New Jersey desperately tried to find an equalizing goal as Hedberg was pulled but Jeff Carter added an empty-netter to put the stamp on a 5-3 Philadelphia win. Shortly before the end of the game, a controversial non-call took place. The on-ice officials missed Mike Richards' high stick that struck the face of Langenbrunner, who collapsed to the ice during a scramble in front of the Flyers' net. A bloodied Langenbrunner skated over in vain to show the referee evidence of the infraction.
Langenbrunner shows the official his proof of taking a highstick to the face.
"I went and asked (the referee). He said he couldn't tell whose stick it was so he couldn't call it," Langenbrunner later told.
If the call was made, the Devils would have had nearly a minute of power play time to try to even the closely-fought affair. MacLean gave his own verdict after the game, "They definitely missed one. Nothing you can do about it. What are you going to do? They're going to say no, and we're going to say yeah, and we'll watch the video and it'll bear out that they did miss one."
The Devils next journeyed to the newly built Consol Energy Center to face the scorching-hot Pittsburgh Penguins who were on a streak of nine consecutive victories. Former Devil Bill Guerin was honored before the game as both sets of fans have fond memories of the 18-year veteran American winger who had recently announced his retirement. Guerin came through the Devils' system and spent seven seasons in New Jersey where he was a member of their 1995 Stanley Cup winning team and later won a second Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009. Colin White made his 700th NHL appearance that night, all as a Devil.
New Jersey's power play continued to yield goals as Brian Rolston attained a late first period lead. It was the second goal of the year for Rolston as Arnott and Mattias Tedenby collected their sixth and fourth helpers of the season. Chris Kunitz's powerful slap-shot was drilled past Hedberg a minute later to tie up the contest before the close of the period.
Jamie and the Devils visited Pittsburgh but were not able to leave with a win.
League-leading goal-scorer, Sidney Crosby deceived Hedberg to take the game to 2-1 in the Penguins' favor during the second period. The Devils kept up the pressure on Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury throughout the game but the score line remained the same as the Penguins marched on to their tenth win on the bounce.
Langenbrunner was not impressed with the overall team effort that evening, "We did some good things, but we did enough bad things that we didn't win again."
He also came out in firm support of his head coach as some called for MacLean's firing, "That's the furthest thing (that should happen.) I would hope that it's not the angle. That doesn't deserve to happen. It's in this room and it should be one of us," he told The Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti.
The captain continued, "I don't know how every player takes it. "I definitely take it hard and take responsibility for it. Rightfully so or not, I do. That's my personality. I always have. If we're not winning, I look to myself."
Before their flight to Ottawa, Jamie along with long-time Devils Martin Brodeur and Patrik Elias visited the St. Barnabas Pediatric Center in Livingston, New Jersey to cheer up some brave children. They enjoyed the chance to spend time with the kids who were delighted to meet their heroes and received Devils-themed gifts. The New Jersey Devils organization as a whole sent player representatives to eight local area pediatric hospitals including Overlook Hospital in Summit, New Jersey where David Clarkson visited.
Langenbrunner, Elias and Brodeur spread some holiday cheer at St. Barnabas.
"The smiles on the kids faces," Clarkson said. "To me, I think it's something we should do. I think it's something that, when you see those kids, an hour of our day, bringing them a hat or a jersey or something little, it just means the world to them. It's very special."
He continued, "Sometimes you bring their spirits up; you make them feel a little bit better just for that hour or that couple of hours. I think there's nothing that makes you feel better than after you leave the hospital. And it's hard, it's hard sometimes you go in there and see some of these kids and people the way they are – it's very tough to do. But I think you have to remember what you're doing and how excited some of them are to see you."
Brodeur made his return between the pipes as New Jersey made their way north of the border to take on the Ottawa Senators. It was his first start after being held out of the past nine games due to an elbow injury. Anton Volchenkov was given warm applause from the crowd at Scotiabank Place, where he spent the first 7 seasons of his NHL career.