34 saves in the game.

Little did the team know, that game would spark something in the Devils, especially the top players.

Next up was Ottawa, and this time the team entered the 3rd period losing 2-1. Once again it was Bobby Ryan who found some magic, getting a feed from Stempniak to score his 24th goal of the season. Unfortunately Tyler Ennis got his 11th goal with 7 and a half minutes left that had the Sens back on top 3-2.  The game looked about over until Taylor Chorney's point shot was put in by Kane with only 40 seconds left in the period. Despite not getting anything in OT, the team was ecstatic with the tie considering the score with a minute left...

Despite the build up in team belief, the team came out flat and got beat 3-1 by a high powered Florida team, who New Jersey has had problems with the last few years.

However, after this the team was back playing Pittsburgh and didn't wait for 3rd period dramatics. Dominating the game with 37 shots while only giving up 21, the team put in 5 goals on MAF and 2 more on backup Anders Lindback. Going an insane 3 for 5 on the powerplay the team was back on track. Another goal by Ryan, 4 points by Backes, 2 goals from Kane and 2 goals from depth D Stralman fueled the attack. The team went into Calgary expecting big things.

Instead the team came out flat, letting Pitkanen get a goal in the first before tieing it in the 2nd on backes 20th of the year. Unfortunately that lead only stood for 10 minutes as Brenden Morrison scored a goal to put Calgary up 2-1 going into the 3rd period. Once again Backes came up huge with his 2nd goal of the game on a dish from Brooks Laich before Stempniak put the game on ice with a 5 on 3 powerplay goal from Kane and Stralman. Raycroft had another great game, saving 24 shots on 26 attempts.

And once again, NJ came out flat in the next game getting dominated by an incredibly hot Western Conference team - the Edmonton Oilers. After the 4-0 loss the team regrouped for a home and home against Winnipeg.

Heading into Winnipeg, the team was absolutely horrible as the Jets scored 4 goals in a row between the 1st and 2nd period as Backes took 2 penalties, one which resulted in a PP goal allowed.

However, once Edler scored his 6th of the year from Kane and Backes, and Clarkson got his 9th literally as time expired in the 2nd period (6. DEVILS, CLARKSON 9 (BOZAK, PAILLE), 20:00) the team went into the 3rd believing anything could happen. Then, halfway through the third, Laich once again put up a big goal, putting the team within one before rookie D Dmitri Kulikov got his 4th of the year from Darth Quaider and Stempniak...with 53 seconds left in the 3rd. Once again, the team was more then content with the tie after trailing 4-0...

After the tie it was on to New Jersey for the 2nd part of the home and home and the game was more of the same. The Devils opened the 3rd period down 1-0 to the Jets, very reminescent to the game against the Senators. Once again the Devils scored (Stralman 3) first to tie the game before the always lethal Datsyuk got his 12th of the year 2 minutes later. Not to be outdone by their two-way wizard, the Devils own best two-way player, David Backes, took the team on his back and carried the puck all the way up ice and scored his 22nd of the year to the chanting of the crowd, tying the game at 2 apiece.

This time, the team didnt' want to settle for the tie. Wisniewski fed a pass up to the Jets blueline and on a one touch play, Backes fed Laich who roofed his 12th goal of the year to give the Devils their 4th overtime win on the season.

And following the same pattern, the team once again came into their own building the next night completely flat. Giving up goals to Wideman (9), hejduk (13), Johansson (4) to go down 3-0 heading into the 2nd.

After a boring 2nd (no scoring or penalties) the team eruopted in the 3rd period. After a few games off, Bobby Ryan decided to be a hero again, as he scored his team leading 26th and 27th goals on the year in succession at 8:22 and 12:44 of the 3rd. Bottom six center Tyler Bozak scored his 5th on a feed from Stralman with 1 and a half minutes left. Looking like another tie, the Bruisn prepared for OT but...Edler scored a bomb from the point with 4 seconds left to give the Devils a 4-3 win on a feed from Backes to get his 7th of the year.

Backup Raycroft was hurt after his first save, as well as Jussi Jokinen being injured. Despite this, and Richard Bachman the 3rd string goalie coming in to play, the Devils somehow managed another huge come from behind win.