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It's finally that time of year in the NHL. The 82-game regular season has come to a close and the Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us after six months of jockeying for position.
The New York Rangers have put themselves at the top of the Eastern Conference, taking home ice advantage for the first time since 1996 in a series.
John Tortorella's group finished with 109 points and will now play the Ottawa Senators, a team the Rangers actually lost to three out of four times this year. New York should still be the heavy favorite, but don't discount the pesky Senators, who most expected to be among the conference's cellar-dwellers at the beginning of the campaign.
For a complete look at the Rangers first round schedule, click here.
The New Jersey Devils are a different story altogether.
The sixth-seeded Devils will start the postseason against the Florida Panthers, who have been brutal down the stretch but hung on to the Southeast crown. Nobody is more favored going into their match-up than New Jersey.
For a complete look at the Devils first round schedule, click here.
For more coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, be sure to check out our blogs Blueshirt Banter and In Lou We Trust. Also take a peek at our StoryStream and SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.
The New Jersey Devils polished off their regular season with a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. The result helped finalize the 2012 NHL Playoff first-round match-ups and TV schedule, which features the No. 6-seeded Devils playing the No. 3 Florida Panthers.
Here's a look at the series schedule and TV coverage:
|Friday, April 13||7 p.m.||New Jersey at Florida||NHL Network, TSN|
|Sunday, April 15||7:30 p.m.||New Jersey at Florida||NBC Sports Network, TSN|
|Tuesday, April 17||7 p.m.||Florida at New Jersey||NHL Network, TSN|
|Thursday, April 19||7 p.m.||Florida at New Jersey||NHL Network, TSN|
|*Saturday, April 21||6:30 p.m.||New Jersey at Florida||NHL Network, TSN|
|*Tuesday, April 24||TBD||Florida at New Jersey||TBD|
|*Thursday, April 26||TBD||New Jersey at Florida||TBD|
Here's how the rest of the Eastern Conference shapes out.
No. 1 New York Rangers vs. No. 8 Ottawa Senators: The Sens' won the season-series 3-1.
No. 2 Boston Bruins vs. No. 7 Washington Capitals: The Caps won the season-series 3-1.
No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 5 Philadelphia Flyers: This inter-state rivalry featured Flyers winning the season series 4-2
Here's what the Western Conference looks like:
Kovalchuk tied the game at one in the opening period with a power play tally, and then sealed the victory with another strike in the game's closing minute.
Goalie Martin Brodeur stopped 31 of 33 shots to earn the victory, his 31st of the season.
The win means New Jersey will enter the postseason as the sixth seed after finishing with 102 points. Fortunately for the Devils, it means a first round matchup with either Florida of Washington, each of whom has far fewer points this season (they will earn the third seed by virtue of their division championship).
The NHL playoffs will begin next week.
The New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators conclude the 2012 NHL regular season on Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center. (Game Time: 3 p.m. ET, TV Schedule: CBC, MSG Plus)
New Jersey has won five straight and looks to finish the regular season with a six-game winning streak. The Devils will enter the 2012 NHL playoffs as the Eastern Conference's sixth seed regardless of Saturday's outcome, but have been rolling of late, scoring 18 goals against just six for their opponents during the current streak.
Ottawa is looking to secure the seventh seed in the East. The Senators lead the Washington Capitals by two points entering the final day's action.
Despite the win, New Jersey will sit in the sixth seed when the playoffs start as Philadelphia locked in the fifth spot with its win over Buffalo on Thursday. However, the Devils' opponent is not known yet as it could be either Washington or Florida.
"These guys can roll lines all game at you and it's nice to get a win against them," said Broduer. "We got some bounces tonight and we're able to take advantage of them."
Jimmy Howard gave up both goals on 21 shots in the loss.
With the game tied in the third, the Devils went ahead on Sykora's 20th of the season. Dainius Zubrus sent a pass behind the net to Patrik Elias, who quickly threw it out front where Sykora wristed it home with 8:40 to play.
Brodeur needed to make just four stops in the third period to help the Devils to the victory.
"We made a mistake there where one guy slips by us and it cost us the game," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "Aside from that one mistake I thought we played a good game."
Ponikarovsky scored the only goal of the first period halfway through when he jammed in a rebound at the right side after Peter Harrold danced around a couple of defenders in front to get the puck on net.
The Red Wings tied the game on the power play at the 6:13 mark of the second. Valtteri Filppula gained the blueline at the right side and sent a pass over to the left for Jiri Hudler, who then fed it back to the right and Holmstrom had an open net for his 11th of the season.
Sykora has notched at least 20 goals in 11 of his past 12 seasons...Detroit hosts Chicago on Saturday...New Jersey won in Detroit for the first time since November 6, 1996, having dropped nine straight...The Devils, which went 24-15-2 on the road this season, host Ottawa on Saturday.
New Jersey Devils center Jacob Josefson broke his wrist during Tuesday night's 3-1 win over the New York Islanders. The injury will put him on the bench for 4-to-6 weeks, meaning that, best-case scenario, he could return by the end of the second round of the 2012 NHL Playoffs provided New Jersey makes it that far.
It is difficult to tell exactly when Josefson hurt his wrist. He played six shifts in the first period and two in the second. He did not play in the third period, which is when the period was announced. Josefson has already missed 37 games this season after breaking his collarbone on Oct. 31.
Josefson played in 40 games during the regular season, scoring two goals and picking up nine assists with six penalty minutes. He averaged just over 12 minutes per game on the ice.
For more on Josefson and the Devils, head over to the SB Nation blog In Lou We Trust.
Travis Zajac scored on a powerplay just 22 seconds into the second period to provide the winning margin for the New Jersey Devils against the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. It was just his second goal of the season, coming off an assist from Zach Parise. The goal broke a 1-1 tie to give the Devils their fourth straight win.
Matt Moulson scored the Islanders' only goal of the night just 2:39 after Patrik Elias put the Devils up 1-0 just over a minute into the game. Johan Hedberg was a bit better than Al Montoya in net, stopping 19 of 20 shots against. Montoya had 17 saves against 19 shots faced. Ilya Kovalchuk scored the Devils' third and final goal on an empty net with 55 seconds left to play in the game.
The Devils go to Detroit to take on the Red Wings on Thursday, before closing out the regular season against the Ottawa Senators at home Saturday. The Islanders host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday before taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road Saturday.
The New York Islanders look to snap back from two lopsided losses when they visit the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. (Game Time: 7 p.m., TV Schedule: MSG Plus, MSG Plus 2)
The Islanders were outscored 11-4 in consecutive losses to the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators, which came on the heels of a three-game winning streak. Ottawa used three goals within a 10-minute span during the second period to throttle New York 5-1 on Sunday at Nassau Coliseum.
New Jersey clinched a playoff spot Saturday with a 5-0 demolition of the Carolina Hurricanes. Martin Brodeur had 22 saves for the 119th shutout of his career as the Devils guaranteed a return to the postseason after a one-year absence.
Five different players scored and goaltender Martin Brodeur made 22 saves to help the New Jersey Devils shutout the Carolina Hurricanes in an Eastern Conference contest at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. The victory was the Devils fourth straight and improved their overall record to 45-28-6 (96 points), good enough to clinch a playoff berth.
David Clarkson, Ilya Kovalchuk, Ryan Carter, Petr Sykora and Zach Parise each scored goals, respectively, the most coming in a three-game second period that ended with New Jersey ahead 4-0. From there, Brodeur did the rest of the work making nine saves in the third en route to his third shutout of the season.
Kovalchuk finished the game with a team-high three points (a goal and two assists), while Patrik Elias added two apples.
On Tuesday, the Devils host the New York Islanders at the Prudential Center at 7 p.m. ET.
The New Jersey Devils look for their third straight victory Saturday night when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes.
New Jersey can clinch a playoff berth with one point in any of their final four contests. The Devils have won their last two, including a balanced 6-4 effort against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. Six different Devils scored goals as they drew within a hair of postseason qualification.
Carolina was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention on Friday night after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets. The Hurricanes led 3-1 in the second period before surrendering two goals to tie the score and another just 16 seconds into overtime.
The New Jersey Devils did everything in their power to secure their bid for the 2012 NHL Playoffs on Thursday night, taking out the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4 at home. Unfortunately, the Washington Capitals didn't hold up their end of the bargain by defeating the Bruins 3-2 in an overtime shootout, technically leaving the door open for the Devils to miss the playoffs.
At 44-28-6 on the season, it would take a lot at this point for New Jersey to fall out of sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Thursday, they certainly proved they have the offensive horsepower for a solid postseason run. New Jersey ended the first period down 1-0, then exploded for four goals in the second to take a 4-3 lead into the third. They added two more in the second to make the score 6-3 before Trevor Smith found net with nine seconds to go to make the score more respectable for the Lightning.
Despite the outburst, no player picked up more than two points for the Devils. Patrik Elias had two assists, and Ilya Kovalchuk had one goal and one assist. Dainius Zubrus, Jacob Josefson, Marek Zidlicky, Alexei Ponikarovsky and David Clarkson all found net. Ryan Malone scored three goals for Tampa Bay for the fourth hat trick of his career.
The New Jersey Devils have an opportunity to punch their postseason ticket on Thursday night when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning, and it comes in the form of securing at least a point of their combined with a regulation loss by the Washington Capitals, who take on the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins on the road.
The Devils know the challenge at hand with Tampa, and that's slowing down Lightning center Steven Stamkos, who ripped his 54th and 55th goals of the season the last time he took the ice. That puts him nine tallies clear of the rest of the NHL, and he's remained the lone bright spot in an otherwise downtrodden season for his team.
New Jersey has taken two of three match ups with Tampa this season, but the Lightning beat the Devils on Feb. 26, the last time they squared off.
Game Time: 7 p.m. EST
TV Coverage: MSG
Martin Brodeur turned back four of five shooters to give the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in an overtime shootout on Tuesday night. Travis Zajac and Patrik Elias scored in the extra period to help New Jersey snap a two-game losing streak.
Brodeur recorded 37 saves combined in regulation and overtime, only getting beat once on a 58-foot Brent Seabrook slapshot midway through the third period. Corey Crawford didn't quite face the same onslaught as Brodeur, but still played well in net while turning back 21 of 22 shots against. The Devils led for nearly 33 minutes after Petr Sykora scored on a power play with just over four minutes to play in the first period.
The New Jersey Devils host the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night in the teams' lone meeting of the season.
New Jersey followed a shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs by dropping a 5-2 decision to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, and will be looking to bounce back against the surging Blackhawks, who are 7-2-1 in their past 10 outings.
The Devils' Travis Zajac returned from an Achilles injury against Pittsburgh on Sunday, netting an assist in his first game since Jan. 2, but New Jersey had no answer for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who each netted a goal and an assist.
The New Jersey Devils lost their second straight on Sunday night, falling 5-2 to a hot Pittsburgh Penguins club. The Devils were down 3-1 heading into the third period, but Ilya Kovalchuk's 32nd goal of the season put the team with striking distance of tying the game. The Pens scored two straight to put the game away, however, including a doozy by Sidney Crosby.
The Pittsburgh center and captain tallied a goal for a second straight game, beating a New Jersey defender with a pass to himself off of the boards. It was just his fourth goal of the season. Evgeni Malkin scored on an empty net with 1:32 to play in regulation to ice the game.
