NEWARK -- The Devils controlled play early, held a third-period lead and stayed aggressive with that lead for the second straight game.
And for the second straight game, it wasn't good enough.
The Devils couldn't close the door on a lead with less than 60 seconds to play before dropping their second straight 4-3 overtime decision to the Montreal Canadiens
"We carried the play for the most part, carried the play for the first two periods, and we did a lot of good things," goalie Cory Schneider said. "Should have won. Story of the week."
Devils collapse late vs. Habs
The Devils had two two-goal leads in the third period, but the Canadiens scored the final three goals.
For the past three games, the Devils put together efforts, which to the eye and in their minds, were worthy of wins. They have just two out of a possible six points to show for it.
"It sucks," Lovejoy told NJ Advance Media. "I thought for the third game in a row, we played a pretty good game and dictated play and weren't able to hang on to the lead at the end. We've got to find ways to be harder, to not let teams get that push at the end of the game. Something we've got to figure out."
The Devils held their two-goal leads for just 54 seconds total in the third period, allowing the Canadiens to get back within one goal very quickly on two occasions.
Devils coach John Hynes said it comes down to managing those spots better and not letting up, even for a moment -- something he had said the Devils need to do to win all season.
"If you look at the third period, we went out, we out shot them, we played a strong game," Hynes said. "There were just a couple situations on those goals where we didn't handle them the right way, and they found a way to get in the back of the net. That's more of situational awareness and playing a little stronger in those areas than not having a killer instinct."
Regardless of why the lead slipped away, the loss was the sixth in eight games for the Devils and the fourth in a row.
When Schneider started answering questions in the locker room after the game, there was no easy way to start explaining another frustrating finish.
"Real tough. Just... I don't know," Schneider said. "Just tough. Bad loss."
Chris Ryan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRyan_NJ. Find NJ.com Devils on Facebook.
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.