Even with an injury to one of their star players, the New Jersey Devils continued their strong first-half play with another good week of games.
Last week, the Devils went 2-1-0, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes and splitting a home-and-home series with the Washington Capitals. Despite their losing streak coming to an end, the team played solid hockey. Many of their young players stepped up to help them to those two wins. It continued the team's turnaround from an ugly road losing streak.
On Tuesday, the Devils defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2, at the Prudential Center. Rookie Adam Henrique, a hero last week, was the goat early in the third period. With the Devils leading, 2-1, Joni Pitkanen sent a pass across the slot. The puck deflected off of Henrique's stick and past Martin Brodeur for the game-tying goal.
The rookie would respond, making up for that mistake by scoring the game-tying goal. It was his second game-winning goal in as many days, and gave New Jersey its second straight win over the Hurricanes this season.
The biggest series of the week started Friday night, when the Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils began a home-and-home at the Prudential Center. Adam Larsson scored his first NHL goal, hammering a loose puck past Tomas Vokoun to give the Devils a 1-0 lead after one period. But it would go downhill from there, as the Capitals scored three unanswered goals - including Jason Chimera's shorthanded game-winner in the third period - to take the first game, 3-1. That loss snapped the Devils three-game winning streak.
New Jersey answered back, winning the second game of the series, 3-2, in a shootout. Ryan Carter broke through for his goal as a Devil, and David Clarkson snapped home the shootout winner. The team won it's third game of the season when trailing 2-0 in the second period, a resiliency they didn't show last season.
Devils coach Peter DeBoer acknowledged their ability to fight back after the win.
"They're a resilient group. They're a gritty, gutsy group," the head coach told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "Considering the building and the team we're playing ti would have been easy to mail in the two points tonight and say it wasn't our night and they didn't do that and we got rewarded for resiliency."
The Devils ended the week with 17 points, and still sit fourth in the Atlantic Division. They're tied for ninth in the Eastern Conference, just one point behind the top eight teams.
This week, New Jersey continues it's five game road streak against three familiar Eastern Conference opponents. Here is the week ahead for the Devils:
Tuesday, November 15, 2011: New Jersey Devils at Boston Bruins - 7 p.m. (MSG Plus 2)
New Jersey goes to Beantown for their first meeting against the defending Stanley Cup champions. Last season, the Devils went just 1-3-0 against Boston, getting shut out once. They allowed the Bruins to score 13 goals in those four meetings. Boston struggled early this season, but has rebounded to an 8-7-0 record. They enter the game on a five-game win streak, with four of those wins coming on home ice. New Jersey hasn't played well in Boston, recording a 19-23-8-2 record.
Tyler Seguin, the second-year forward, is tied for second in the league with 11 goals. He's also within the top-five in points (20) and leads the league in plus/minus (plus-14). Seguin had an assist last season in four games against New Jersey.
Patrik Elias leads all Devils' skaters in scoring against Boston. He's recorded 39 points (21 goals, 18 assists) in 50 games. Last season, he recorded one goal and finished minus-5 against the Bruins.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011: New Jersey Devils at Buffalo Bruins - 7:30 p.m. (Versus, TSN 2)
The Devils face the Sabres in their second game against a Northeast Division opponent. This will be the first time the two teams have met this season. Last season, New Jersey went just 1-2-1 against Buffalo last season, twice allowing five or more goals. The main story in Buffalo has been Ryan Miller, who's struggled early this season. In 11 games, he's just 5-6-0 with a 2.86 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage. Miller has enjoyed success against New Jersey, but still holds just a 8-9-1 record against the Devils.
New Jersey won't have to worry about the all-star goalie. Miller suffered a concussion after Milan Lucic checked him to the ice during a 6-2 Bruins win. Lucic will face a hearing for the hit, and Miller is out indefinitely with a concussion.
Henrik Tallinder, who signed with the Devils after playing with Buffalo last season, recorded one assist in four games against his former team.
Saturday, November 19, 2011: New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Lightning - 7 p.m. (MSG Plus 2)
New Jersey travels south for their first meeting with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last season, the Devils went 3-1-0 against Tampa Bay, including two games when New Jersey scored five or more goals. Tampa Bay is 3-2-0 in the month of November, and sit third in their division with 18 points. Guy Boucher came under fire last week, when the Philadelphia Flyers held the puck in their zone as the Lightning set up their 1-3-1 forecheck. Vincent Lecavlier recorded two assists in four games last year, and has 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 47 games against the Devils.
The Devils hold the edge in the battle of goalies. Brodeur holds a 34-15-7 record against Tampa Bay, with a 2.04 goals-against average and five shutouts. Dwayne Roloson is 3-8-2 against New Jersey, with a 2.74 goals-against average.
Goals: Patrik Elias - 6
Assists: Patrik Elias - 9
Points: Patrik Elias - 15
Plus/Minus: Andy Greene - +2
PIM: David Clarkson - 39
Wins: Johan Hedberg - 6
G.A.A: Johan Hedberg - 2.29
Save Percentage: Johan Hedberg - .917%
Next 5 Games
|@ Boston||Tue 11/15||7:00 PM EST|
|@ Buffalo||Wed 11/16||7:30 PM EST|
|@ Tampa Bay||Sat 11/19||7:00 PM EST|
|@ Florida||Mon 11/21||7:30 PM EST|
|Columbus||Wed 11/23||7:00 PM EST|
Last 5 Games
|@ Washington||Sat 11/12||SO - W 3 - 2|
|Washington||Fri 11/11||L 1 - 3|
|Carolina||Tue 11/08||W 3 - 2|
|Winnipeg||Sat 11/05||OT - W 3 - 2|
|@ Philadelphia||Thu 11/03||SO - W 4 - 3|