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The “War to Restore NJ” Hockey Night in Morristown

War To Restore NJ Hockey Game, DeBoerLast weekend, the NJ Colonial Coaches hosted the NJ Devil Alumni at Mennen Arena for a benefit hockey game. The “War to Restore NJ, Hockey Night in Morristown” was the brain-child of Sue DeBoer, (Peter DeBoer’s wife) and the first time the NJ Colonial Coaches played the Devils alumni in a charity event. Monies were raised for local charities to assist those in need affected by Hurricane Sandy, including the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund founded by Mary Pat Christie. In addition to 100% of the proceeds going to charity, there was also a food drive for the Interfaith Food Pantry serving the Morris County Area.

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Game Preview – Game 17: Your New Jersey Devils @ Buffalo Sabres

New Jersey Devils vs Buffalo Sabres
New Jersey Devils
 
(8-7-1, 17 points) @ Buffalo Sabres (11-6-0, 22 points)
7:30 PM EST
TV: Versus
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

The Devils get their first look of the season at the Buffalo Sabres tonight. This will be the first of four meetings between the two clubs.

Devils Fall to Bruins:

It’s never easy playing the defending Stanley Cup Champions, but the Devils stayed on par with the Bruins for most of the night.

The Devils rallied from two third period deficits with Nick Palmieri scoring the Devils second and third goals giving him his first career two-goal game.

Johan Hedberg, who got the start in the front game of back-to-back games, had his moments in net, but had a couple flubs allowing soft goals to the Bruins.

The Devils came out firing with less than a minute left to play putting several scoring chances on net, but could not get the puck past Tim Thomas. The final score saw the Devils come up just short, 4-3.

Kovalchuk to Play Tonight:

Ilya Kovalchuk has been inserted back into the Devils lineup and will once again play right wing on a line with Devils captain, Zach Parise, and Adam Henrique. Kovalchuk, who has missed the last five games due to a groin injury, told the media this morning that he is excited to be back on the ice and was excited to see the powerplay unit score a goal. “We’re on fire now,” he said.

With Kovalchuk coming back into the lineup, someone must be scratched. For tonight, Coach DeBoer has elected to scratch struggling winger, Mattias Tedenby. Tedenby is looking at it in a positive light saying that it will allow him to save energy and when he gets the chance, he’s going to “go for it.” DeBoer hopes that resting Tedenby will light a spark in Tedenby’s play.

Against the Bruins:

All-time the Devils are 45-40-16-0 against the Sabres, and are 21-20-9-0 when playing in Buffalo.

Patrik Elias & Ilya Kovalchuk both have 31 points in their careers against the Sabres. Elias has 7 goals and 24 assists, while Kovalchuk has 19 goals and 12 assists. Kovalchuk, however, only has two points in four games against the Sabres since joining the Devils in February of 2010.

Dainius Zubrus has only one point (an assist) in 15 games against his former club while playing for the Devils. Tonight will mark a milestone in Zubrus’ NHL career as he plays in game number 1,000.

Martin Brodeur is 30-16-7 in his career against the Sabres with an impressive 2.17 goals against average.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora - Elias - Zubrus

Palmieri - Carter – Clarkson
Zharkov - Mills - Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Tallinder - Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–

No Miller? No Problem:

After being hit by Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic on Saturday, Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller was diagnosed with a concussion putting him on the shelf for an unknown amount of time.

Usually, seeing your star goaltender go down with a concussion isn’t a good sign, but Sabres fans aren’t worried at all. In net, the Sabres will have Jhonas Enroth which is a blessing in disguise. Enroth is playing better than any goaltender in the league currently. Enroth is 6-0-0 so far this season and has not lost a game in regulation since November 24 2010, in which he only gave up one goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Enroth is also 13-0-1 in his last 14 decisions.

Lindy’s Longevity:

Lindy Ruff was named head coach of the Buffalo Sabres in July of 1997. Since then, there have been 164 coaching changes in the NHL (the Devils have 13 of them with 9 different head coaches).

Ruff is the second-longest tenured coach in the four major professional sports leagues. Ahead of him is Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs since 1996.