Zach Parise was the only other Devil to beat Marc-Andre Fleury, scoring on a backhander from 15 feet out to tie the game 1-1 at the 5:10 mark of the first period. Chris Kunitz, Jordan Staal and Pascal Dupuis also scored for the Pens. Martin Brodeur faced 27 shots on net, and saved 23 of them.
The New Jersey Devils will look to move a few points closer of locking up a NHL playoff berth Sunday, as they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins in a Atlantic Division contest at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. (7 p.m. ET on MSG). The Devils (42-27-6, 90 points) will also be trying to take the six-game season series, which features New Jersey ahead 3-2.
The task will not be easy, however, as the Penguins have won nine straight games at home and are still in the hunt for the Eastern Conference's top seed in the playoffs.
On Saturday, the Pens lost to the Ottawa Senators, 8-4, while the Devils were edged by the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3, in a shootout on Friday. The loss dropped the Devils to 2-3-1 over their last six games, but they do sit comfortably in six-place in the Easter Conference standings.
The New Jersey Devils fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs at home on Friday night in the Prudential Center after a shootout by a score of 4-3. The Devils have now lost three of their last four games, but 90 points still has them in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and in the playoffs if the season were to end today. The Maple Leafs have 74 points, which puts them in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, eight points behind the eighth-place Washington Capitals.
After a scoreless first period, the Maple Leafs struck first when Tyler Bozak scored a goal at the 13:47 mark in the second. He was followed by Nazem Kadri, who scored another Toronto goal at the 14:56 mark in the same period. Then, at the 18:57 in the second, the Devils got on the board with a Jacob Josefson goal.
In the third, Toronto's David Stecke gave the Maple Leafs a 3-1 lead before New Jersey came back to tie things up with a Zach Parise goal (10:57) and a Adam Henrique goal (15:18), forcing overtime. Neither the Devils nor the Maple Leafs were able to score in overtime, sending the game into a shootout.
The Devils went first in the shootout and Ilya Kovalchuk scored on the team's first attempt. He was matched by Toronto's Tyler Bozak on the Maple Leafs' first attempt. New Jersey's Zach Parise scored on the team's second attempt and they were once again matched by Toronto, this time by Tim Connolly. New Jersey's Patrik Elias missed the team's third shot, which opened the door for Toronto, and they took advantage of the opportunity as Nazem Kadri sent the team's third attempt into the net, ending the game.
The Devils will attempt to bounce back on Sunday in Pittsburgh against the Penguins at 7 p.m. (ET) and the Maple Leafs will try to build off their win on Saturday at home against the Rangers at 7 (ET).
The New Jersey Devils look to build on a shutout victory against the Ottawa Senators when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night. (7 p.m., MSG Plus)
New Jersey bounced back from consecutive losses to shut out Ottawa 1-0 on Tuesday night. Ilya Kovalchuk scored at 17:20 of the second period and Johan Hedberg notched 34 saves as the Devils held on for the win, which was especially important because the two teams are jockey for seeding in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Devils are currently in sixth place with 89 points while the Senators, with 84, are seventh.
For more New Jersey Devils news, check out In Lou We Trust.
Both the New Jersey Devils and the Ottawa Senators put 34 shots on net Tuesday night, but neither team was able to generate much offense.
Johan Hedberg also played an important role, recording his second shutout in three games and fifth of the season. The defense obviously didn't do much to curb the number of shots he faced, but it did do a nice job cleaning up rebounds and eliminating second chance opportunities. Ben Bishop had a nice night in net for the Senators as well, though he'll get credited for the loss.
Zach Parise put eight shots on goal to lead all players on the night. The win ended a four-game losing streak for the Devils in Ottawa. New Jersey will host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday before visiting the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.
The New Jersey Devils will get a chance to move one step closer to solidifying a Eastern Conference playoff spot while also ending a four-game losing streak at the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night (7:30 p.m. ET on MSG-Plus). The Devils (41-27-5, 87 points) sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings and could push its lead on the last playoff spot to nine points with a victory Tuesday, while the Senators are in seventh place, four points ahead of the last spot.
On Monday, the Devils dropped its third game in four tries in a rough-and-tumble contest with tri-state rival the New York Rangers, 4-2. The recent struggles could be attributed to the play of star Ilya Kovalchuk who has netted zero goals in the last four games.
Meanwhile, Ottawa has dropped five of its last eight games and are looking to take a 2-1 season series lead over the Devils, which lost at the Senators on Jan. 2.
For more Devils news, check out In Lou We Trust.
It's not often that a game starts with three concurrent fights at the puck drop, but that's what happened Monday night at Madison Square Garden as the New York Rangers hosted the New Jersey Devils, and coach John Tortorella wasn't too pleased about it. What he was enthused about was how the Rangers responded to the fighting group Devils coach Peter DeBoer threw out there, and how his squad went about playing its game en route to a 4-2 victory. If the win didn't feel good enough, being the Eastern Conference's first team to clinch the playoffs did.
It goes without saying that the Devils and Rangers hate each other. According to Henrik Lundqvist in the postgame (via the NY Daily News' Pat Leonard), Tortorella wasn't thrilled about the lineup DeBoer was beginning with, and the war began right at the opening faceoff. The Devils' coach put out his fighting/checking line to begin the game, so Tortorella was forced to throw his out there as well (and even inserted Stu Bickel at center to combat it all). And with that came the fireworks: Ryan Carter fought Bickel, Eric Boulton fought Mike Rupp and Brandon Prust took on Cam Janssen.
The bouts gave the Rangers some good life early, but their start was really reminiscient to the style they've played for most of the year. The Devils seemed to play out of their comfort zone/game plan, and the Rangers took advantage, with Brandon Dubinsky cashing in 1:11 into the first period for a goal on a four-on-two (because a few Devils were caught in the Rangers' zone throwing checks). New York controlled the flow in the first period, outshooting their opponents 13-6.
The Rangers have struggled lately to extend leads, playing a lot of close games with little room for error. So, 33 seconds in Dan Girardi took a point shot that lifted past Martin Brodeur. Lundqvist (and Martin Brodeur) had his brilliant moments. But, he also had two of his uglier one, and they came on the goals he gave up. About five minutes later the Devils cut the deficit to one on a sharp-angle goal that beat Lundqvist above the right shoulder by Patrik Elias.
But the Rangers -- probably a credit to the building and learning from their last loss, 4-1, to the Devils. -- stayed composed, and they took advantage of a penalty to make it 3-1. Mats Zuccarello, who has made a huge impact on the power play, tucked in the rebound on Ryan Callahan's shot. Yet the Devils didn't relent, as Petr Sykora beat Lundqvist again on a sharp-angled shot that was worse than the first one.
The Rangers doubled up their advantage late in the third -- at 18:50 -- as Derek Stepan converted with a great deflection just after a power play ended. New York killed off three New Jersey power plays, and went 1-for-3 on their own. They finished the game with a 27-22 shot edge, and even more notable was the 41-23 hits advantage.
This was a game in which the Devils seemed a little out of sorts, and the Rangers really imposed their style on them. New Jersey is 41-27-5 on the year and will travel to Ottawa for a game tomorrow night. The Rangers, 45-20-7, will battle the Detroit Red Wings at home on Wednesday, which should be another playoff-like test for them.
When the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers face off tonight at Madison Square Garden, they'll both have plenty on the line.
The Devils enter tonight struggling to find offense. They've scored just one goal in their last three games, winning only once. Martin Brodeur has stopped 93 of 100 shots against over that span. The losses have kept New Jersey stuck in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, and they sit seven points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for fourth in the conference. The chances of New Jersey clinching home ice for the first round of the playoffs are slowly disappearing.
"I don't think that's (home ice) out of reach by any means," Devils captain Zach Parise told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "But they're playing well, Philly's playing well, the Rangers have been playing well all season. So, it will be a challenge, but I don't think it's out of reach by any means."
The Rangers have watched their almost insurmountable conference lead slip away. They led by 10 points just over two weeks ago, but now remain ahead of the Penguins by just one point. They've lost five of their last seven games. Captain Brandon Dubinsky said he's not worried about the sudden rough patch.
"Look, sometimes you don't play your best and you find ways to win games," he told Andrew Gross of The Bergen Record. "That's just the way it is. At the end of the season, it evens itself out."
This is the final meeting between the two rivals this season. New Jersey has won three of the five meetings, including a 4-1 victory over New York March 6. Tied 1-1 after two periods, the Devils exploded for three goals in the final period. Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias led New Jersey with two points. Derek Stepan scored the Rangers' lone goal.
After an uninspiring 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday, Devils coach Peter DeBoer said he thinks tonight will give his team a jolt.
"It's a rivalry and there's an intensity to that series because of the history of the two teams and what they've been through," he told Gulitti. "I think there's genuine dislike and that all adds to the environment.
"You want to jump right right back in. They don't give you any choice but to compete and the environment, I think, will be a welcome emotional boost for us to be ready to play."
The game will be on NBC Sports Network. Faceoff is 7:30 p.m.
For the second straight game, the New Jersey Devils couldn't find a way to score a goal. But, this time, Martin Brodeur was able to keep the other team off the board.
Brodeur stopped 28 shots and both Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise scored shootout goals to help the Devils defeat the Colorado Avalanche, 1-0, tonight at the Prudential Center. The win gave New Jersey 87 points this season, and extended their lead over the seventh-place Ottawa Senators to five points.
"We got two points. That's all that matters," Kovalchuk told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "Next game (Saturday afternoon) against Pittsburgh is a big game, a divisional game and we've got to score next game."
Kovalchuk scored his seventh deciding shootout goal of the season, breaking a tie for the NHL record set by Adrian Aucoin during the 2009-10 season. His attempt, the first in the shootout, beat Avalanche goalie J.S. Giguere glove side for his 10th shootout goal of the season.
"It's extra points, so it's important, definitely," Kovalchuk told Gulitti. "But, if I wouldn't go first, then somebody else would get the deciding goal. So, it's nice that Pete wants me to go first and set the tone and that's what working lately."
Parise beat Giguere stick side, going from the forehand to the backhand and back again to beat the 34-year old netminder.
Kovalchuk said he knew moving Giguere was key to beating the goalie in the skills competition.
"On that shootout, I knew he was looking real tired there in the end," he told Gulitti. "He pulled that veteran move there with his pads (strap to get a delay in the third period). We just want to make him move a little bit and I think that's what's working."
Giguere stopped 33 shots throughout regulation and overtime.
New Jersey moved to 11-3 in shootouts this season with the win. They'll take on the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center.
When the Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils meet tonight at the Prudential Center, it will be more just the second and final meeting of an out-of-conference season series.
The two rookies enter tonight's matchup with 46 points, tops among all rookie skaters. Henrique leads all rookies with 31 assists, and Landeskog leads with 20 goals. But the two enter tonight on two different ends of the spectrum.
Henrique has failed to score a goal in 13 games and has just five assists in his last 11 contests. Landeskog has found his offensive game, recording nine goals and 10 assists over his last 18 games.
The Devils' rookie leader isn't concerned about the head to head matchup.
"I played against him a little there [in juniors]," he told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "He was a solid player there. He's a team guy. He's a leader. He's a great player. Obviously, he creates a lot of opportunities, a lot of chances. He scores goals. He makes plays. He's a great player. So, it's fun to be part of a battle."
