Monthly Archives: February 2012

Game Preview – Game 60: Your New Jersey Devils vs. Vancouver Canucks

New Jersey Devils vs Vancouver Canucks

New Jersey Devils (35-20-4, 74 points) vs. Vancouver Canucks (39-16-6, 84 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight is the only match-up between the Devils and the Canucks this season.  The last time these two teams met, Roberto Luongo stole the show and outdueled Martin Brodeur, 3-0.  However, Corey Schneider is in goal tonight for Vancouver, so there will be no goalie rematch this time.

Somebody call 9-1-1:

With a win against the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night, the Devils are now 9-1-1 since the All-Star Break, and continue to gain ground in the Eastern Conference. They are tied in points with the Bruins with 74, and are just 7 points behind the 1st place Rangers.
The top line of Ilya Kovalchuk, Adam Henrique and Zach Parise continue to provide pivotal scoring during games. David Clarkson also continues to find the back of the net for New Jersey and is currently second on the team in goals scored, with 23.
New Jersey has scored the first goal of the game in a club record nine straight and have compiled a 7-2-0 record in the process.

Honoring Doc:

The Devils will honor Mike Emrick tonight, with a ceremony before the game. The Hall of Fame broadcaster, will receive a number of awards and give a speech during the ceremony. MSG+ will provide exclusive coverage of  the event starting at 6:30 pm, with Devils Game Night.

*Don’t forget to print out your masks*

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Clarkson
Ponikarovsky – Zubrus – Bernier
Boulton – Josefson – Palmieri

Greene – Fayne
Salvador – Volchenkov
Taormina – Foster

Brodeur
Hedberg
——-

The Latest on the Vancouver Canucks:

The Canucks are coming off a 4-3 shootout win against the Detroit Red Wings, snapping their 23 game win streak at home. It was also the Canucks league leading 21st road win of the season.

Projected Canucks Lineup:

D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Burrows
Booth – Kesler – Raymond
Hansen – Hodgson – Higgins
Weise – Malhotra – Lapierre

Hamhuis – Bieksa
Edler – Salo
Rome – Tanev

Schneider
Luongo

Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

Game 59 Recap: Fayne-tastic win in overtime

New Jersey Devils vs Toronto Maple Leafs

(headline by @BonzoHammer)

It was Doc Emrick who coined the phrase “they don’t ask how, they ask how many.”  With this Friday being Doc Emrick Night, perhaps it was only fitting that the Devils leave Toronto with a back-and-forth win on a crazy overtime goal, but hey, a win is a win, right?  They played a tough, at times physical and certainly intense overtime thriller that ended with a crazy goal from an unlikely source.  Regardless of how it happened, though, the Devils have the second-highest point total in the NHL and actually creep closer to the Rangers for first in the entire Eastern Conference.

The Devils did not get off to a great start.  In fact, the Toronto Maple Leafs had six of the game’s first eight shots on goal, but as he has so often recently, Martin Brodeur made the saves he needed to make to keep the Devils in the game.  Perhaps it was Dion Phaneuf’s tripping penalty midway through the period that sparked the Devils.  They didn’t score on the power play, but just nine seconds after the power play expired, Adam Henrique backhanded a quick pass to a cutting Petr Sykora, and Sykora’s fired one off Leafs goaltender Jonas Gustavsson’s pads, and Sykora followed up the rebound Gustavsson allowed and backhanded it in for a 1-0 Devils lead.  That marked the 9th consecutive game in which the Devils scored the game’s first goal, which sets a new franchise record.

The Devils kept rolling after Sykora’s goal.  Patrik Elias found David Clarkson skating up the right side, and Clarkson powered his way to the net and wristed the puck through Gustavsson’s legs to double the lead.  The Leafs responded right away, as Tim Connolly deflected Cody Franson’s point shot past Brodeur.  However, the period’s most highlighted event occured when Dion Phaneuf cleanly checked Zach Parise to strip him off the puck.  Immediately following his hit on Parise, Phaneuf drilled the Devils’ captain again, and appeared to target Parise’s head.  Zach was slow to get up, but suffered just a cut to his nose, likely from his visor.  Phaneuf was not penalized for the hit, but was given a major when he accepted a fight with David Clarkson moments later.  The Devils outshot Toronto, 13-9 in the period.

Here’s some of your reaction about the first period:

@Devsfan55: didn’t like Phaneuf’s dirty hit. Loved Clarkson… Goal and sticking up for Zach.

