Cory Schneider tried to send the puck over to Andy Greene in the first period. But Greene skated past the puck, leaving it open for Henrik Sedin to feed Ryan Kesler the puck for the game-tying goal.
The Devils regained the lead 3:34 minutes later, when Henrik Sedin banked the puck off the backboards to Daniel Sedin, who put the puck under Schneider’s right leg.
The Devils lost in the shootout to the Canucks 3-2, their ninth loss of the season. New Jersey is on a two-game losing streak after winning its first game last Saturday.
“I think it’s a good point because of how we played,” coach Peter DeBoer said. “We deserve better so you know it leaves you with a little bit of a bad taste in your mouth. But I can’t fault our effort or how we played, I wouldn’t change much about our game or how we played.”
But despite the miscues, the bounce and yet another tally in the “L” column, the Devils — and DeBoer — know the team isn’t as bad as their six points.
“We challenge these guys on a daily basis to be better, whether it’s a line or two or three guys or a handful of guys,” DeBoer said. “Those challenges are done daily and like I said I’ve liked three of our last four games.
“We’re starting to play the way I think we need to play, with an identity. We’re not giving up much, that’s much better than where we were at two weeks ago”
Even Schneider, who blamed himself for the miscommunication mistake with Greene and failing to play well, noted the team’s effort.
“It’s my job to take charge there and dictate what’s going to happen,” Schneider said of the miscommunication error with Greene. “You can’t expect [Greene] to know what I’m thinking, so I should’ve just taken charge and moved it and it kind of spun out towards him so I didn’t know if he was going to go get it or not but it never should’ve gotten to that place, I should’ve handled it better on the dump in.”
The goalkeeper made 19 saves and allowed one goal in the shootout.
“I expect more of myself and when my team plays like that, you [have] to respond and pull your weight,” Schneider said. “So we were challenged a little bit before this game and everyone stepped up and I didn’t really rise to the challenge there in the first two periods.”
Even though the Devils recorded their third shootout loss of the season, something DeBoer said he doesn’t know how to fix, there were some positives for the team.
It included Elias’ return to the lineup, as the 37-year-old converted an Andrei Loktionov feed for the first goal of the game. And Eric Gelinas, filling in for Bryce Salvador, also tallied a score for New Jersey.
“Bad result, not a bad game.” Elias said. “I thought that we were the better team honestly.”
Elias, Jaromir Jagr and Loktionov created quality scoring chances and Loktionov also finished with the team’s highest faceoff-winning percentage.
The trio — along with Marek Zidlicky and Anton Volchenkov — ended the game with a plus-1 rating.
“I think a lot of the guys know they need to do better and I know I need to be better. I felt I was skating good tonight, had some chances,” Henrique said.
“I thought we played a great game from start to finish and now we [have to] keep building on this.”