The two teams also enter tonight's game battling for playoff positions. New Jersey is sixth in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the Ottawa Senators. They've won four of their last five meetings, but are looking to rebound from a 3-0 shutout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night. The Devils failed to solve Ilya Bryzgalov, who stopped 17 shots for his third straight shutout win.
The Colorado Avalanche are fighting to hold on to the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Colorado has won three straight games, and enters tonight's matchup two points ahead of the San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames. They defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 5-4, in a shootout last night in Buffalo. Jamie McGinn led all Avs skaters with two goals, and Peter Mueller scored the game-winning shootout goal in the third round.
Martin Brodeur will start tonight for the Devils.
Colorado won the first meeting fo the season, 6-1, on November 30 at the Pepsi Center. Six different players scored in the victory.
The New Jersey Devils have a chance to make history tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Devils have won two road games over the Philadelphia Flyers this year, and will look for a road sweep when the two teams meet for their final game of the season series tonight. Gametime is 7 p.m. and can be seen locally on MSG Plus 2.
New Jersey has never gone undefeated in Philadelphia in a single season. The closest they came was the 1989-90 season, when they had three wins and a tie. They also managed to win three of the four games during the 2006-07 season, but had one overtime loss blemish their perfect record.
Devils head coach Peter DeBoer said completing the road sweep would be an important accomplishment.
"This is a tough building - a very good team, tough building," he told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "We've taken a lot of pride in our road play this year and being a good road team. If you can win in this building, you can win in any building in the league in my mind."
The Devils lead the season series, winning three of five games. They won the most recent meeting, 4-1, Sunday at the Prudential Center in the first game of the home and home series. Patrik Elias put home the first goal of the game, scoring on the powerplay with 25 seconds remaining in the first period. Claude Giroux tied the game 16 seconds into the third period, evening the score at one. New Jersey responded with three goals to skate away with the victory.
Martin Brodeur stopped 18 shots for his 650th win. He'll make his first start in Philadelphia since March 28, 2010, in a 5-1 loss.
llya Bryzgalov will start for Philadelphia. He's won his last five starts, posting shutouts in his last two victories.
Ilya Kovalchuk, who recorded three points in Sunday night's win, enters tonight one goal shy of 400 career goals. He'll become the 87th skater to reach that mark.
The two teams enter the game tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia has played one less game than New Jersey.
In the first four games of the season series, the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers couldn't find a way to win on home ice.
Leave it to New Jersey to buck the trend.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored a goal and added two assists as the Devils defeated the Flyers, 4-1, tonight at the Prudential Center. It was New Jersey's fourth straight win, all over Atlantic Division teams.
The Devils and Flyers are now tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
New Jersey jumped out to a 1-0 lead with 25 seconds left in the first period. With Braydon Coburn in the box for slashing, Kovalchuk held the puck behind his own net. He sent it up the ice for David Clarkson, who moved in on a 2-on-1 with Elias. The right winger floated a pass to Elias, who tipped it past the glove of Sergei Bobrovsky for his 24th goal of the season.
Claude Giroux tied the game, 1-1, just 16 seconds into the third period. Jaromir Jagr carried the puck along the end boards, leaving the puck near the net. Giroux flipped the puck over the shoulder of Martin Brodeur for his 25th goal of the season.
Like their prior three wins, the Devils took control in the third period. Anton Volchenkov broke the tie, scoring the eventual game-winning goal at the 2:45 mark of the final frame. Kovalchuk and Volchenkov moved into the Flyers zone on a 2-on-1. Kovalchuk sent a pass cross ice to a wide open Volchenkov, who buried the puck in an open net for his second goal this season.
Kovalchuk stretched the lead to 3-1 at 8:08 of the third period, becoming the first Devils skater to hit the 30 goal plateau. Adam Henrique collected a loose puck behind Bobrovsky, working it up the boards to Zidlicky. The defenseman found Kovalchuk with a pass in the slot, and the left wing fired a wrist shot past the glove of Bobrovsky.
It's the ninth straight season that Kovalchuk hit the 30 goal mark.
Zach Parise added to the lead, giving New Jersey a 4-1 advantage at the 14:19 mark. With Zac Rinaldo in the box serving a double minor for high sticking, Parise stood in front of the net, tipping an Elias shot on Bobrovsky. The Flyers goalie made the initial save, but Parise collected the rebound and backhanded a shot off the blade of the Flyers goalie for his 28th goal of the season.
Brodeur stopped 18 shots for the win. He made several big stops, including robbing Sean Courturier with a glove save at the 10:05 mark of the first period. Courtier found a loose puck in the left circle and fired a shot on net. Brodeur stuck out his glove and snared the shot.
It was another milestone night for Brodeur, as he recorded his 650th career win.
The two teams will finish the home-and-home series Tuesday night in Philadelphia. New Jersey has won three of the five meetings, including the last two contests.
Henrique recorded his 31st assist tonight, and holds a three point lead over Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog for the points lead among rookies...Clarkson has points in four straight games...The Devils have played five of six straight games against division opponents. They're 4-2-0 against the Flyers, New York Rangers and New York Islanders.
For more Devils news, check out In Lou We Trust.
Only two points separate the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference standings. With just two games left between the two rivals this season, and the possible fourth seed on the line, the Devils know they want the best finish.
"You want to finish as high as possible," Devils coach Peter DeBoer told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "You want the playoff road to be as easy as possible. So, it's important to everybody. I guess everybody puts their own emphasis on it, where they want it. It's not critical. We're a good road team. We're a good home team. But we obviously want to finish as high as we can."
The Devils will look to move into a tie with the Philadelphia Flyers tonight at the Prudential Center. Gametime is 7 p.m. and can be seen on MSG Plus.
The teams have split the season series, with each team unable to win on home ice. New Jersey won the last meeting, 6-4, on February 4 in Philadelphia. New Jersey scored six straight goals over the first two periods, but had to hold off a late charge by the Flyers. Johan Hedberg stopped 37 of 41 shots for the win.
The Devils enter tonight on a three-game win streak. They defeated the New York Islanders, 2-1, last night at Nassau Coliseum. Down 1-0 with two minutes left in regulation, New Jersey struck twice in 14 seconds to grab the win. David Clarkson scored the game-tying goal, and new Devil Marek Zidlicky scored the game-winner. Anders Nilsson stopped 33 of 35 shots in the loss. Hedberg stopped 24 shots.
The Flyers enter tonight winners of their last six games. They stretched the win streak with a 1-0 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs last night. The two teams played scoreless during regulation and overtime, and entered the skills competition tied 0-0. Claude Giroux scored the game-winning shootout goal, beating Jonas Gustavvsson in the second round.
In a game the Islanders had to have to keep faint playoff hopes alive, devastation reared its ugly head. New York gave up two goals in 14 seconds to blow the game, losing 1-0 to New Jersey at the Nassau Coliseum.
John Tavares scored the opening goal at 6:46 of the third period to break the scoreless tie. His 27th goal of the season was set up by Matt Moulson working along the boards and a quick pass by P.A. Parenteau.
Then, when all lost looked for the Devils, David Clarkson (28) made a strong move to come out from behind the net before beating Anders Nilssen. Then after a Parenteau boarding penalty, Marek Zidlicky (1) scored the game-winner to seal the deal.
The game was a stalemate through the first two periods, in which the New Jersey out-shot New York 21-16. Johan Hedberg single-handedly kept New Jersey in the game throughout the second period, making a couple of key saves in close including a beauty on Tavares.
On the other end, Nilssen was spectacular once again after shutting out the Devils as he earned his first career win on March 4th. Unfortunately, Nilssen saw the wheels come off in the final 1:39.
The Islanders (28-31-9) play the inter-state rival Rangers at Madison Square Garden tomorrow night. The Devils (39-24-5) will also have a quick turnaround, hosting Philadelphia on Sunday evening.
The first match-up – played Sunday – saw the Devils get blanked by the Islanders by a score of 1-0. On Thursday the Devils exacted revenge, smashing the Islanders 5-1. On Saturday the teams will play the rubber match of the week, and only play once more during the regular season.
New Jersey is currently owns the six seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, while the Islanders are all but eliminated from contention, trailing the eight seed by nine points. With only 15 games remaining, it's highly unlikely the Islanders make the Playoffs.
Since being blanked by the Islanders on Sunday, the Devils have won two games in a row by a combined score of 9-2.
The game is scheduled for 7 PM EST.
Ilya Kovalchuk couldn't stay out of the goal column for long.
After going nine straight games without a goal, the Devils left wing has four in his last two games, pushing to become the first New Jersey skater to break the 30-goal mark.
He added three of those tonight, helping New Jersey defeat the New York Islanders, 5-1, at the Prudential Center. The win was the second straight for the Devils, who moved into a tie with the Philadelphia Flyers for fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.
New Jersey also evened the season series with the Islanders. New York previously led, 2-1, including a 1-0 shutout of the Devils on Sunday.
Kovalchuk scored his first goal of the night at the 8:07 mark of the first period, giving the Devils an early 1-0 lead. Zach Parise sent a pass to Kovalchuk in the right circle. The left wing one-timed the puck on Evgeni Nabakov, who made the initial save. Kovalchuk collected his own rebound and found the back of the net for his 27th goal of the season.
He doubled the lead with a powerplay tally at the 3:33 mark of the second period. With Steve Staios in the box for tripping, Patrik Elias passed the puck to Marek Zidlicky at the point. He fed Kovalchuk for a one-time shot from the point that beat Nabakov stick side.
Brodeur stopped 29 shots in the win, earning his 48th career win over the Islanders.
A dominant third period, highlighted by Kovalchuk's hat trick tally, would seal the game for New Jersey.
Elias stretched the lead to 3-1 at the 7:05 mark of the final period. Ryan Carter sent a shot on net that Elias deflected into the net for his 23rd goal of the season.
Kovalchuk would complete the hat trick, putting New Jersey ahead 4-1 at the 8:09 mark of the third period. Adam Henrique won a loose puck along the corner boards, feeding it to Parise at the half boards. He sent a pass to Kovalchuk in the slot, who hammered the puck past Nabokov for his 29th goal of the season.
The Devils left-wing, who recorded a three-goal game February 14th against the Buffalo Sabres, became the first Devils since Elias during the 2001-02 season to record two hat tricks in a season.
David Clarkson ended the scoring, stretching New Jersey's lead to 5-1 with 4:01 remaining in regulation. The right wing stretched his career high to 27 goals.
Nabakov stopped 15 of 20 shots in the loss.
The two teams will face off again Saturday at Nassau Coliseum, playing for the third time this week.
Parise's assist on Kovalchuk's hat trick goal was his 400th career point...Zidlicky recorded his first points as a Devil...The Devils are in a stretch where they play five straight division games. They're 2-1-0 heading into Saturday's matchup with the Islanders.
For more coverage of the New Jersey Devils, check out SB Nation's In Lou We Trust.
The New Jersey Devils are experiencing their own version of college basketball's "rivalry week," but one team is dominating their schedule - the New York Islanders.
The Devils and Islanders square off tonight for the second of three meetings this week, beginning a home-and-home series tonight at the Prudential Center. Gametime is 7 p.m. and the game will be televised locally on MSG Plus.
New Jersey enters tonight's contest sixth in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Ottawa Senators. They lead the division-rival Islanders by 14 points.
