Devils' Ruff: Wild 'irresponsible' for being late for game due to traffic

Andy Marlin / National Hockey League / Getty

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Minnesota Wild didn’t let a traffic jam slow them down against the New Jersey Devils.

Kevin Fiala scored the lone goal in a shootout, Cam Talbot made 42 saves and the Wild beat the Devils 3-2 on Wednesday night after arriving late to the arena.

Stuck in holiday traffic in Manhattan with the Holland Tunnel closed, the Wild finally made it to Prudential Center at 6:26 p.m., pushing the start back 24 minutes to 7:33 p.m.

“In my opinion, it’s a little irresponsible on their part,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said.

The delay to the original start time had no ill effects on the visiting team, which sat through a 2 1/2-hour bus ride from its hotel to the arena.

“Tried to come in here and you know, not to overthink anything. Just go out there and control what I can control. And that’s all you can do in a game like that, a situation like this,” Talbot said. “So that was my mindset coming into it and I feel like I was able to execute that tonight.”

Minnesota scored two first-period goals before the Devils overcame a 2-0 deficit in the third to send the game to overtime.

Dmitry Kulikov assisted on Ryan Hartman’s goal to open the scoring 12:10 into the first period and give the Wild a 1-0 lead. Nico Strum scored at 19:06, making it 2-0 at the first intermission.

The Devils cut the lead in half early in the third when Pavel Zacha scored to make it 2-1 at 3:08.

New Jersey tied it with six skaters on the ice when Yegor Sharangovich scored at 18:53 to make it 2-all.

The Wild ended a two-game skid and remained atop the Central Division.

Mackenzie Blackwood made 27 saves in the loss. The Devils were 0 for 4 on the power play, including a two-man advantage in the third period, when Talbot had three saves.

“We did have a couple of good looks. We did have a couple that was frustrating on the entry,” Ruff said. “We made some tough decisions, but that’s stuff that we’re just going to continue to keep working on. I think we hit a post on a power player, I think we hit an open net on a power play. We've just got to keep believing that if we keep working at it, it’s going to get better.”’

The Devils fell to 1-3 in shootouts this season, while the Wild improved to 2-1.

NOTES: New Jersey center Chase De Leo made his debut for the Devils. He played nine shifts and 5:30.


Wild: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Friday afternoon.

Devils: At the Nashville Predators on Friday night.


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Devils' Ruff: Wild 'irresponsible' for being late for game due to traffic
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