New Jersey Devils (13-11-6) @ Carolina Hurricanes (15-12-2)
TV: NHLN-US, MSG PLUS 2
RADIO: WFAN 660 AM & 101.9 FM
GAME TIME: 7:00 PM
The Devils are heading down to Carolina for their third and last match up with the Hurricanes. Carolina has two wins over New Jersey and we’re all hoping the Devils don’t get swept up tonight. To add fuel to the fire, the Devils fell out of the top eight while losing their third in the a row to the Rangers on Tuesday and the Hurricanes are trying to hold onto their playoff spot after their fourth straight loss.
The Devils had their 5 game winning streak snapped tonight as the Carolina Hurricanes came into Newark and thoroughly outplayed the Devils in a 4-2 victory. Not much can be said about the Devils’ effort that the final score doesn’t reflect. They did get a goal with 4 minutes left in the 1st as a blast by Ilya Kovalchuk snuck under the crossbar and his the back bar before rocketing out of the net. It was so hard and so fast that it needed to be reviewed. Problem was there was no whistle for another 3 and a half minutes. So everyone was treated to a rare 24 minute first period. The goal was reviewed and counted and the time elapsed was then put back on the scoreboard as the two teams finished the period.
Start Time: 7:00 PM
Radio: WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM
Your New Jersey Devils (8-1-3) will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes (6-4-1) Tuesday evening for the first of three times this season, and is the only time Carolina will visit The Rock this season. The Devils are coming off of a massively successful weekend, sweeping a home-and-home series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning both games 3-1. The Hurricanes are coming off of a 6-4 victory against the New York Islanders Monday evening and are looking to put some more distance between them and the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning for the Southeast Division lead.
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.
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.
New Jersey Devils (19-14-1, 39 points) vs Carolina Hurricanes (11-19-6, 28 points)
7:00 PM EST
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
Tonight will be the third of four matchups between the Devils and the Hurricanes this season. The Devils won both games played at Prudential Center this season on October 10 and November 8, both of which were decided in the third period.
Devils Vs Washington Recap:
Everything looked to be going the New Jersey Devils way in their last game against the Capitals on Friday, that is until the third period.
After a scoreless first period, the Devils had what I believe is one of their best second periods all season. Great constant pressure in the offensive zone eventually led the Devils to scoring three unanswered goals from Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Urbom, and Adam Henrique. The offensive play combined with Martin Brodeur’s goaltending, the odds seemed to be in the Devils favor… until the third period.
The three-nothing lead has always been considered the worst lead in hockey. This proved to be true once again as the Capitals scored three unanswered goals of their own forcing the game to overtime.
Once overtime had come in gone, it was time for a penalty shot shootout which saw Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias score on their attempts, and saw Martin Brodeur, not only stop Nicklas Backstrom, but ROB Alex Ovechkin for the win.
The win gave the Devils their 38th and 39th points of the season, which has them tied with the Ottawa Senators for seventh in the Eastern Conference.
Last Game Against Carolina:
CAR (L) @ NJD (W)
Final Score: 3-2
In their last game against the Hurricanes, the New Jersey Devils were without star forward Ilya Kovalchuk. They relied on offense of the line of Sykora-Elias-Zubrus which combined for two goals and three assists in the contest.
Adam Henrique had the eventual game winner as he successfully completed a wrap around which slid the puck under the pad of Hurricanes’ goaltender Arturs Irbe, I mean Cam Ward.
Henrique’s game winner was his second in as many games. “The kid’s got a knack for big goals,” coach Peter DeBoer said of Henrique who is now second in overall rookie scoring with 9 goals, 17 assists.
Projected Devils Lineup:
Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus
Tedenby – Zajac – Clarkson
Sestito – Carter – Janssen
Salvador – Fayne
Volchenkov – Foster
Taormina – Urbom
*Note: Adam Larsson is not injured and is on his way back from Sweden after attending funeral services for his grandmother.
The Latest on the Carolina Hurricanes:
The season so far hasn’t been very kind to the Carolina Hurricanes, who currently find themselves last in the Eastern Conference Standings.
A coaching change has already been made this season for the Hurricanes as they have brought former Devil Kirk Muller on to be the head coach, and Muller has brought former Devils player and coach, John MacLean, to serve as one of the assistant coaches.
The Hurricanes are coming off of a win in their last game on Friday night as they defeated the Senators 2-1 in overtime, thanks to a goal from Tuomo Ruutu. It was the first time this season that the Hurricanes won a game that needed extra time to be decided. They currently have six overtime losses.
Cam Ward stopped 22 of 23 shots and is expected to make the start tonight at the RBC Center against the Devils.
Projected Hurricanes Lineup:
Tlusty – Staal (C) – Dwyer
Ponikarovsky – Jokinen – Ruutu
Bowman – Sutter (A) – LaRose
Nodl – Brent – Stewart
Gleason (A) – McBain
Spacek – Harrison
Joslin – Allen
Carolina Hurricanes (5-6-3, 13 points) @ New Jersey Devils (6-5-1, 13 points)
7:30 PM EDT
TV: Versus HD
Radio: WFAN 660
This is the second of four meetings between these two Eastern Conference rivals. The Devils took the first meeting earlier this season, 4-2, at the Prudential Center.
The Devils have now won back-to-back games after defeating the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday at the Prudential Center. After Patrik Elias made it 1-0 New Jersey, Adam Henrique scored his second in as many games to double the Devils’ lead at the time. Winnipeg rallied to pull within one in the third, and ended up tying the game with under three minutes remaining in regulation, to force overtime. After coming up empty on a power play that carried into overtime, Adam Larsson fed Zach Parise, who sent Henrique in alone on his second breakaway of the game, and he beat Winnipeg’s Ondrej Pavelec to win the game for the Devils. Henrique now has four points in his last two games, and five over his last three (3 goals, 2 assists). The win also marked the Devils’ fourth win beyond regulation this season: three shootouts and one overtime win.
Although injuries have been a big story for the Devils this season, especially at the center position, but they have also provided Adam Henrique an opportunity to play on the top line, as he did Saturday with Parise and David Clarkson. Henrique has also been one of coach Pete DeBoer’s primary penalty killing forwards since he was re-called from Albany.
Speaking of injuries, Ilya Kovalchuk will miss a second straight game after pulling a muscle in his leg late in the Devils’ 4-3 shootout win in Philadelphia last Thursday. He expects to be ready for the Devils’ contest against Washington this Friday at the Prudential Center. Defenseman Andy Greene will be a game-time decision, following his lower body injury that also kept him out of the game against Winnipeg on Saturday. He will participate in warm-ups. Martin Brodeur will start his second straight game in goal for the Devils.
Devils vs. Canes:
The Devils lead the all-time series against the Hartford/Carolina franchise, holding a 55-37-10-1 record (Wins-Losses-Ties-Overtime losses), including the 4-2 win on October 10th this season. The Devils are 33-18-2-0 against Carolina in New Jersey. The Devils won three out of four matchups last season, outscoring the Hurricanes 13-11 in the four games.
Carolina has dropped two straight: 5-1 to the Capitals and 5-2 to the Stars.
Parise – Henrique – Clarkson
Sykora – Elias – Zubrus
Tedenby – Carter – Palmieri
Pelley – Mills – Janssen
Tallinder – Fayne
Larsson – Salvador
Volchenkov – Greene (assuming he plays)
Alexei Ponikarovsky – Tuomo Ruutu – Zach Boychuk
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