Bedeviled: Avs continue New Jersey’s late-game woes

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Call it a growing problem or just an unfortunate coincidence, but the New Jersey Devils can’t seem to protect a late lead lately.

Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy aggressively pulled Jean-Sebastien Giguere from the net to get an extra attacker earlier than usual, and that gambit paid off, as P.A. Parenteau tied the game up 1-1 with less than two minutes remaining.

It didn’t take long for Ryan O’Reilly to win it for Colorado 2-1 in OT, either.

With that, the Devils coughed up a one-goal lead within the final two minutes of a third period for the third consecutive game on Monday. They beat the Dallas Stars on Jan. 30 but haven’t been so lucky in the last two games, allowing overtime victories by the Avalanche and Nashville Predators.

That’s two more toss-up points that New Jersey left on the table. Cory Schneider and the Devils have played well during quite a few stretches this season – leading head coach Peter DeBoer to feel optimistic about the future – yet those crucial bounces keep going against them.

Sooner or later, these bad breaks might just bounce the Devils out of the playoff picture altogether.