@glund625: what a great period! Great job by Clarkson defending his teammate and getting [another goal].

@NonAmericanHero: I enjoyed David Clarkson sticking up for his teammate after scoring a goal. Now can he get an assist for the gordie howe?  (Unfortunately, he didn’t)

@JamCanssen: Everything Clarkson did, from the falling to the scoring to the sticking up for Zach and fighting Phaneuf

@jseltmann: like 2 goals. Don’t like weak PP and giving one back or zach getting hit up high.

The Leafs, desperately fighting to hold onto the 8th and final playoff spot in the conference, came out and played a better second period.  That didn’t mean that the Devils didn’t have scoring chances.  The top line of Zach Parise-Adam Henrique-Ilya Kovalchuk was absolutely dominant every shift they had, it seemed.  Kovalchuk hit the side of the net on a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush, then went in on a breakaway, only to be stopped by Gustavsson, then Kovy fed Adam Henrique on a 3-on-2, but that was also shut down by Gustavsson.  Then, Kovalchuk’s shot rebounded right to Parise, but he shot it off the post.  Parise couldn’t bury a second rebound and the Leafs survived.  Eventually, Matt Taormina turned the puck over at his defensive blue line, and Clarke MacArthur capped off a passing play by the Leafs to tie the game.  With under two minutes remaining in the period, Dainius Zubrus kicked the puck to Alexei Ponikarovsky, who slid to the slot and ripped a shot 5-hole on Gustavsson to give the Devils their lead back.  Zubrus kicking the puck to Ponikarovsky also amazed Chico Resch, for the record.  The second period ended with the same 3-2 score.

And some more Twitter reaction to the 2nd period:

@FasterHockey: Another bad defensive play leaves Marty on an island for a goal. Sloppy play is keeping the Leafs in it instead of breaking

@radametz: Devils seemed to be lacking some energy to start but looking much better following the “Poni Show”.

@Liv133: Like: Poni getting the lead. Dislike: we’re sloppy. We can’t keep the puck on our sticks. And we’re blowing gimmie chances!

In the third period, it was all Toronto…and the Henrique line.  The Leafs only edged the Devils in shots by one in the period, but they controlled play for most of the period.  Had they connected on more of their neutral zone passes, they might have scored earlier and more often in the period.  Brodeur also made some of his best saves in the third, including saves on Joey Crabb and Tyler Bozak from short distance.  Still, with Gustavsson on the bench and under 45 seconds remaining, the puck came dangerously close to the net.  Patrik Elias tried to clear the crease, but the puck ended up on Phil Kessel’s stick, and that’s the last guy you want to shoot the puck.  He banked it off Brodeur’s left skate and into the net to tie the game.  That sent the game to overtime.

The third period can be summarized by this tweet:

@JO310JO: Toronto pressured and kept grinding away! That’s why its tied now!

Overtime didn’t really last very long.  While the Devils’ 10-3 shootout record suggests they might have just wanted the five minute 4-on-4 period to pass, they pressed on their first shift in overtime.  Ilya Kovalchuk nearly ended the game seconds in as he one-timed a cross-ice feed, but he had to reach for it and didn’t get all of the velocity he’s capable of on the shot.  Just seconds later, Adam Henrique sent the puck back to the point and Mark Fayne slapped one wide of the net.  That was your game-winning goal.  How?  Well, Gustavsson reached out for it (it wasn’t far wide of the net, as it probably would have either hit the post or side of the net had Gustavsson missed it), and the puck somehow found its way through the Swedish goaltender and off the far post and into the net.  It’s Fayne’s fourth goal of the season, and first since November 16th in Buffalo.

With the Devils win and Rangers loss to Pittsburgh, the Devils pull to within seven points of the Atlantic division and Eastern Conference lead.  That’s still a big deficit, but the two teams play each other three more times this season.  The Devils took advantage of a weak performance by Gustavsson, but did allow the Leafs a critical point, as they chase down a playoff spot for the first time since the lockout in 2004-05.

Game notes: David Clarkson scored his career-high 23rd goal of the season tonight, and also his 9th goal in 17 career games against his hometown Maple Leafs.  The Parise-Henrique-Kovalchuk line produced 15 shots on goal tonight, led by Kovalchuk’s 7 shots.  Alexei Ponikarovsky has 10 points in 13 games as a Devil.  Martin Brodeur won his 22nd game of the season and against the Leafs all-time tonight.  He had 23 wins all of last season, and is now three wins shy of 650 for his career.  Obviously, no other NHL goaltender has ever reached that number.

