Believe it or not, the Nets were close to a 3-1 start. But Charlotte, staring at an 0-4 beginning to its season closed on a 16-4 run to down the Nets, 85-83, in Newark. The Nets allowed the go-ahead free throws with 30.8 seconds remaining. The Nets then missed three shots as time ran down. Devin Harris led the Nets with 19 points in the loss.

Rick DiPietro gave up seven goals to a team that hadn't scored at home in two games. But they had no trouble beating DiPietro, who played the whole game and let seven goals in on 25 shots. He also let up three goals in the third period to suck the drama out of the game.

The Devils' longest road trip of the year ended on a bright note with a 5-3 win over the Blackhawks in Chicago. All things considered, a 2-3 road trip that went all the way to Anaheim and Vancouver and also included a game against the defending champs. Brad Mills hit the game-winner with under four minutes to go, and the Devils added two empty-netters.