Devils fourth straight overtime game puts them on brink of playoff spot

Alan Bass
SON 2-7

For the fourth time in four games, the New Jersey Devils found themselves playing past 60 minutes. After a January 30 win against Dallas, a subsequent loss the next night against Nashville, and a second straight OT loss three nights later at the hands of Colorado, the Devils finally regained their footing, sneaking out a 2-1 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on home ice.

Jon Merrill, the 38th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Draft, ripped home a slap shot from the left slot, his first NHL goal, to give the Devils two important points, and push them up to 61 for the season.

Although they are technically in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, they are just three points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the third spot in the Metropolitan Division, and three points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card spot.

As always, the Devils are thriving on their defense and goaltending, as Cory Schneider and Martin Brodeur are keeping the team alive this season. The team ranks eighth in the league in goals against, despite sitting 22nd in points. New Jersey has always banked on defending their way to the playoffs, but that might be even more apparent this year, a season in which just one player has over 35 points (Jagr).

But when has offensive struggles prevented a Lou Lamoriello-led team from succeeding?