Game Preview – Game 59: Your New Jersey Devils vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

New Jersey Devils vs Toronto Maple Leafs

New Jersey Devils (34-20-4, 72 points) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (29-24-6, 64 points)
7:00 PM EST

TV: MSG+2
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight marks the third match-up between the Devils and Maple Leafs.  Both teams have gotten a win, both wins have come on the road, with the Devils coming away victorious in their last meeting, 3-2 in overtime back on December 6th at the Air Canada Centre.

Devils Need to Stand Ground:

For a team that finished near the bottom of the standings last season and had many wondering if they would make the playoffs this season, the Devils have answered the nay-sayers thus far. With their win against the Canadiens on Sunday afternoon, New Jersey now stands at 4th place in the Eastern Conference, and are now tied in points with 2nd place Boston. They are 8-1-1 since the All-Star Break, and the push to the playoffs is looking bright Devils fans!

Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk are becoming a duo that is hard to reckon with. The Captain has been leading the way, scoring 7 goals and 5 assists in his last 12 games, while Kovalchuk has 6 goals and 12 assists since the All-Star Break. And how can anyone forget the play of Martin Brodeur?  The future hall of famer has also answered doubters who thought his storied career might be coming to an end. Brodeur is 9-3-1 in his last 13 starts, with a 1.75 GAA and a .929 SV%.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Clarkson
Ponikarovsky – Zubrus – Bernier
Boulton  – Josefson – Palmieri

Greene- Fayne
Salvador- Volchenkov
Taormina – Foster

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–

The Latest on the Toronto Maple Leafs:

After starting the post All-Star break with a 5-0-1 record, the Maple Leafs have hit the skids recently, going 1-5-0 in their last six games. They sit currently at 64 points and are barely holding on to that 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. To make matters worse, Joffrey Lupul, their second leading goal-scorer, injured his ankle against Vancouver over the weekend, and missed practice yesterday. He is however, expected to be in the line-up tonight.

Projected Leafs Lineup:

Lupul – Bozak – Kessel
Kulemin – Grabovski – MacArthur
Lombardi – Connolly – Armstrong
Boyce – Steckel – Brown

Phaneuf – Schenn
Liles – Franson
Komisarek – Gardiner

Gustavsson
Reimer

———-

Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

Game 58 Recap: Hab you heard? Devils in fourth!

New Jersey Devils vs Montreal Canadiens

(headline by @StevePalumboNHL)

The Devils’ season has not been without adversity.  They’ve been up and down at times, and have certainly been hit hard with injuries, especially to key players, yet it’s made them a better team.  It’s made the Devils work that much harder for every goal, check and save.  Tonight was a microcosm of their season to date, and they were able to overcome the adversity once again.  The Devils went up to Montreal and beat a very desperate Montreal Canadiens team that has been playing well recently.  What does that win mean for them?  You’ll find out, statistically at least, at the end of the recap.

Unlike some recent Devils games, which had featured slow or sloppy starts, the Devils came out flying in this one.  They put on a forechecking clinic at the Bell Centre early on in this game.  Even Eric Boulton had more ice time than the Devils as a team in their own zone in the first period.  Luckily for the Canadiens, they have a goaltender, Carey Price, who is skilled enough to keep his team in the game early on.  He even lucked out, as he found himself facing the net, yet made two pad saves in a row on Patrik Elias in all alone.  But the Devils salvaged a goal in the first period.  Right off Adam Henrique’s face-off win, Ilya Kovalchuk wristed a shot on net, and Zach Parise, who was left all alone in front of Price, deflected the puck for a 1-0 lead.  The Devils outshot the Habs, 12-4 in the first period.  The period wasn’t perfect, though.  Midway through the first period, Anton Volchenkov took a puck to the face and was slow getting up.  He missed much of the second period, but returned to the game after getting stitched up.

