Now that the “Free Agent Frenzy” has died down, let’s take a look at some of the free agent signings the Devils made to improve the squad.
Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus – If there was one player the Devils could not afford to lose, it was Elias. The departure of the franchise leader in pretty much every offensive category would have dealt a blow so hard that the Devils would have been looking at a rebuilding stage faster than they wanted. Luckily Elias re-signed for 3 more years that will take him to the end of his career and he will be able to retire as a Devil. Elias has been the heartbeat of this team the past few seasons. I, for one, feel he should be captain, but he has declined that request due to past issues. Not only is he the heart and soul to this team offensively, he can play in any situation. Power play, penalty kill, center, on the wing, anything at all. So the Devils re-signed their most important free agent this season. In Dainius Zubrus the Devils are getting back their bulldozer. Zubrus may not have the point total you want to see but he’s also the type of player where if you watch him every game, you know what he brings to the table and it’s a lot. Very happy Zubie is back in the fold as well.
Game Time: 7:30 PM
TV: TSN, NBCSN, MSG+
Radio: 1130 AM
Thursday night, your New Jersey Devils (15-17-10) will look to finally snap a 10-game losing streak as they travel to Philly to take on the Flyers (19-21-3) for the fifth and final time this season. The Devils have gone 0-6-4 in their past ten, virtually knocking them out of the 2013 playoff race. The Flyers, on the other hand, have gone 6-4-0 in their past 10, moving one point ahead of the Devils in the standings as they try to piece together a season that got off to a rocky start for the Philadelphia team.
The Devils suffered their first loss of the 2013 campaign as they fell to the Canadiens by a score of 4-3. The Devils were bit badly by their 4th straight sub-par 1st period as the Habs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. Ryan White cashed in on a rebound after a strong start by Montreal for most of the first 3 minutes. The Devils were able to settle the game down, however defenseman Andy Greene made a bad turnover and star rookie Alex Galchenyuk fired a laser pass over to fellow rookie Brendan Gallagher who rifled the puck past Brodeur to give the home side a 2-0 lead. The Devils tried getting back into the game but were snake bitten by their own undisciplined play.
(a condensed version of @JerseyGuy276‘s headline)
Three stars of the game:
3rd star: Marek Zidlicky (Goal, assist, 4 shots)
2nd star: Martin Brodeur (20 saves, assist)
1st star: Dainius Zubrus (2 goals, +2 rating)
The New Jersey Devils broke a series tie with their Game 3 overtime win over the Flyers, and on Sunday night, they extended their series lead to 3-1, and are now just one win away from their first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2003. Sunday night featured another dominating all-around performance by the surging Devils, who nearly doubled the shot output of the opposing Flyers. Martin Brodeur celebrated his 40th birthday in style, turning aside 20 pucks and leading his team to victory, as the series heads back to Philadelphia on Tuesday night for Game 5, when the Devils will have their first chance to knock the Flyers out of the playoffs.
(headline by @Bkrayer817)
Three stars of the game:
3rd star: Sean Bergenheim (Panthers – 1 goal)
2nd star: Patrik Elias (1 goal)
1st star: Dainius Zubrus (1 goal, 1 assist)
Hey, Devils playoff hockey is back! It took a day longer than every other series to start, but it did start, and the Devils were ready off the opening faceoff. They took it to the Florida Panthers, and silenced the home fans. They also bombarded the Panthers’ net with pucks. Early on, Jose Theodore kept bailing his team out, but the Devils’ relentless offensive pressure paid off 6:31 into the game. The clever and skilled Patrik Elias moved right in on Theodore, but pulled the puck back and sniped it into the net, as Theodore was down and left the high net open. The goal was Datsyuk-esque (the Red Wings’ star) and gave the Devils their first goal of the playoffs. After that, it was a first period onslaught.