Last season, the New Jersey Devils early West Coast swing featured a season-ending injury to Zach Parise and frustrating losses.
Thursday night, they have another opportunity to make people forget about that ugly stretch last season.
New Jersey will look to win it's second straight road game tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena (10 p.m. ET, MSG+).
The Devils kicked off their road trip with a lackluster 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night. They rebounded Tuesday, ending the Los Angeles Kings four-game win streak with a 3-0 shutout. Devils' goalie Johan Hedberg stopped 31 shots, and Dainius Zubrus chipped in with two goals in the second period.
Hedberg, who's started every game since Martin Brodeur went down with a shoulder injury October 13, picked up right where he left off last season. He's ranked in the top 10 in both goals-against average (1.86) and save percentage (.937). The shutout over the Kings was his first of the season. He's won three of his last four starts in Phoenix, but hasn't played their since 2006.
New Jersey won't see a packed house in Phoenix tonight. After selling out their home opener, the Coyotes have watched their attendance numbers drop significantly. They've drawn less than 7,500 people for their last two home games, a disappointing number considering the effort by the league to keep hockey in the desert.
The Coyotes have dropped their last three home games. The Dallas Stars handed them a 3-2 loss Tuesday night . They've owned the Devils at home, though, going 23-7-3-0 against them.
Patrik Elias enters the game with a three-game goal streak. In the past six games, he's recorded six points - including four goals.