(headline submitted by @krwetzel)
The Devils seemed determined to forget about their 6-1 loss to the Stanley Cup Champions on Jauary 4th tonight. Through two periods in the rematch, it looked as if the Devils were set up to do so. Unfortunately for the Devils tonight, there is a third period in hockey, and that proved to be the Devils’ downfall tonight. It was a frustrating loss, to say the least, and mirrored the Devils’ 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers in December in many ways. The Devils got the 1-0 lead they needed, as they have in each of their three meetings with Boston this season, but their inability to push a second goal past Tim Thomas proved costly, as the Bruins had a tremendous third period in their comeback win. For the Bruins, it snaps what is a massive slump for them: just one win in their previous three weeks
It was a pretty slow start for both teams in this game. The Devils got the better of the scoring chances in the first period, but Tim Thomas, as he always does, made the big saves. The recently re-called Brad Mills also dominated Boston’s Gregory Campbell in a competitive fight in the period. With about 90 seconds remaining the opening period, Dainius Zubrus found Petr Sykora in front of the net, and he cashed in for his 12th of the season to give the Devils the lead. As mentioned, though, leading the Bruins 1-0 hasn’t worked so far this season. They lost 4-3 in Boston on November 15th and 6-1 at home after scoring first against the Bruins this season. Still, the late goal must have been a confidence boost for the Devils, who were coming off one of their stronger offensive games, a 5-1 win over Winnipeg.
The Devils had a solid first period, but they had an even better second period. They outshot the Bruins, 13-6 in the second period, including Steve Zalewski’s bid for his first NHL goal and he also made an incredible glove save on David Clarkson on a rebound of Kurtis Foster’s point shot. The two teams each hit goal posts in the second period, but both goaltenders kept the score the same after two periods as it was after one. The Devils continued to hold onto their one-goal lead heading into the third period, despite outshooting the Bruins, 23-12 through two periods. The Devils had blown some third period leads this season. They would have to avoid sitting back too much, however, against the Bruins’ potent lineup.
Just over a minute into the final period, Mark Fayne’s point shot found its way through traffic in front of the net and rang off the goal post. Less than two minutes later, the Bruins finally took advantage of the Devils not being able to score a second goal. Kurtis Foster accidentally screened his own goaltender as Andrew Ference’s slapshot from the left point beat Brodeur to tie the game at one. From there, the Bruins warmed to the task and simply took the game over. At 7:10 of the third period, Nathan Horton deflected David Krejci’s shot on the power play to give Boston a 2-1 lead. 35 seconds later, Gregory Campbell tapped a rebound home to make it 3-1 Bruins.
Peter DeBoer seemed reluctant to use his timeout after the second and third Bruins goals, but his team simply couldn’t find a way to beat Boston’s defense once the Bruins got going in the third period. After Campbell’s goal, the Devils became sloppy with their passing and couldn’t generate much offense, and when they did, Thomas made the necessary saves. By the time DeBoer finally did use his timeout with a minute remaining in the third period, it was too little, too late. Chris Kelly iced the game seconds later, and the Bruins rolled on to a 4-1 win in New Jersey. The Devils certainly battled more than they did in the last meeting between these two teams, but once Boston took the lead, as in the last game on January 4th, the Bruins absolutely dominated play. The Devils will need to bounce back against another Atlantic Division team that also lost 4-1 at home tonight: the Philadelphia Flyers, on Saturday afternoon.
Game notes: Patrik Elias assisted on Sykora’s goal, giving him 45 points in 45 games for the Devils this season. The Devils’ penalty kill unit, the NHL’s most successful such unit, has now allowed power plays goals in 7 of their last 11 games after not allowing a power play goal in four of the prior five games. Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has now beaten the Devils in six straight starts, after losing four of his previous five to the Devils. The Devils’ only win over the Bruins last season was a 3-2 win against Tuukka Rask on the final day of the regular season. Boston (mostly Zdeno Chara) found a way to shut down the red-hot Ilya Kovalchuk tonight. Kovy was limited to just one shot on goal, which is the first time he recorded less than three shots since he took two on December 17th in Montreal and the fewest he’s had since not taking a shot on November 23rd against Columbus. Adam Henrique returned to the Devils lineup after battling a minor groin strain and had a minus-two +/- rating with no shots on goal.