The Devils started the second period just as they finished the first.  The Habs struggled to generate anything offensively for the first half of the second period.  It wasn’t really until a David Clarkson interference penalty that the Habs started to put together better shifts.  They failed on the power play.  In fact, the Devils’ penalty kill was dominant at that point.  However, Montreal warmed up as the second period progressed.  Martin Brodeur made all the saves, as he always does in Montreal, including one on Scott Gomez from close-range and Raphael Diaz’ point shots.  The Devils, who didn’t get the benefit of any power plays tonight, managed to stun the Habs at the end of the second period.  Patrik Elias skated around the perimeter of the offensive zone, then unleashed a hard wrister from the top of the slot.  The puck struck David Clarkson’s body and re-directed into the net for a 2-0 lead.  Montreal outshot the Devils, 9-7 in the second period, but trailed by two goals.

At some point between the second and third period, the Devils lost another defenseman.  Bryce Salvador left the game due to an apparent illness.  Luckily, Volchenkov returned, which prevented the Devils, who were already without Henrik Tallinder, Adam Larsson and Kurtis Foster tonight, from only having three defensemen.

Here are some reactions to the first two periods via Twitter:

@Tristy: Loving Marty’s strong play. Also love how Clarkson screened the defense and goalie on that last goal.

@HeadUpKid13: I like how good we are doing defensively, keeping them to bad angle shots and not many good scoring chances.

@Frederick987: Playing like they know how big a game this really is #Leapfrog baby LeapFrog!  #LETSGODEVILS

The Montreal Canadiens played a much stronger third period, though.  They also benefitted from a Dainius Zubrus high-sticking penalty just 38 seconds in.  The Habs were able to maintain control of the puck throughout the power play, and eventually, after Brodeur was trying to find the puck at the side of the net, Max Pacioretty buried it into an open net to cut their deficit to 2-1.  The Devils defensemen were chasing Habs players around and could never recover their positioning.  The Habs continued to press for the tying goal after their first goal.  Brodeur stopped 8 shots in the third period, and 21 overall.

Rather than blowing a 2-0 lead, as the Devils did against the Ducks, they were able to capitalize again.  Alexei Ponikarovsky started his shift by forcing a Habs defenseman to turn the puck over.  What followed was perhaps the team’s best shift of the night.  Steve Bernier, Dainius Zubrus and Ponikarovsky, known as the “600+ pound line” (says Ponikarovsky - all three players are 6’1″ and 210 pounds each or larger) cycled the puck relentlessly.  Finally, Zubrus got the puck back to defenseman Mark Fayne, and he found Matt Taormina, who one-timed a slapshot through Bernier’s screen in front of Price and into the net.  His shot struck and broke the camera in the back of the net.  That gave the Devils a 3-1 lead, and that score held up as a final.  Montreal made a late push in the final minutes, but the Devils, who struggled at times in their own end, held on to win.

The win gives the Devils 72 points, which is tied with the Boston Bruins for the second-highest point total in the Eastern Conference.  Due to the division leaders and standings, the Devils were able to pass Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and move into 4th place in the conference.  The Devils are one of the hottest teams in the league recently.  They’re 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, all since the All-Star break.  They’re also expecting to get healthier soon, too.  Adam Larsson, who hasn’t played since the last Devils-Canadiens game after Habs defenseman P.K. Subban hit him hard, skated before the game.  His return, plus Ryan Carter, Henrik Tallinder and Travis Zajac, could give the Devils enough to cap off what has been a great start to the second half and a 2011-esque second half run.

Game notes: The Devils won their 8th straight game at Bell Centre.  Although they were swept by the Habs in New Jersey last year and went 1-1 at home against them this season, they haven’t lost in Montreal since March 11th, 2008.  Ilya Kovalchuk, Adam Henrique and Zach Parise each recorded points on the Devils’ first goal tonight.  Kovalchuk leads the team with 58 points.  Henrique extended his lead over Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the rookie scoring lead with his 39th point.  Zach Parise and David Clarkson both scored their 22nd goals of their respective seasons, which is second on the team to Kovalchuk’s 25.  Had Patrik Elias’ shot not hit Clarkson and gone straight in, Elias would have been the fourth Devil to reach the 20-goal plateau this season.  Matt Taormina scored his first goal of the season, which is his first goal since October 30th, 2010 in Los Angeles, and fourth career goal.  Taormina missed most of last season with a broken ankle.  It was Taormina’s sixth point of the season, and 12th point for Mark Fayne, who assisted on the goal.  Parise and Taormina had a game-high five shots on goal each.  Peter Harrold was called up from AHL Albany, and replaced Kurtis Foster in the lineup.  Harrold had a pair of shots in nearly 20 minutes of ice time.