The Devils, who have struggled after a hot start to the post-All Star break schedule, defeated the New York Rangers, 4-1, Tuesday night on home ice. Ilya Kovalchuk snapped a nine-game goal drought, scoring just 49 seconds into the first period. The Rangers responded in the second period, and the teams entered the final frame tied 1-1. It would be all New Jersey in the last 20 minutes, as David Clarkson and Ryan Carter scored goals to break the tie. Patrik Elias would add an empty-netter to seal the win.
It was the third time in five tried the Devils defeated the Rangers, who lead the Eastern Conference.
The Islanders will play their second of three straight games agains the Devils. They defeated New Jersey, 1-0, Sunday at Nassau Coliseum. Kyle Okposo scored the game's only goal in the second period, beating Martin Brodeur at the 2:39 mark. Anders Nillson earned his first career shutout, stopping 24 shots in the win. New Jersey generated just 12 shots on net over the first two periods.
That loss came after the Devils defeated the Washington Capitals, 5-0. Devils coach Pete DeBoer said the team can't afford another letdown.
"When you come off an emotional win like you just did, the next game is always a tough one trying to remanufacture that again," he told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record after practice Wednesday. "You listen to the Rangers talk about the game and they came off an emotional game against Boston (Sunday) and couldn't get it back against us the next night. We're facing the same type of situation here tomorrow, so we have to make sure we don't fall into that."
The Islanders enter tonight's game seven points out of the playoff picture. They've defeated the Devils twice in a row, and center Jacob Josefson said it's a team New Jersey can't take lightly.
"We need to come in with the same energy and the same focus and the same effort," he told Gulitti after practice yesterday. "The Islanders are a really good team and they've been playing really well lately and we need the same kind of effort to beat them tomorrow."
The New York Rangers played an uncharacteristically sloppy game, and the New Jersey Devils took full advantage Tuesday night at Prudential Center by routing the NHL's top team 4-1 thanks in large part to a 3-goal third period.
At the Rangers' morning skate prior to the game Tuesday, coach John Tortorella told the press that despite New York's record, he saw a lot of room for improvement in his club, saying they needed to work on "everything." Those words seem prophetic now, as a lack of defensive structure and puck discipline resulted in a very discouraging loss for the Rangers.
The first goal was a warning to the Blueshirts that this one could be a long one, as Ilya Kovalchuk pounced on a puck Marian Gaborik lost in the neutral zone, then proceeded to make a number of Rangers players look foolish. The last of which was Ryan McDonagh, who fell down on the play. Kovalchuk, 26 goals, was all over the ice, finishing with a game-high eight shots on goal while breaking his 10-game goalless streak.
About two minutes after the goal, Brandon Dubinsky fought Ryan Carter and left the game after injuring his hand. It was another sign of the Rangers being undisciplined; there was no need for Dubinsky to fight there, and now it may cost him down the line. (The team will update his status Wednesday.)
New York may have only trailed by two in shots (11-9), but it was lucky to go to the break only down one goal as the Devils thoroughly dominated the pace of the period.
The Rangers looked like a different team in the second period, as a run of slow starts followed up by kicking the effort up a notch in later periods continued. Carl Hagelin stole a puck from a Devils defender behind the night and passed it to Derek Stepan in point-blank range for a hight wrist shot on Martin Brodeur to tie the game. The Rangers finished the period outshooting New Jersey 14-7, and that was pretty indicative of the play. Brodeur had 25 saves.
However, the third period was an ugly one if you were a New York fan. David Clarkson scored his 26th goal when Petr Sykora's shot deflected off his leg. Ryan Carter then scored on the Devils' next shot via a Dan Girardi turnover to pretty much put the game out of reach just 4:21 into the period. Henrik Lundqvist finished the game with 23 saves.
The Rangers held the score at 3-1, and they had a chance to gain some momentum on a power play four minutes after the Devils' third goal. But the man advantage came up empty as New Jersey tightened up its defense (allowing only three shots all period) and Patrik Elias potted the empty-netter to put the nail in the Rangers' coffin.
The season series now sits 3-2 in favor of New Jersey, with the final game to be played at Madison Square Garden in mid-March. The win gave the Devils a 37-24-5 record and 79 points, 12 behind the Rangers, who have a 41-16-7 record on the year.
For more on the Devils, check out the SB Nation blog In Lou We Trust.
After a hot start to the second half of the season, the New Jersey Devils are struggling. They're just 5-4-1 in their last 10 games and have slipped from fourth place in the conference to sixth, one point ahead of the Ottawa Senators.
Tuesday night, a matchup against the top-seeded New York Rangers could help to get the Devils back on track. The two Atlantic Division rivals square off tonight at the Prudential Center. Gametime is 7 p.m. and can be seen on MSG Plus.
New Jersey has lost four of its last five games, the most recent defeat coming in a 1-0 loss to the New York Islanders Sunday at Nassau Coliseum. Kyle Okposo scored the game's only goal, beating Martin Brodeur at the 2:39 mark of the second period. Anders Nilsson stopped 24 shots. The Devils managed just 12 shots over the first two periods, and captain Zach Parise said afterward the Devils played themselves out of a win.
"I think it was more we did it to ourselves," he told Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record. "For the first 40 minutes we played into their hands. We didn't come out of our zone with the puck at all. We turned the puck over a lot and we're pretty easy to play against when we do that. So, we did it to ourselves I thought."
The Rangers, meanwhile, have continued to find ways to win. Their 91 points are a league-high, one ahead of the Western Conference-leading Vancouver Canucks. They've won three of their last four games, the latest being a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers held leads of 2-0, 2-1 and 3-2, but lost them all as the Bruins tied the game three separate times. However, the Rangers ultimately came out on top, with Derek Stepan tallying the game-winning goal at the 12:21 mark in the third period.
The Devils and Rangers have split the season series, with each winning two games. New York won the most recent meeting 2-0 February 27 at MSG. Carl Hagelin scored the game-winning goal in the first period and Ryan Callahan added an empty-net goal to seal the win. The Devils recorded just 13 shots on net in the loss.
The game continues a stretch of division games for New Jersey. They will face the Islanders twice more this week.
For more on the Devils, check out the SB Nation blog In Lou We Trust.
Islanders rookie goaltender Anders Nilsson has now played in three NHL games in his career. In his previous two outings including one start, he gave up eight goals. On Sunday against the Devils, Nilsson turned away all 24 shots offered by New Jersey to pick up his first career win in a shutout. No other Islanders goaltender has pulled off that feat.
Kyle Okposo fought through traffic with the puck in the slot and scored the lone goal of the contest at the 2:39 mark of the second period. The goal was the 15th of the season for Okposo. Casey Cizikas assisted on the goal. It was his third assist in six games played this season.
With the win the Islanders are now five points behind the Jets for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Devils are currently in the 7th playoff spot, trailing 6th place Philadelphia in goal differential.
Its not often that two NHL franchises face each other three times in the same week, but that's what the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders will kick start Sunday (3 p.m. ET on MSG+) at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. The Devils (36-23-5, 77 points) will see the Islanders (27-29-9, 63 points) again on Thursday and Saturday night.
On Saturday, the Islanders snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over the Boston Bruins 3-2. Despite the win, New York has lost five of its last seven games, including one at home.
Meanwhile, the Devils ended a four-game losing streak Friday with a victory at the Washington Capitals. New Jersey is trying to desperately hang on to its sixth-place Eastern Conference playoff spot, which is just one point head of seventh-place Ottawa Senators.
So far, the season series between these two franchises is split as the Devils won the opener 1-0 on Nov. 25, while the Isles clipped New Jersey, 3-2, on Nov. 26th.
The situation gets even more bleak against the Bruins. New Jersey is winless against Boston this season, with the Bruins outscoring the Devils 14-5 in three games. The Devils will look to break their skid against the Bruins tonight the TD Garden. Gametime is 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on MSG Plus.
The Devils have lost their last three games, falling from fourth in the Eastern Conference to seventh. Their five points ahead of the eighth-place Washington Capitals. In the last two losses, the Devils have managed to score just one goal.
The lack of offense caused coach Pete DeBoer to make changes in his lines for tonight's game.
"One goal two of the last three games," DeBoer told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "I think the Vancouver game we at least created some opportunities. I thought the Ranger game we didn't get a lot going. So, we'll make some changes and see if that works."
The Rangers defeated New Jersey, 2-0, Monday night in Madison Square Garden. Carl Hagelin scored his 11th goal of the season in the first period, which stood up as the game-winning score. Ryan Callahan added an empty net goal in the third period.
Devils right wing David Clarkson said the team knows how important each point is heading into the matchup.
"You know where teams are at and we know everything is tight," he told Gulitti. "Every game is important and we've just got to go out there and somehow find a way to get points right now."
The Bruins are also struggling, with just two wins in their last five games. The Ottawa Senators defeated Boston, 1-0, Tuesday night in Boston. Erik Karlsson scored the game's only goal, scoring on the powerplay at the 14:44 mark of the first period. Robin Lehner stopped 32 shots for his first career NHL shutout.
Boston is just one point ahead of the Ottawa Senators for first in the Northeast Division.
DeBoer knows that the Bruins will be looking to get back on track and will be a tough team to face.
"It's a tough match-up," DeBoer told Gulitti. "They're, obviously, not happy coming out of Ottawa with that loss. They're in the same spot we are. They're fighting for their division and playoff positioning, so you know what you're going to get when you go in there. It will be physical, a lot like the Ranger game."
"I think at times like this you kind of lean back on your system, your structure and everything that has worked and we know has worked," he told Gulitti. "You just trust that. That's what makes us good and successful and you do the same thing and do all those things better."
DeBoer echoed those same sentiments, saying the team needs to focus on playing their hockey.
"It's always dangerous," he told Gulitti. "But, if you're asking me, 'Is our confidence shaky? Or are we feeling the pressure that we have to win the next game? I don't think so. We realize we're playing well and I know it's lip service, but we could have easily won two of the last three the way we played. So, I think that's the focus. It's how our game is. As long as we're playing well, we all know as a group we're going to get out of this."
If you're a hockey fan down to the core, then you enjoyed Monday night's game between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, one with 28 combined shots. If you're a Rangers fan disappointed with the squad not bringing in Columbus star Rick Nash, then this should be a reminder that they can win games because they're so fundamentally sound on defense and have a Vezina Trophy-worthy goaltender. The Devils got a taste of that in their 2-0 loss at Madison Square Garden, as Henrik Lundqvist made 15 saves for his eighth shutout of the year and the defense was smothering all night long.
Let's just set this straight: Neither team was particularly impressive on offense, and that was 100 percent due to the defensive-zone play of both sides, which limited both teams' ability to generate quality scoring chances.
What the Rangers did do, however, was take advantage of some soft coverage early on in the first, and they rode the lead throughout the game. Carl Hagelin's 11th of the year came on solid board play from Dan Girardi, who sent the puck down low to Ryan Callahan, who then freed himself for the tap pass to Hagelin at the side of the crease. The rookie quickly shot a bad-angle shot on Martin Brodeur, who was slow to cover the left post.
Callahan would pot the empty netter in the closing minute.
There obviously wasn't much offense in this one: the Rangers only finished with a 15 to 13 edge, but there was enough physicality (37 hits to 24), especially in the second period when their were two fights and 42 total penalty minutes.