*It is also worth noting that the Devils learned today that Henrik Tallinder has a blood clot in his leg and will miss the next 6-8 weeks. Tallinder has averaged over 21 minutes of ice time per game, so the Devils will need to call someone up from Albany to play big minutes.
New Jersey Devils (26-17-2, 54 points) vs Boston Bruins (29-13-1, 59 points)
7:00 PM EST
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
Tonight the Devils will face the Boston Bruins in their third meeting of the season. In the previous two match-ups, the Bruins outscored the Devils 10-4. New Jersey is coming into this game with a record of 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, including an outstanding 60 minute performance Tuesday night, defeating the Jets 5-1, at The Rock. The Bruins have cooled down a little bit, with a 6-4 record in their last 10 games, losing Tuesday, 5-3 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Consistency is the Key:
While playing a complete game on Tuesday, the Devils need to continue to strive for consistency. Wins and losses are going to happen in the course of an 82 game season, but a solid 60 minute game doesn’t occur as often as you’d like for this team. Over the last 10 games however, the Devils seem to be getting into a groove, and playing more as a team.
Speaking of being consistent, Ilya Kovalchuk has been just that for the Devils, scoring 7 times in his last 6 games, including two short-handed and two game winners. He has now taken over the team lead with 19 goals, and needs to continue his recent trend to keep the team rolling.
Devils Stat Leaders:
Points – Patrik Elias, 44
Goals – Ilya Kovalchuk, 19
Assists – Patrik Elias, 27
Projected Devils Lineup:
Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus
Josefson – Carter – Clarkson
Janssen – Mills – Zalewski
Salvador – Larsson
Volchenkov – Foster
Tallinder – Fayne
*Scratches – Boulton, Taormina, Tedenby
The Latest on the Boston Bruins:
Despite a few recent set backs, the Bruins remain one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference. They could get even hotter tonight, as Brad Marchand returns to the line-up after a 5 game suspension, to take his familiar spot beside Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron. This is a team the Devils need to be prepared for, because when the Bruins are rolling, they can dominate a game from start to finish.
Bruins Stats Leaders:
Points – Tyler Seguin, 40
Goals – Tyler Seguin, 17
Assists – Patrice Bergeron, 25
Projected Bruins Lineup:
Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Marchand – Bergeron – Seguin
Pouliot – Kelly – Peverley
Paille – Campbell – Thornton
Chara – Boychuk
Seidenberg – Corvo
Ference – McQuaid
This past week was a busy one for the Devils. Playing back-to-back games against two top Eastern Conference opponents in the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres, and then rounding it out with a Saturday night match-up against the Tampa Bay Lightning, it was a good test for Jersey’s team. And they didn’t disappoint winning 2 of those 3 games!
This week’s “Player of the Week” is a tough one as there were contributions from multiple players, making for some great hockey…but we won’t complain! We narrowed it down to three choices below. If you think someone else deserves it, tell us who and why by voting Other.
Vote for your “Player of the Week” and tell us why you picked that player. Stay tuned for the results!
What could be more fun than hanging out with a group of fellow hockey fans, enjoying delicious discounted food and drinks, meeting NJ Devils alumni, playing exciting games, taking home fabulous prizes, and watching your NJ Devils take on the reigning Stanley Cup champs on a giant 80 inch HD projector?