Finally, tonight’s game capped Hockey Weekend Across America.  The Devils and Canadiens each have many American players that were in tonight’s game (not including Montreal’s injured winger and ex-Devil, Brian Gionta).  The Devils’ American players are Andy Greene, Zach Parise, Nick Palmieri, Peter Harrold, Mark Fayne and Matt Taormina (plus Cam Janssen and Ryan Carter, who did not play tonight).

Game Preview – Game 58: Your New Jersey Devils vs. Montreal Canadiens

New Jersey Devils vs Montreal Canadiens

New Jersey Devils (33-20-4, 70 points) vs. Montreal Canadiens (24-25-10, 58 points)
6:00 PM EST

TV: NBCSN
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight will be the final match-up of the season between the Devils and Canadiens. The Devils lead the season series 2-1, getting multiple goals from Elias, Parise and Clarkson during the two wins.

Devils Winning Ways Continue:

On Friday night the Devils faced off against the Anaheim Ducks and came away with another win. Although the Ducks are a Western Conference team, it was a must win to keep up with the pace of the Eastern Conference. Adam Henrique, one of our rookie sensations, netted the first goal of the game on Friday and added to his NHL Rookie Leading Points total and is now one goal behind Philadelphia’s Matt Read for the league lead in goals. Alexei Ponikarovsky scored the Devils second goal in the middle of the 2nd period to give the Devils a 2-0 lead.  This was his third goal with the Devils since being acquired on January 20th.

The win put the Devils 5th in the East, but the Penguins beat the Flyers yesterday to drop them back into 6th. With a win today, the Devils will either be in 4th or 5th place depending on the outcome of the Penguins game.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Clarkson
Ponikarovsky – Zubrus – Bernier
Boulton  – Josefson – Palmieri

Greene- Fayne
Salvador- Volchenkov
Taormina – Foster

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–

The Latest on the Montreal Canadiens:

The Montreal Canadiens recently traded defensemen Hal Gill to the Predators for Blake Geoffrion, a minor-league player and a draft pick.  The Canadiens are sitting in 13th in the Eastern Conference right now and are coming off a shootout win against the Buffalo Sabres.

Projected Canadiens Lineup:

Cole – Desharnais – Pacioretty
Bourque – Plekanec – Darche
Palushaj – Eller – Leblanc
White – Gomez – Kostitsyn

Gorges – Subban
Kaberle – Emelin
Weber – Diaz

Price
Budaj

———-

Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

Game 57 Recap: Devils shoot down the Ducks, get kicked into 5th

New Jersey Devils vs Anaheim Ducks

(headline by @DBergz13)

It was just under nine years ago, Martin Brodeur posted seven shutouts in the playoffs, including three in the Stanley Cup Finals to beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in seven games. Tonight, Martin Brodeur looked as if he had turned back the clock. They weren’t playing for the Stanley Cup tonight, but his performance tonight was simply “vintage” Brodeur. He stopped 36 of 38 shots sent his way tonight in an entertaining, nerve-wracking and controversial shootout win over the no-longer-Mighty Ducks.

This game got off to a fast start. The Devils didn’t play particularly well in the opening period, but Martin Brodeur wouldn’t crack, and he held the Devils in the game throughout the first period. The Devils couldn’t sustain any offensive pressure in the period. They couldn’t find each other with their passes and they allowed the Ducks a lot of space in the defensive zone. One of Marty’s best saves of the period came when ex-Devil Rod Pelley found himself alone on a semi-breakaway in the zone, but Brodeur stopped Pelley’s backhand attempt. Eric Boulton also challenged the big Anaheim winger and New Jersey native George Parros to a fight, but that didn’t go very well for Boulton, who was cut near his left eye. Anaheim outshot the Devils, 11-6 in the period.

The Devils played a much better second period. While Anaheim continued to outshoot the Devils, 12-9 for the second period, it was the home team that found the back of the net first. From below the goal line, Zach Parise found Ilya Kovalchuk near the right circle. Kovy waited, then shot one that went off goalie Jonas Hiller, but right to Adam Henrique, who buried his 15th goal of the season. That goal came less than 90 seconds into the second period. Kovalchuk was flying all over the ice throughout the game. He had some of the game’s best scoring chances. Just past the halfway point of the second period, Matt Taormina fired the puck back into the zone after an offensive shift. Dainius Zubrus picked the puck up from the right wing boards and found a wide open Alexei Ponikarovsky, and the big winger buried his third goal as a Devil to double the lead. Corey Perry scored on a rebound to get the Ducks back in the game late in the period.