Each team had their chances to find the back of the net, but there were none better than Ilya Kovalchuk's in the third period. Flying down the left flank he wristed a high-rising shot that Lundqvist snared with his glove.
New Jersey has hit a slight lull in its game, losing the past three games. The Rangers haven't played very well over the past two weeks, but this was a return to their defensive minded hockey. New York blanketed the Devils forwards all night, keeping their top dogs quiet throughout, and controlled the neutral zone for the most part. There were very few plus scoring chances, and probably no second-chance ones. New York has won two straight.
The Rangers will be looking for their 100th all-time win in the series with the Devils. The series has been tight as of late with 11 of the past 15 meetings having been decided by two goals or less. The series stands at 99-83-27-6 in favor of New York. However, the Devils lead the series this season 2-1.
The Rangers lead the Eastern Conference entering the game. New York won their last game while the Devils are looking to avoid losing three in a row in regulation for the first time in nearly three months.
Martin Brodeur might be in net for the Devils although he hasn't appeared on consecutive days all season. Brodeur remains the best option between the pipes for New Jersey on the road. In his last 11 road games this season, Brodeur has gone 9-0-1 with a 1.84 GAA. Rangers winger Ryan Callahan is fresh off his 100th goal of his career and will be looking to get his 25th goal this season on Monday.
The New Jersey Devils suddenly find themselves in the skids as they get ready to embark on a tough four-game road trip leading off with the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins. On Sunday night, they fell 4-3 to a .500 Tampa Bay Lightning squad. Martin St. Louis had a spectacular night for scoring three goals and assisting on a fourth. The hat trick was the sixth of the 36-year-old's career.
The Devils held a 1-0 lead going into the second period, thanks to an unassisted Alexei Ponikarovsky goal just over 12 minutes into the game. St. Louis picked up his first two goals of the night in the second period to put Tampa Bay up 2-1, however. The first beat Martin Brodeur gloveside after Steven Stamkos found St. Louis streaking open in front of the net. Brodeur had no chance on the second, after a deflection in front of a well-screened net gave St. Louis a gaping opening to shoot on.
Peter Sykora notched the 2-2 equalizer from the wide side of the net on a nice pass from Steve Bernier. The Lightning scored two straight to put the game out of reach however. Zach Parise scored on a powerplay with 2:35 remaining to create the final 4-3 score.
Brodeur faced 16 shots on goal, but saved only 12 for one of his shakiest outings of the season. Martin Garon made just 19 saves on 22 shots, but on Sunday night it was good enough to give the Devils their 22nd loss on the season.
For more on the Devils, check out the SB Nation blog In Lou We Trust.
The New Jersey Devils hosted the Vancouver Canucks in the Prudential Center on Friday night riding a four-game winning streak, but they were unable to defeat the Western Conference first-place team to extend that streak to five. When time ran out in the third period, the Devils were trailing by a score of 2-1. This loss gives New Jersey a record of 35-21-4 and puts them in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and the win for the Canucks gives them 86 points as the team has already sealed a berth in the playoffs.
The Devils' one and only goal was scored by right winger David Clarkson, with assists from Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora at the 11:30 mark in the second period. They had already given up two goals at that point. Those goals were scored by defenseman Aaron Rome in the first period, and left winger Mason Raymond early in the second.
The Devils will look to bounce back on Sunday at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning where Devils fans could get their first look at new defenseman Marek Zidlicky, who was acquired on Friday via a trade with the Minnesota Wild. The Canucks will look to win their third game in a row on the row in Dallas against the Stars on Sunday as well.
It was a rough night for Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, who let in four goals off of 32 shots faced against the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night. None was bigger than his handling of a Mark Fayne slapshot from the blueline that just barely sneaked in glove-side to clinch Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
Petr Sykora scored, then added an assist on David Clarkson's goal later in the first period to put New Jersey up 2-0. The Leafs scored two straight to tie the game before Alexei Ponikarovsky put the Devils back up by one. The Devils were headed for victory going into the final minute of regulation, but Phil Kessel netted the equalizing goal off a deflection with just 44 seconds left in the third.
The win was the Devils' fourth straight, elevating them one point ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. New Jersey is at home for the rest of the week, hosting the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.
For more on the Devils, check out the SB Nation blog In Lou We Trust.
Since the All-Star break, the Devils are probably the hottest team in the NHL. In their last ten games, New Jersey is 8-1-1. Toronto has been a little under the .500 mark over their last ten games. The season series is tied at one game apiece, with each team winning on the other's home ice.
For the Devils, Martin Brodeur has been great in net of late with a 9-3-1 record in his previous 13 starts with a 1.75 Goals Against Average and a .929 save percentage in those games. Toronto's offense has been struggling and their leading scorer, Joffrey Lupul, missed practice on Monday after taking a shot off of his ankle in Toronto's last game. Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise have been guiding the offense for the Devils. Kovalchuk has 18 points since the All-Star break while Parise has gotten 12 points in his last 12 games.
For more on the Devils, check out the SB Nation blog In Lou We Trust.
It's been an easy two weeks for the New Jersey Devils.
Last week, the team played just two games. They began this week with a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens last night, winning their third straight game.
This week, the Devils have just two games. But the competition won't be easy, as the Devils play two games against teams in the thick of the playoff race.
New Jersey kicked off their two-game schedule last week on Valentine's Day against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. They entered the matchup riding a four-game win streak, and stretched it to five with a 3-1 win. Ilya Kovalchuk led the offense, recording his first hat trick as a Devil. He added an assist for a four-point night. Martin Brodeur stopped 29 shots as the Devils won the season series over the Sabres, 3-0-0-1.
The Devils returned home Friday night, sweeping their two-game schedule with a 3-2 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks. Adam Henrique and Alexei Ponikarovsky scored second period goals, spotting New Jersey a 2-0 lead. The Ducks would respond, with Corey Perrey and ex-Devil Sheldon Brookbank tying the game. Patrik Elias snapped home the game-winner, beating Jonas Hiller in the third round of the shootout.
The three game winning streak stretched the Devils record to 8-1-1 since the all-star break. They've vaulted ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference standings, sitting fourth overall. They're tied with the Northeast-Division leading Boston Bruins with 72 points, and trail the New York Rangers by nine points.
Brodeur said the team is still far from satisfied.
"That's the hard thing when you have success," he told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "Sometimes you sit back and you think it's going to come easy, but nothing has been easy so far this year for us. We've worked and we've listened to our coaches and what they want us to do every night and we're here because of that."
"We've just got to keep the roll going," Devils coach Pete DeBoer told Gulitti. "I've said numerous times this year the key to having a good season is extending the winning streaks and really stopping the losing streaks quickly. We're on a roll here now and we want to keep this going. Our schedule gets tough. We've got some very tough opponents in our division coming up, so we've got a lot of road left ahead."
This week, the Devils have just two games, but both come against opponents fighting for playoff position. Here is the week ahead for the Devils:
Tuesday, February 21: New Jersey Devils at Toronto Maple Leafs - 7 p.m. (MSG Plus 2)
The New Jersey Devils head to the Air Canada Centre for the third of four meetings this season. The teams have split the season series. New Jersey won the recent matchup, 3-2, in overtime on December 6. Toronto native David Clarskon scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime. Phil Kessel and Matt Frattin scored for the Maple Leafs, who enter the week eighth in the conference, tied with the Winnipeg Jets.
Friday, February 24: Vancouver Canucks at New Jersey Devils - 7 p.m. (MSG Plus)
The Canucks travel to New Jersey for their only meeting of the season with the Devils. Vancouver enters the week second in the Western Conference, two points behind the Detroit Red Wings for first place. They've won four straight games, and face off against the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings before facing the Devils.
Goals: Ilya Kovalchuk - 25
Assists: Patrik Elias - 36
Points: Ilya Kovalchuk - 58
Plus/Minus: Adam Henrique - 11
PIM: David Clarkson - 90
Wins: Martin Brodeur - 21
GAA: Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg - 2.53
Save %: Johan Hedberg - .908
Shutouts: Johan Hedberg - 2
The New Jersey Devils earned their third straight win Sunday night, downing the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 at Bell Centre in Quebec. Only Max Pacioretty bested Martin Brodeur on the night, scoring on a power play early in the third period. Otherwise, Brodeur was mostly left alone throughout the night, turning back 21 shots on net.
The Devils jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Habs could respond. Late in the first period, Zach Parise deflected a shot from the top of the faceoff circle by Ilya Kovalchuk into the net behind Carey Price. In the second, the Devils scored on another tip-in, this time off the stick of David Clarkson assisted by Patrik Elias.
Matt Taormina capped the scoring with a long slapshot past the faceoff circle into the right side of the net. Price had just 22 saves on 25 shots faced Sunday night. The Devils will cap their Canadian road trip at Toronto on Tuesday.
For more on the Devils, head over to the SB Nation blog In Lou We Trust.
The New Jersey Devils entered the all-star break a surprise team to some analysts, sitting in the top eight of the Eastern Conference.
It was a position familiar to fans of the organization, which had made the playoffs 14 of the past 15 seasons. But hanging onto the eighth seed wasn't where the team wanted to be, and coach Pete DeBoer said his team needed to find another level.
"Those guys realized that we needed a push here in order to get in," he told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "We went into the all-star break sitting tied for eighth with a tough stretch of games coming out of it. We knew that the rubber was kind of hitting the road, so to speak, and we needed to find another level. Those guys have done that."
New Jersey, 7-1-1 since the all-star break, will look to climb into fourth place in the conference tonight against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Gametime is 6 p.m. and can be seen on NBC Sports Network.
Martin Brodeur will get the start against his hometown Canadiens. The Quebec native has started all three games against Montreal this season, going 2-1-0 with a 2.69 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. He's been hot in his last 12 starts, going 8-3-1 with a 1.80 goals-against average and .928 save percentage.
The Devils enter tonight's game looking to stretch their two-game win streak. They defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2, in a shootout Friday night at the Prudential Center. Adam Henrique and Alexei Ponikarovsky spotted New Jersey a 2-0 lead, but Anaheim tied the score on goals from Corey Perry and Sheldon Brookbank. After a scoreless overtime period, Patrik Elias beat Hiller for the only shootout goal.
Montreal enters tonight's game tied for 11th in the conference, six points behind the eighth-place Toronto Maple Leafs. They defeated the Sabres Friday night in a shootout, 4-3, to snap a two-game losing skid. The two teams traded scores all game, with Montreal coming back from two one-goal deficits during the first period. They couldn't hold onto a lead in regulation, allowing Tyler Ennis to tie the game at three in the third period.Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais scored in the shootout for the win.
New Jersey is playing its third straight game against a non-playoff team, but DeBoer stressed that it's still an important game.
"Obviously, the first priority is to get in and then it's to hunt down the teams ahead of you and, hopefully, get home ice," he told Gulitti. "There's a lot of things that we're playing for here."
The New Jersey Devils are one of the best teams in the shootout, and it's vaulted them into fifth in the Eastern Conference.
New Jersey defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2, in a shootout tonight at the Prudential Center. The Devils improved to 10-3 in the shootout this season, earning ten points from those victories. It's three more than any other team in the league, and it's the difference between New Jersey holding a playoff spot and sitting outside the top eight in the conference.
