Monthly Archives: March 2012

Game 79 Recap: Rocked like a Hurricane

New Jersey Devils vs Carolina Hurricanes

(headline by @DevRickus, @DBergz13 and @radametz)

Three stars of the game:

3rd star: Patrik Elias (2 assists)

2nd star: Petr Sykora (Goal, assist)

1st star: Ilya Kovalchuk (Goal, 2 assists)

Let’s rewind two days.  Entering Thursday night, the Devils were deprived of goal scoring.  They had won just three of eight games, and scored two goals in the three wins.  But after the shootout win over the Blackhawks on Tuesday, the Devils finally exploded against Tampa Bay.  In the second period, they scored 4 times, added two more in the third period, and the Devils had themselves a 6-4 win over the Lightning.  In that game, the Devils felt good about their game offensively, but Martin Brodeur did surrender four goals, and the Devils didn’t really play a strong defensive game.  Perhaps Pete DeBoer just let them play wide open to boost their confidence.  So they went down to Carolina and cleaned up the other part of their game.  They played one of their better games all season, blasting the Hurricanes, 5-0, and the Devils clinch a playoff spot in style.

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Game 79 Preview: Your New Jersey Devils at Carolina Hurricanes

New Jersey Devils vs Carolina Hurricanes

 

New Jersey Devils (44-28-6, 94 points) at Carolina Hurricanes (31-31-16, 78 points)

7:00 PM E.T.

TV: MSG Plus

Radio: WFAN 660 A.M.

Last year at this time, as all of us die hard fans know, the Devils took the ice in their last handful of games playing mostly for their own sense of pride. After their miraculous second half eventually became too much to overcome following a dreadful first half, the Devils packed the bags early for the first time since the 1995-1996 season. Oh how things have changed in a year. One year later, the Devils are on the verge of clinching a playoff birth, and sending perhaps the most explosive team to the playoffs since their magical 2003 Stanley Cup run. All that stands in their way:  the Carolina Hurricanes and an always rowdy RBC center crowd.

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Game 78 Recap: Zidlic-key to victory

New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lightning

(I had to use my own headline tonight.  Sorry!)

Three stars of the game:

3rd star: Ilya Kovalchuk (Goal, assist)

2nd star: Ryan Malone (Lighting – 3 goals)

1st star: Patrik Elias (2 assists)

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Game 78 Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lightning

New Jersey Devils (43-28-6, 92 points) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (35-34-7, 77 points)

7:00 PM E.T.

TV: MSG

Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

This is the fourth and final meeting between the Devils and Lightning.  As was the case with Toronto, the road team has won every game between these two teams this season, so the Devils will look to break that trend tonight.  The Devils have had the Lightning’s number over the years, but a loss tonight would mean they did not win the season series against Tampa Bay.  The Lightning won the most recent meeting, 4-3 on February 26th at Prudential Center, as Martin St. Louis scored a hat trick in the game.  The Devils’ late comeback fell short that day.

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Game 77 Recap: Shaw-shank redemption in shootout

 

New Jersey Devils vs Chicago Blackhawks

(headline by @keahpa)

Three stars of the game:

3rd star: Petr Sykora (Goal)

2nd star: Brent Seabrook (Blackhawks – Goal)

1st star: Martin Brodeur (37 saves)

What separates playoff teams from good teams is that playoff teams find ways to win, even when they don’t necessarily deserve to win.  Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks followed that script.  After a hot start, the Devils got dominated for most of the night, but they survived Chicago’s tenacious effort to win in regulation and overtime, and left with their 12th shootout win of the season.  The win gives them a four-point edge over seventh place Ottawa.

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Game 77 Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils vs Chicago Blackhawks

New Jersey Devils (42-28-6, 90 points) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (42-26-8, 92 points)

7:00 PM E.T.

TV: MSG Plus

Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight’s contest features two teams in very similar situations.  It’s the only regular season meeting between the Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils.  Each team sits sixth in their respective conference, each team lost their top center for much of the season (both Zajac and Toews are North Dakota alumni as well) and both teams play in extremely competitive divisions: the Hawks play in the Central division, which features four teams currently in the playoffs and the Devils play in the Atlantic division, which also features four playoff teams right now.  The difference between the teams is that Chicago slumped last month, while the Devils are slumping right now.

The Devils won last season’s only meeting between them and the Hawks, 5-3, in Chicago.  The Hawks had won the previous three matchups, with the Devils last winning on March 17th, 2009, which was the game that Martin Brodeur broke the league’s all-time wins record for an NHL goaltender.

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