During New Jersey’s Thursday media session, Peter DeBoer and Patrik Elias were both asked about the number of goals New York has scored in the third period.
Q. You talked about how you responded in the third period. You had 12 goals, but eight have been in the third period. How concerning is that to you moving forward?
DeBOER: That we’ve given up eight goals in the third period?
Q. Yeah, you’ve allowed 12 in the series to the Rangers, but eight of them have been in the third period.
DeBOER: Oh, yeah. Well, we’re winning the series 3-2. I don’t care when we give up the goals as long as we win the games.
Q. You talked about you have to play better. Specifically what do you have to do in the third period here? You go out of the 12 goals in the series. What do you have to do to lead tomorrow?
ELIAS: Can you repeat that? What do we have to do better in the third period?
Q. Yeah, 8 of the 12 goals you’ve allowed in the series have been in the third. How do you play better in the third so your leads don’t slip away?
PATRIK ELIAS: Well, didn’t we score two goals yesterday and they got one in the third? So as long as we get more goals than they do, that’s fine.
The problem with this line of questioning? While the Rangers’ goal total looks compelling, it isn’t really indicative of how the third periods have played out:
— Two of New York’s eight third period markers went into an empty net
— Devils have outscored the Rangers in the final frames of Games 2, 4 and 5.
— Overall, the Rangers lead the Devils in third-period scoring by an 8-5 margin, which is hardly overwhelming.
Elias went on to dismiss the third period scoring discrepancy altogether.
“I don’t think that’s an issue anybody’s thinking about,” he concluded. “We’re not talking about it as an issue.”