"We have some confidence there (in the shootout)," Devils coach Pete DeBoer told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "We've dropped a couple lately, but overall you can't complain. It's been a big part of our record and we just have a confidence when we get in there that our goaltenders are going to make saves and that we can score some goals."
The Devils win vaulted them one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference standings.
The two teams went to a shootout after a video review overturned a goal from Ryan Getzlaf 1:10 into the overtime period. Lucas Sbisa sent a pass toward Getzlaf, who was crashing the crease. He appeared to turn his skate and thrust it forward, making a kicking motion and sending the puck in the net. While the league took the time to review the goal in Toronto, Brodeur stayed in his crease. The Devils' goalie said he was sure it wasn't a goal.
"I had no doubt in my mind he kicked it," Brodeur told Gulitti. "When we saw it on the replay, it was even more obvious, but with the NHL you've just got to wait. You never know what kind of angles they see and what they judge, but, to me, I could see that he kind of gave it a little heel kick to move the puck towards the net. Because if he doesn't do that, it might have just stayed on his (skate) blade there."
"He (Anton Volchenkov) tied my stick up and I was just going to the net," Getzlaf told Eric Stephens of The Orange County Register. "It was like I was just stopping and it went off my skate and went in. They obviously saw it differently."
Sheldon Brookbank tied the game, 2-2, with 2:12 remaining in regulation to force overtime. The former Devil took a pass in the slot and fired a shot past Martin Brodeur for his first goal of the season. The score broke a 166 game goal drought.
New Jersey jumped out to a 2-0 lead, scoring both goals in the second period. Adam Henrique scored the game's first goal just 1:25 into the second period, beating Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin to a loose puck in the crease. The rookie slid the puck past Jonas Hiller for his 15th goal of the season.
Alexei Ponikarovsky extended the lead to two at 10:56 of the middle frame. Ducks defenseman Lucas Sbisa lost the puck to Dainius Zubrus, who fed a wide open Ponikarovsky at the front of the net. His quick shot deflected off of Hiller's right arm for Ponikarovsky's 10th goal of the season.
Corey Perry cut the deficit to 2-1 with 3:52 left in the second period. Ryan Perry sent a slap shot on Brodeur that the goalie stopped with the right pad. Perry snuck in behind the defense and backhanded a puck past the Devils goalie for his 29th goal of the season.
Brodeur stopped 36 shots in the win. Hiller made 25 saves in the loss.
The Devils improved to 7-1-1 since the All-Star break. But with just 23 regulation wins this season, and shootout wins not counting as a playoff tiebreaker, they know wins in regulation need to happen more often. DeBoer was just happy the team found a way to get two points from tonight's game.
"it was a big win," he told Gulitti. "Obviously, we would have liked to have done it in regulation, but because it's a Western Conference team it doesn't matter how. We needed to win. It wasn't our best game, but we found a way and that's critical this time of year."
For the New Jersey Devils, this year's second-half push by the Anaheim Ducks must remind them of their own run last season.
Anaheim travels to New Jersey Friday night 14-3-2 in their last 19 games, trimming a 20 point gap in the Western Conference playoffs to just eight points out of eighth place. Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said the Devils can't take them lightly.
"They're a hot team," he told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "They're a big team too. Nobody expected them to fall back like they did early on. You look at their stats and they're maybe a little misleading, but we can't take days off against any team. It doesn't matter where you're at in the standings. We need to do our thing and play hard. It could be the Rangers or anybody. It doesn't matter."
New Jersey will look to stop the red-hot Ducks tonight at the Prudential Center. Gametime is 7 p.m. and can be seen on MSG Plus.
Kurtis Foster will face the Ducks for the first time since Anaheim traded him to the Devils on December 12. The defenseman wants to beat his former team, but left with no ill will toward the organization.
"You always want to play well against your old team," Foster told Gulitti. "It's part of what being a pro athlete is. When a team decides to let you go, you want to show them when you play the next time that maybe they made a mistake. You want to have a good game against them. But I can't say anything but good things about Anaheim."
Rod Pelley, one of the players sent to Anaheim, will make his first trip back to the Prudential Center.
"It's definitely a little different," he told Gulitti. "(Thursday) walking in here, it was a little strange walking into the visitor's room, but I'm sure once I get on the ice tonight everything will feel just like another important game that's a must-win for us and I'm sure all that stuff will be on the back burner."
New Jersey enters tonight sixth in the Eastern Conference with 68 points, one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins. They're tied with the Ottawa Senators in points. The Devils defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1, Tuesday night to snap a two-game skid. Ilya Kovalchuk collected four points, including his first hat trick as a Devil. Adam Henrique finished with two assists as the Devils took the season series over the Sabres, winning three of four games.
Kovalchuk has come back from the All-Star break as one of the league's best players. He's recorded 16 points (6g, 10a) in eight games.
Anaheim enters tonight's game riding a three-game win streak. They defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1, After falling behind, 1-0, the Ducks scored two goals over the final two periods to get the come-from-behind win. Corey Perry, who has 14 goals since January 1, recorded a goal in the win. Jonas Hiller stopped 25 shots for his 26th win of the season.
This is the first and only meeting between the two teams this season. Last year, the Devils defeated the Ducks, 2-1.
Devils coach Peter DeBoer knows that, like the Devils last year, Anaheim isn't a team anyone is looking forward to facing. He said it's just one more reason why New Jersey can't take them lightly.
"Look at their record, the games they've won recently," he told Gulitti. "I watched them play Pittsburgh, a very good team. They're finding ways to win and any time you've got players like Perry, (Ryan) Getzlaf, (Bobby) Ryan, (Teemu) Selanne in the lineup, it's a dangerous team."
With just 36 games remaining, the New Jersey Devils realize each point picks up more importance. A light week ahead, with two games against non-playoff teams, highlight just how much the team needs to continue it's solid second half.
The Devils enter the week sixth in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Ottawa Senators. They are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games, a stretch that's better than three of the teams in the top eight spots. But they're still mired in fourth place in their division, 11 points behind the first-place New York Rangers.
New Jersey played .500 hockey last week, going 2-1-1 in four games. They began the week with two straight wins, stretching a winning streak that started after the All-Star break. The team defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-2, last Sunday at the Prudential Center. The game featured Anton Volchenkov's first goal as a Devil, coming at 9:33 of the first period. Ilya Kovalchuk led all skaters with three points (1g, 2a).
The Devils continued their win streak Tuesday, blanking the Rangers, 1-0. The game featured two fights right after the opening faceoff, with both Cam Janssen and Eric Boulton dropping the gloves. Later in the period, David Clarkson scored the powerplay goal. Martin Brodeur stopped 30 shots, and the Devils survived a late no-goal call to pick up the win.
The St. Louis Blues would end the Devils win streak Thursday, skating away from Prudential Center with a 4-3 shootout win. Patrick Berglund tied the game late for the Blues, tying the game at three with 5:50 remaining in regulation. After a scoreless overtime period, T.J. Oshie scored the game-winner in the second round of the shootout. Johan Hedberg stopped 23 shots in the loss.
New Jersey's losing streak hit two as they lost to the Florida Panthers, 3-1, Saturday afternoon on home ice. Steve Bernier scored early, but that would be all for the Devils. Florida scored three straight times, with Kris Versteeg scoring the game-winner in the second period. Scott Clemmensen, a former Devil, improved to 4-0-0.
This week, the Devils face off against the Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks. New Jersey travels to Buffalo on Valentines Day to take on the 14th place Sabres. Buffalo is just 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, and enter the week one game under NHL-.500. They're just 13-10-6 on home ice this season. The Devils have won two of three meetings this season.
Anaheim travels to the Prudential Center Friday for the only meeting of the season between the two teams. The Ducks have been one of the hotter teams since the All-Star break, going 6-2-2 in their last 10 games. They enter the week 13th in the Western Conference, just nine points back of the eighth-place Phoenix Coyotes.
Goals: Ilya Kovalchuk - 22
Assists: Patrik Elias - 34
Points: Patrik Elias - 53
Plus/Minus: Bryce Salvador - +11
PIM: David Clarkson - 88
Wins: Martin Brodeur - 18
GAA: Johan Hedberg - 2.53
Save Percentage: Johan Hedberg - .908
Shutouts: Johan Hedberg - 2
Langenbrunner, traded to New Jersey during the 2002 season, led the league in goals and points during the 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs, which ended with another championship for the Devils. He also served as team captain for most of his tenure, until he was traded to the Dallas on January 7 of last season.
Langenbrunner will make his return to Prudential Center tonight as the St. Louis Blues visit the Devils. Game time is 7 p.m. on MSG Plus.
Zach Parise, who became friends with Langenbrunner when the two played together, said the former Devil had a major influence on his career.
"He was an important of not only being a captain, but also my career," the left wing told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "I sat next to him (in the locker room) pretty much my whole career with the team here. I learned a lot about being a professional and about competing and playing hard like Jamie did. I think just little things like that are really good for a young guy."
In 50 games this season, Langenbrunner has 20 points (6g, 14a).
Jason Arnott, also a former Devil, will miss his third straight game due to a shoulder injury.
New Jersey enters tonight's game riding a five-game win streak. The run vaulted them into fifth in the Eastern Conference, just two points behind the fourth-seeded Philadelphia Flyers. Entering tonight, they're also six points behind the New York Rangers for the Atlantic Division lead.
The Devils defeated the Rangers, 1-0, Tuesday night to extend their win streak. Cam Janssen and Eric Boulton made headlines right after the puck dropped, getting into simultaneous fights. The lone goal would come from David Clarkson later in the period, as the right wing beat Henrik Lundqvist on the powerplay for his 21st goal of the season. Officials would disallow a late goal by New York for goalie interference, giving the Devils the win. Martin Brodeur stopped 30 shots for his first shutout of the season.
St. Louis enters tonight's game fourth in the Western Conference, tied with the Nashville Predators. The team fired coach David Payne on November 7, when they were 6-7 and in 13th in the conference. Ken Hitchcock, who took over that day, oversaw an immediate turnaround. They sit just five points behind the Detroit Red Wings, who are first in the Western Conference.
The Blues defeated the Ottawa Senators, 3-1, Tuesday night in Ottawa. David Perron led the offense, recording two goals in the win. Chris Porter scored his fourth goal of the season as the Blues evened their record on the three-game road trip to 1-1-0.
Janssen, a St. Louis native who spent the last three-plus seasons playing for the Blues, is excited to face his former team.
"The meaning to the game is we're playing good hockey right now and we're playing a good team," he told Gulitti. "I want to win for all different kinds of reasons. I want to keep this (five-game winning) streak going and move up in points in the standings. That's the main thing, no doubt about it.
"Then, on a personal note, you want to beat your old team. You play your old team, you want to win. You want to have a good game. You want to contribute the right way. You want to be effective and you want to show them that, 'Hey, I came to a good team.' We have a good group of guys here."
Parise said Langenbrunner will feel the same way.
"He played here for a long time, was part of a lot of important teams here," he told Gulitti. "I know when he was here, he was always excited to play against Dallas, so I'm sure he'll have the same feelings now playing against us."
The New Jersey Devils won their fifth straight Tuesday night, taking down the New York Rangers 1-0 thanks to a David Clarkson power play goal in the first quarter. Martin Brodeur earned first star honors on the night, however, turning back all 30 Rangers shot attempts for his first shutout of the season.