Why don’t you come find out for yourself? Next Tuesday, November 15, the Devils Army Generals will be hosting our second viewing party of the season as the NJ Devils travel to Beantown to take on the Boston Bruins. As we continue our quest to bring the Devils Army to all corners of New Jersey and beyond, we’re venturing into the heart of the Garden State, to the North Brunswick Pub on Route 1 in North Brunswick, NJ.
The North Brunswick Pub is known for its tasty pub grub, reasonable prices, and friendly, casual atmosphere. With multiple large flat-screen TVs, two 80 inch HD projectors, and more, it’s the perfect place to recreate that “at the game” feeling. This location was actually suggested to us by a member of the Devils Army on Twitter, and is a favorite among many of my own family and friends.
As always, there will be contests and giveaways, raffles, a silent auction, and an appearance by a member of the Devils alumni – 2003 Stanley Cup Champion Grant Marshall.
If wings are your thing, you’re in luck—Tuesday nights at the Pub are “35 Cent Boneless Wing Nights” from 6pm until close! Be sure to check out some of their mouthwatering new sauces, including Mediterranean Feta, Creamy Pesto, Red Pepper Basil, and Garlic Parmesan! There will also be discount pitchers of domestic beer and other food and drink specials to be announced.
The fun starts at 7pm. Come join us at the North Brunswick Pub, located at 1864 Route 1 (on the northbound side) in North Brunswick, NJ. For directions, click here (I have provided directions from the Prudential Center—please make sure to change the starting address to your own).
For more information, please check out and RSVP to our Official Facebook Event. Bring a friend, Get Your Jersey On and we’ll see you there!
Have an idea for a possible viewing party location? Leave your comment below!
The Stanley Cup Finals. It pits the two “best” teams in the league up against each other for a chance to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup. The most exciting time of the season.
When you hear Stanley Cup Finals, you think overtime hockey. You think close, exciting games. You dream of that game seven overtime goal.
At the end of game one, this is what we thought we were going to have as the audience. Raffi Torres scoring the game-winning goal for Vancouver with 18.5 seconds left in the third period. A final score of 1-0. One of the most exciting game one’s I have ever seen.
Game two was no different, with overtime being forced and Alex Burrows scoring the second quickest goal in SCF history, at 11 seconds.
Game three was do or die for the Bruins. Boston wasn’t going down without a fight as they romped the Canucks, 8-1.
Since that third game, the verdict of the series was evident. Boston was going to win. Boston was clearly outplaying the Canucks. In the games that Boston won, they outscored the Canucks 25-3. In the games the Canucks won, the difference was 5-2. Meaning, the Bruins scored 27 goals this series, while Vancouver only scored eight. Lopsided offense much?
The Bruins were also able to do something almost unheard of in the Stanley Cup Finals. They were able to chase the Canucks’ star goaltender, Roberto Luongo, from the game. You want your best players to be just that, your BEST players. Luongo was not the Canucks best player this series, on or off the ice. Karma struck Luongo after he criticized Tim Thomas’ playing style, as he gave up three goals within the first nine minutes of game six.
This Stanley Cup Final also saw the Canucks lose, even though they never trailed in any of their other playoff series.
To sum it up, congrats to the Bruins. They were clearly the best team this off-season. Their on-ice product is something other teams need to look at and try to duplicate. Claude Julien, former Devils coach, knows how to run a successful organization.
And a special congrats to Tim Thomas for becoming only the second American-born player in history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy (the other was Brian Leetch in 94, against the Canucks. I see a pattern).
PS: It doesn’t hurt to think of it this way: The Devils beat the Bruins in the final game of the regular season. Therefore the Devils beat the Stanley Cup Champions. Therefore, the Devils are the true champions.
Two words that you never want to hear if your team is involved in it. Tonight will be the final game of the NHL season. There is no tomorrow. At about 10:45pm EST (barring overtime, God forbid) we will know who will be raising Lord Stanley’s Cup. I, myself, have been lucky enough to have gone to two Game 7’s in my life. One on the good end, and one on the bad end. Read the rest of this entry