The Devils came into this game with a record of 18-2-2 when leading after two periods, but they haven’t always made life easy for themselves. For the most part, they did a good job of shutting down the Ducks’ top players, thanks in large part to Martin Brodeur. Marty robbed Niklas Hagman with his glove early in the period. In total, he stopped 12 out of 13 Ducks shots in the third period. Shortly after the save on Hagman, the Devils generated some shorthanded scoring chances, including Adam Henrique’s explosive rush down the ice. He lost the face-off, but pushed forward, as Scott Niedermayer occasionally did in the past. He forced the puck out of the zone, and nearly skated around the Anaheim defense, but couldn’t bury it. Ilya Kovalchuk also had a pair of shorthanded chances, but Jonas Hiller stopped them both.

Then, with 2:13 to go, another ex-Devil, Sheldon Brookbank, rang his shot off the post and past Brodeur for his first goal in about three years. Yes, you’re more likely to see Scott Gomez score than Brookbank, but he tied the game for the Ducks. The ensuing two minutes were filled with high-quality chances for the Devils, highlighted by a pair by Kovalchuk. He had one shot glance off the goal post and another from the slot stopped by Hiller after a spectacular move by Parise to create an odd-man situation down low in the offensive zone. Both teams got a point, though, which isn’t a big deal in the standings, because Anaheim is in the Western Conference.

Overtime is only five minutes, but there was a game’s worth of action in those five minutes. 1:10 into the period, Ryan Getzlaf tried to take a pass across the crease and win it, but Anton Volchenkov did a great job of tying up his stick so he couldn’t convert. Instead, Getzlaf re-directed the puck past Brodeur with his skate. The call on the ice was good goal, but the Toronto War Room reviewed it. In a shocking turn of events for Devils fans, the War Room favored the Devils and the goal was wiped out. Getzlaf actually hit the post minutes later. Then, the Devils had their chance to win it. Kovalchuk, Elias, Sykora and Matt Taormina all had tremendous chances to end it, but a combination of defensemen, Hiller and an off-side call had other ideas: a shootout. Ilya Kovalchuk snapped the shootout’s first shot five-hole, and it crept past Hiller and in under his blocker. Teemu Selanne tied the shootout for Anaheim. Zach Parise was stopped, then Corey Perry hit the right post before Patrik Elias also beat Hiller five-hole. Of course the game came down to Getzlaf again. Brodeur was able to stop him and the Devils won it, 3-2 in the shootout. Parise has actually struggled in the shootout recently. After starting the season 5-for-6, he’s now 6-for-13, plus a failed penalty shot during that time.

With the win, the Devils move up to 5th place in the Eastern Conference with 70 points. They’re just one point behind the Flyers for 4th in the conference and two points behind the Northeast division leading Bruins. The Devils are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. Their climb up the conference standings has a lot to do with Martin Brodeur’s play recently. The Devils were outplayed at times tonight and outshot, 38-27 by the red-hot Ducks, but Brodeur played an incredible game and simply stone-walled the Anaheim Ducks. Brodeur is 8-3-1 with a 1.80 goals against average and .928 save percentage since getting pulled early in a 6-3 loss to Calgary in January (statistic courtesy of NHL.com’s Dave Lozo). That Kovalchuk isn’t too bad, either. He added an assist and yet another shootout goal tonight.

Some stats: Adam Henrique is now three points clear of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as the league’s top rookie scorer. His goal tonight gives him 38 points on the season. Henrique is also tied with Bryce Salvador for a team-high +10 rating. Zach Parise’s assist on Henrique’s goal gives Parise 50 points for the season, which makes him the third player on the Devils to reach 50 points. No other team has three players with 50 points each. Kovalchuk’s assist gives him 57 points, which is the ninth highest point total in the league. Alexei Ponikarovsky continues to produce for the Devils. Overall, tonight was his tenth goal of the season, but it was his third goal and ninth point in 11 games with the Devils, including eight points in his last eight games.

Finally, Martin Brodeur’s win tonight was his 20th win of the season. This is the 16th time Brodeur has reached 20 wins in a season during his career. He’ll go for 21 in what could be his final start in Montreal on Sunday night.

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