The Rangers thought they scored the game-tying goal with just 3.5 seconds left in regulation. Yet, the goal was disallowed when Marian Gaborik was whistled for goaltender interference after crashing into Brodeur in the crease. The play was the last of a third-quarter offensive onslaught by the Rangers. New York out-shot New Jersey 15-1 in the period. Rookie Carl Hagelin had a great opportunity to score on a wrister early in the third, but Brodeur was on top of his game all night.
The Devils had just 22 shots on goal for the night, compared to 30 for the Rangers. New York also held a 26-17 advantage on faceoffs. However, the Devils got the win, their second over the Rangers in the past week.
This season, the Hudson River Rivalry has taken on more importance than in year's past.
Entering tonight's game, the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are both fighting for better playoff positions. The Rangers want to solidify their number one spot in the Eastern Conference, where they lead the Boston Bruins by just three points.
After missing the playoffs last season, the Devils are back in the playoff mix. They enter tonight's game sixth in the conference, just one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the fourth seed.
The two teams will battle for a crucial two points in the standings tonight at Madison Square Garden. Gametime is 7 p.m. and can be seen on either MSG or MSG Plus 2.
New Jersey enters tonight's game riding a four game win streak that started with a 4-3 shootout win over the Rangers one week ago. New York jumped out to an early lead, with Anton Stralman giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 19:27 of the first period. Zach Parise responded in the second period, tying the game at one heading into the third period. The two teams traded goals in the final frame, with the Rangers holding a one-goal lead late in the game. David Clarkson tied the game with just 48 seconds left, tipping a loose puck past Martin Biron for the game-tying score.
Ilya Kovalchuk played hero for the Devils, beating Biron in the first round of the shootout for the game-winning goal.
New York has built a winning streak of it's own, entering tonight's game with two straight victories. They defeated the Flyers, 5-2, Sunday for their sixth straight win over the Flyers. Artem Anisimov had three points, and four other Rangers scored in the win. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21 shots for his 24th win of the season.
This is the third of six meetings between the two teams this season. They've split two games at the Prudential Center.
What a difference a few days off can make.
Before the All-Star break, the New Jersey Devils struggled to string together wins. They couldn't manage to put a complete game together, and found themselves on the losing side of three straight games.
The break came at the right time. Since then, New Jersey has won four straight games, defeating three teams ahead of them in the Eastern Conference. It's a stretch that moved them into seventh in the conference, just one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Devils' head coach Peter DeBoer said he doesn't think this recent stretch is any type of statement.
"I don't know about statements," he told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "We're taking care of business. We knew where we were heading into the all-star break and the guys got a good rest, but we have a lot of veterans with Stanley Cup rings in that room (and) they knew that we were going to have to take our game individually and collectively to another level over the last 30 games. I think that's what you're seeing."
New Jersey has done this without some of the key contributors from the first half. Rookie center Adam Henrique, who remains one of the rookies in the race for the Calder Trophy, missed all four of the wins with a groin injury. The team lost Adam Larsson for the weekend after he suffered a back bruise on a hit by P.K. Subban. Ryan Carter, the team's fourth line center and a solid player in the faceoff circle, is out nursing a sore hand.
The Devils relied on their ability to score goals to sustain their four-game win streak. That started last Tuesday, January 31, when New Jersey came from behind to defeat the rival New York Rangers, 4-3, in a shootout. David Clarkson scored the game-tying goal with just 48 seconds left, tying the game at three. Ilya Kovalchuk would win the game in the shootout, beating Martin Biron in the first round.
New Jersey started the win streak Thursday with a come-from-behind win over the Montreal Canadiens, 5-3, at the Prudential Center. Down 3-2 after two periods, the Devils scored three unanswered goals in the third period to skate away with the win. Zach Parise's goal at 17:16 of the final frame, his second of the game, proved to be the difference.
They extended their win streak to three with a 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center. New Jersey scored six goals in the first two periods, chasing Sergio Bobrovsky. Kurtis Foster recorded his first multi-goal game as a Devil, and New Jersey struck for three powerplay goals.
New Jersey continues their tough stretch with three games this week against team's in the playoffs. Tomorrow, they head to MSG for a rematch against the Rangers. Then, the St. Louis Blues (and former Devils Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner) head to Prudential Center Thursday. The Devils finish the week with a game against the Southeast Division leading Florida Panthers.
Heading into the homestretch, DeBoer thinks these Devils are just starting to show their potential.
"I think we're getting better," he told Gulitti. "I think our best hockey is still ahead of us. There's things we still have to improve at. We still have to get 60-minute efforts, play (better) with the lead. There's a lot of areas we have to clean up, but we're getting better."
Goals: Ilya Kovalchuk - 22
Assists: Patrik Elias - 33
Points: Patrik Elias - 51
Plus/Minus: Bryce Salvador - +12
PIM: David Clarkson - 88
Wins: Martin Brodeur - 17
G.A.A: Johan Hedberg - 2.52
Save %: Johan Hedberg - .909
Shutouts: Johan Hedberg - 2
The New Jersey Devils wanted this homestand to help secure their spot within the top eight teams of the Eastern Conference.
Instead, they'll need a win to make sure it doesn't become a huge disappointment.
The Devils will host the Montreal Canadiens tonight in the final game of their six-game homestand. Gametime is 7 p.m. on MSG Plus.
After winning the first game of their homestand, 5-1, over the Winnipeg Jets on January 17, the Devils lost three straight games on home ice before the all-star break. Those included losses against the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers, two of the top teams in the conference.
New Jersey broke their three-game losing streak Tuesday night, defeating the rival New York Rangers, 4-3, in a shootout. The two teams traded goals over the first two periods, and entered the third tied, 1-1. Both offenses exploded, and the Rangers entered the final minute leading 3-2. A lucky bounce helped the Devils tie the game late and avoid a fourth straight loss.
With just under a minute left, defenseman Andy Greene fired a puck toward the net. It went high, but caromed off a partition and came to David Clarkson in front. The right wing fired the puck past the pads of Martin Biron for his 17th goal of the season. New Jersey would get the win in overtime, with Ilya Kovalchuk scoring the decisive goal. Martin Brodeur stopped all three Rangers shooters for his 15th win of the season.
Montreal will look to bounce back from a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night. Carey Price stopped 39 shots, but couldn't help the Canadiens extend their win streak to three games. They enter tonight's game tied for 13th in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes for last place.
This is the third of four meetings between the two teams this season. Both have won a road game, with the Canadiens defeating the Devils, 2-1, at Prudential Center December 10. New Jersey responded with a 5-3 win in Montreal on December 17.
Brodeur will get the start for New Jersey. In 64 career starts against his hometown team, Brodeur is 41-18-0 with five ties. He's posted a 1.79 goals-against average and .932 save percentage against them. He's shut out Montreal nine times.
The New Jersey Devils were on the brink of dropping their fourth straight game when an innocent dump-in went their way. With 47.6 seconds left against the visiting New York Rangers, Andy Greene's dump-in off the back boards took a fortuitous carom straight to David Clarkson at the front of the net, who tied the game at 3-3, and the Devils ultimately prevailed in a shootout, 4-3. New Jersey has a remarkable (and league-leading) nine shootout victories on the season.
It's a bitter way for the Rangers to end a game -- the first for both teams since the All-Star break -- as they played extremely well with all the circumstances of not having played in six days, despite blowing three leads in the game. It was one game, but New Jersey showed it has the resiliency to continue to bounce back against what is still the Eastern Conference's top team -- with 67 points -- by one point. The Devils' win moves them to seventh place, one point ahead of Toronto.
The first period was actually unexpectedly quiet. Typically, one thinks of the divisional rival games as uptempo and full of energy. But the first was the total opposite. Both teams were strong defensively, limiting the opposition to very few second-chance opportunities. Anton Stralman, who played a very strong game defensively and offensively, was rewarded at 19:27 with his second goal of the year off a rebound from a Marian Gaborik shot.
New Jersey answered back about midway through the second period, however, when Zach Parise picked up his own rebound a roofed a shot over Martin Biron on his short side for a truly brilliant goal. For the second game in a row between these two teams, they'd go into the third period tied, 1-1.
Brian Boyle notched his fourth of the year after a Stu Bickel rebound rolled to him. He collected it and waited patiently as Martin Brodeur laid sprawled out on the ice trying to block any sort of angle for a shot. Ilya Kovalchuk, who was all over the ice in this one, notched an easy goal on a power-play rush point-blank blast after Ryan Callahan's offensive-zone giveaway.Thirty-six seconds later Michael Del Zotto answered right back, as Marian Gaborik fluttered a cross-ice back-hand pass to Del Zotto in the offensive zone. The jubilation would be short-lived with the lead lasting 3 minutes, 11 seconds after the crazy ricochet to Clarkson.
Kovalchuk was the only one to score in the shootout. Brodeur made 23 saves for his 15th win of the year, while Biron lost only his third game, making 26 saves.
New Jersey will get a day break before hosting the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, while New York travels to Buffalo for a clash on Wednesday.
The New Jersey Devils dropped their second consecutive game as they lost to the Flyers by a final score of 4-1.
The Boston Bruins put on a late offensive clinic on Thursday night, notching all four of their goals in the third period to take down the New Jersey Devils. The Bruins have won all three meetings between the two teams this season.
After being stonewalled by Martin Brodeur for most of the night, Andrew Ference tied the game up at 1-1 with a powerful slapshot from the top of the left faceoff circle early in the third period. The Bruins' next two goals came just 35 second apart from one another, with Nathan Horton scoring on a powerplay and Gregory Campbell capitalizing on rebound off a shot by Shawn Thornton to push the score to 3-1.
Petr Sykora scored at the end of the first period and the Devils held the Bruins to just 12 shots through the first 40 minutes of the game. Boston managed 13 shots in the third period, however, giving New Jersey their first loss in four games.
The New Jersey Devils finally returned home after 10 days on the road, and found the confines of the Prudential Center just as friendly as ever after notching a 5-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night. Ilya Kovalchuk scored two goals to give him seven in his last six games, and 19 on the season.
Petr Sykora, David Clarkson and Patrik Elias also added goals in what turned out to be an impressive offensive outburst given the Devils only took 20 shots on goal on the night. Martin Brodeur had a much better night in net than the combined efforts of the Jets' Chris Mason and Ondrej Pavelec, turning back 20 of 21 shots on net.
The Devils improved to 26-17-2 on the season with five straight home games on tap. They will face the Boston Bruins on Thursday before hosting the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night. The Jets fell to 21-20-5 on the year.
The New Jersey Devils will have two players going to All-Star weekend in Ottawa, but none will play in the showcase game.
Henrique ranks second among rookies with 34 points (13g, 21a). His 13 goals are tied for first among first-year players, and he's second in assists. He trails fellow rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins by one point.
Larsson ranks second among all rookies in time on ice, averaging 21:41 per game. In 41 games this season, he's collected 14 points (2g, 12a).
The Devils won't have a representative in this year's All-Star game. They join the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets as teams without a representative for the game. Out of those four teams, New Jersey is the only one among the top eight teams in their conference.
New Jersey is also the only team from the Atlantic Division without a representative for the game.
All-Star weekend starts Thursday, January 6 with the player fantasy draft. The annual skills competition will take place on Saturday, January 28. The game will be on Sunday, January 29.
There haven't been too many nights when both the New Jersey Devils powerplay and penalty kill were successful.
Tonight, they both worked to perfection.
The Devils scored two goals - one on the penalty kill, and one on the powerplay - to defeat the Edmonton Oilers, 2-1, in overtime at Rexall Place.
Zach Parise scored the game-winning goal, netting a powerplay tally at 1:06 of the overtime period. With Corey Potter in the box for tripping, Patrik Elias held the puck near the goal line. He faked a shot, then sent the puck past the outstretched stick of Nikolai Khabibulin and to Parise in front. The Devils' captain tapped the puck in the open net for his 15th goal of the season.
It was the third straight game the Devils scored a powerplay goal. It's the first time the team has scored a powerplay goal in three straight games since November 15 - November 19.
The Devils penalty kill, one of the best in the league, opened the scoring in the second period.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored a shorthanded goal at 8:35 to put New Jersey ahead. With David Clarkson in the penalty box serving an interference penalty, Kovalchuk stole the puck from Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry at the right point. He skated in alone on Nikolai Khabibulin, wristing a shot over the goalie's glove for his team-leading 17th goal of the season.
New Jersey has scored 11 shorthanded goals this season and one in each of their last four games. They sit just seven away from the team record of 18, set during the 1987-88 season.
Ales Hemsky tied the game, 1-1, with a powerplay goal at 8:32 of the third period. The Oilers, on their fifth powerplay, finally broke through against Johan Hedberg as Hemsky fired a one-timer from the left circle past the screened Devils goalie for his fourth goal of the season.
Hedberg, who allowed four goals on nine shots last night, turned away 22 shots for his 12th win of the season. He tied Martin Brodeur for the team lead in wins.
Khabibulin made 23 saves in the loss. The Oilers have lost four straight games and have just one win in their last eight games.
Tonight was the first time New Jersey won a game at Rexall Place in January. The team was 0-2-4 in six previous games during the year's first month. They moved to 11-10-5 all-time in Edmonton.
Zajac had surgery to repair his torn Achilles tendon last August. He made his debut this season on Dec. 16 against Dallas but has not played since Jan. 2.
Lamiorello said that decision to rest Zajac came after he consulted with the doctor who did the surgery
"Travis was still a little sore, so we flew him to Winnipeg to see the doctor that performed the surgery. He said it was best to shut him down for a couple of weeks. He won't be do anything at all," Lamoriello said.
Zajac has one goal and two assists in eight games played this season. The All-Star break ends on Jan. 29.
Wednesday night was supposed to be a showdown between two of the top rookies in the National Hockey League. The New Jersey Devils' Adam Henrique and the Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, separated by just one point in the Calder Trophy race, were going to meet for the first - and only - time this season.
A shoulder injury, however, knocked Nugent-Hopkins out of tonight's game. With him out of game action, Henrique has a chance to surpass him and take over as the rookie points leader as the Devils battle the Oilers tonight at Rexall Place. Puck drop is 9 p.m., and the game can be seen locally on MSG Plus.
In 39 games, Henrique has collected 34 points (13g, 21a) and cemented his position on the top line with Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. He also earned Rookie of the Month honors in December, and could be the Devils All-Star representative.
Nugent-Hopkins began the season with Edmonton, scoring 35 points (13g, 22a) before his injury. He'll miss three to four weeks after hurting his left shoulder sliding into the boards in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks January 2.
The Devils will look to Henrique to give them a bounce back performance after last night's 6-3 loss to the Calgary Flames. New Jersey allowed four straight goals in the first period, their worst defensive performance in one period this season. Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrik Elias and Henrique scored goals, but it wouldn't be enough to overcome the deficit. The tandem of Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg allowed the six scores on just 14 shots.
Hedberg, who was slated to start in tonight's game, said he wouldn't hide behind the team's poor play.
"It wasn't a very good night," he told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "Personally, if I think I can hide behind bouncing pucks or something, then I'm cheating myself and cheating my teammates. My job is to stop the puck and I didn't do that. I have to take it upon myself to be better and correct whatever I can and come back strong tomorrow."
It was the third time New Jersey allowed six goals in a game this season. They've lost their last five games on the road to Western Conference teams by a combined score of 25-15.
Devils head coach Peter DeBoer didn't have an explanation for the team's road woes.
"I don't have an answer," he told Gulitti. "We came out West here about a month ago and started with the same type of game the first game in Colorado (a 6-1 loss on November 30). We talked about that. We didn't want a reproduction of that and that's pretty much what we got."
After starting the season on a hot streak, Edmonton has cooled off and enters the game under NHL-.500 (16-22-3) and last in the Northwest Division. The Oilers return home after a subpar seven game road trip. They only managed to win one of those games and ended the trip with a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars Saturday afternoon. Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro scored two goals apiece as the Stars scored four straight goals in the win. Taylor Hall was the lone goal scorer for Edmonton.
Edmonton is just 2-8-0 in its last ten games.
This is the first and only meeting of the season between the two teams. New Jersey won the last matchup, 4-3, in overtime on November 12, 2010. The Devils are 5-1-1 in their last seven visits to Rexall Place.
New Jersey Devils head coach Peter DeBoer warned his team that playing on the road against Western Conference teams wouldn't be easy.
Apparently, none of them were listening.
The Calgary Flames scored six goals, including four in the first period, to defeat the Devils, 6-3, tonight at Scotiabank Saddledome.
The loss ended the Devils two game win streak. They've now lost five straight road games to Western Conference opponents. New Jersey has been outscored, 25-15, during that streak.
Jay Bouwmeester opened the scoring for Calgary at the 5:54 mark of the first period. Jarome Iginla carried the puck into the Devils zone, stopping in the right circle. He sent a pass to Bouwmeester at the point, and the defenseman beat Martin Brodeur with a shot through traffic for his second goal of the season.
Calgary would double the lead just 1:38 after their first score. Defenseman Cory Sarich, playing in his 500th game, fired a slapshot from the right circle that beat Brodeur low to the stick side. It was Sarich's first goal of the season, and would end Brodeur's night.
Brodeur finished with just three saves on five shots in 7:32.
Johan Hedberg wouldn't do much better, allowing goals on two of the first three shots he faced.
Curtis Glencross extended the lead to 3-0 at 13:12 of the opening period. Iginla sent a pass to Ollie Jokinen, who beat Henrik Tallinder. He sent a pass cross-ice to Glencross, who backhanded the puck on net. It caromed off Hedberg's right pad and into the net for Glencross' 18th goal of the season.
Rookie TJ Brodie would cap the first period scoring, stretching the lead to 4-0 at 16:38. The Flames, on the powerplay, took just six seconds to convert the opportunity. Brodie took the puck in the right circle and fired a shot over the Hedberg's right shoulder for his second goal of the season.
New Jersey would climb back into the game, with Ilya Kovalchuk and Adam Henrique scoring second period goals. But Lee Stempniak would respond, and the Flames entered the third period with a three goal lead.
Patrik Elias closed the deficit to 5-3 with a powerplay goal at 6:04 of the final period. Kovalchuk fed Elias in the left circle, and the Devils' center lifted a shot past Mikka Kiprusoff for his 15th goal of the season.
Iginla would respond at the 8:49 mark, stretching the lead to an insurmountable 6-3. The Flames' captain found a loose puck in the slot, and avoided a check from David Clarkson. He quickly fired a wrist shot past Hedberg for his second goal of the game.
Kiprusoff finished with 35 saves in his 19th win of the season. Hedberg stopped just five of nine shots.
The Devils gave up six goals for the second time in less than a week. The Boston Bruins hung six on New Jersey in a 6-1 win at the Prudential Center January 3.
The Flames victory over New Jersey was only their second in the last five meetings. This was the only game between the two teams this season.
The Calgary Flames may be sitting near the bottom of their division, but New Jersey Devils head coach Peter DeBoer doesn't think that makes Tuesday night's game any easier.
"It's always difficult," DeBoer told Rich Chere of The Star Ledger. "Three tough buildings. There is a distinct home ice advantage in these buildings because of the crowds and how full they are. You have to play a very smart road game and really manage momentum. One goal-against can turn into two or three very quickly in these buildings."
New Jersey kicks off a three-game road trip Tuesday against the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Gametime is 9:30 p.m. and will be televised locally on MSG Plus 2.
In eight games against Western Conference opponents, New Jersey is 5-4-1. That includes a 2-4-0 record on the road, where Western Conference opponents have outscored them, 20-13. They've lost four straight road games to out of conference opponents.
The two teams enter tonight's game on opposite ends of the spectrum. The Devils ended the first half of the season with a 23-16-2 record and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. It's a turnaround from where they were just a year ago, when they ended the first half of the season as the worst team in the entire league.
The Devils leapfrogged over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the standings Saturday, defeating their Atlantic Division rivals, 3-1. Evgeni Malkin gave the Penguins a first-period lead, putting Pittsburgh ahead, 1-0, after the first period. New Jersey came back, scoring three straight goals to grab the road win. Adam Henrique had two points, including a shorthanded goal. Ilya Kovalchuk also finished with two points (1 goal, 1 assist). Martin Brodeur made a season-high 41 saves for his 12th win of the season.
The Flames enter tonight with a 19-19-5 record and are in fourth place in the Northwestern Division. They sit five points behind the Minnesota Wild for eighth place in the Western Conference. The Flames broke a five-game losing streak Saturday, beating the Wild, 3-1, in a record setting night for Jarome Iginla. The team captain netted his 500th career goal, and Lance Bouma scored the first of his career in the win.
Iginla has 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists) over the past 21 games and leads the team with 43 points (16 goals, 17 assists). In 16 games against the Devils, Iginla has 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists).
Calgary head coach Brent Sutter will once again face his former team. Sutter coached the Devils from 2007-09 before leaving New Jersey. He joined Calgary soon after his departure, and has failed to reach the playoffs in two seasons as coach.
This is the first and only meeting of the season between the two teams. Last year, the teams faced off at Prudential Center, with New Jersey defeating Calgary, 2-1, in a shootout. Rene Bourque and David Clarkson scored regulation goals, and Ilya Kovalchuk scored the only shootout goal. Johan Hedberg finished with 25 saves.
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Martin Brodeur stopped 41 shots to lift the New Jersey Devils to a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Adam Henrique each had a goal and an assist while Dainius Zubrus also scored for the Devils, who have won their past two.
"When you play in a building like this you need everything to go right," said New Jersey head coach Peter DeBoer. "Marty came up with the stops and our special teams were huge tonight."
Evgeni Malkin scored the lone goal for the Penguins, who have dropped a season-high four straight. Marc-Andre Fleury gave up all three goals on 27 shots.
"Unfortunately, we’re fighting to score goals," said Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma. "We just can’t get that two-goal lead or doing the right things that will help us find that goal."
The Penguins took a 1-0 lead 4:48 into the game as Malkin’s one-timer from the high slot with a knee on the ice got past several Devils and Brodeur.
The Devils scored shorthanded 8:39 into the second as Zach Parise sprung Henrique off a blueline turnover and Henrique got his second shot into the net.
New Jersey made it a 2-1 game 11:23 into the second as Parise sent a pass from the right boards to the high slot where Kovalchuk’s blistering one-timer flew past Fleury.
The Devils got an insurance goal 1:28 into the third on a power play as Zubrus finished off a crisp passing play with a redirect of a Patrik Elias pass.
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