Projected Sabres Lineup:

Vanek – Roy – Pominville
Leino – Adam – Stafford
Kaleta – Gaustad – Gerbe
Eliss – McCormick – Boyes

Leopold – Regehr
Weber – Sekera
Ehrhoff – Gragnani

Enroth
MacIntyre

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Game Preview – Game 16: Your New Jersey Devils @ The BruCrew

New Jersey Devils vs Boston BruinsNew Jersey Devils (8-6-1, 17 points) @ Boston Bruins (8-7-0, 16 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG Plus 2
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight marks the first of four games, and first of two in Boston, between the Devils and the Bruins. Last year, the Bruins took the season series 3-1. The Devils beat the Bruins in the final game of the season in a game which meant nothing for either side and saw the Bruins rest some key players, including Tim Thomas (who was 3-0 against the Devils last year).

Devils Win Again in Shootout:

In their last game, the New Jersey Devils looked to be heading for another loss. The Devils found themselves down 2-0 in the second period, until Petr Sykora snapped a shot off a faceoff to pull the Devils within one. Ryan Carter then deflected a shot with just over a minute left in the second period to tie the score.

The Devils held on and Johan Hedberg made remarkable save after remarkable save to force the game into OT and a shootout.

The Devils sent out Zach Parise, Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias in the shootout with Parise scoring. However, Alex Ovechkin scored for the Washington Capitals, so a fourth round was needed. The fourth shooter was chosen by Assistant Coach Adam Oates, and it was David Clarkson. Clarkson was able to put the puck past Capitals goaltender Michael Neuvirth giving the Devils the extra point and the win.

Will Ilya Kovalchuk Play Tonight?:

I wish I could tell you either yes or no.

After injuring his groin in the Devils’ 4-3 win over Philadelphia two weeks ago, Ilya Kovalchuk started participating in full-team practices with the Devils. He was skating as an extra forward with Rod Pelley. During this morning’s skate, Kovalchuk was skating as an extra forward again, BUT was a part of the first powerplay unit when the team ran through powerplay drills.

Originally, Head Coach Peter DeBoer, who officially confirmed the injury to Kovalchuk is a groin injury, said that Kovalchuk would NOT play tonight. However, he will now let Kovalchuk participate in the pre-game warmup.

DeBoer had an idea to use Kovalchuk in only powerplay instances tonight, but felt that Kovalchuk would get stiff while sitting on the bench in between powerplay opportunities.

Odds are Kovalchuk will be scratched again tonight, but it will be a game time decision.

Against the Bruins:

All-time the Devils are 41-44-15-2 against the Bruins, and are 19-23-8-2 when playing in Boston.

Patrik Elias is the all-time leading scorer for the Devils against the Bruins with 39 points (21 goals, 18 assists) in 50 games played.

Ilya Kovalchuk, however, has the most career points against the Bruins with 40 points (22 goals, 18 assists) in 37 games played.

Johan Hedberg is 4-8-2 in his career against the Bruins with a 2.93 GAA.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Palmieri
Sykora - Elias - Zubrus

Tedenby - Carter – Clarkson
Zharkov - Mills - Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Tallinder - Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Hedberg
Brodeur

——————–

Lucic Not Suspended:

The talk of the NHL world this past weekend was whether or not Bruins forward Milan Lucic was going to get suspended for his hit on Buffalo Sabres’ goaltender Ryan Miller. Miller left the game and was later diagnosed with a concussion.

Lucic met with Brendan Shanahan on Monday to discuss disciplinary actions, but the decision was made not to suspend him. Shanahan felt that there wasn’t evidence of the hit being outstandingly bad that warranted a suspension.

Many in the NHL and fans were angry with Shanahan’s decision and believe that if an injury occurs on the play, there should be a suspension.

Seguin earns NHL First Star of the Week:

The Bruins hot offense has been sparked by NHL sophomore, Tyler Seguin.

Seguin, the second overall draft pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has scored seven goals in his last four games.

He currently has the league’s top plus/minus at +14, is tied for second in the league in goals (11)  and tied for fourth in the NHL in points (20).

Projected Bruins Lineup:

Marchand – Seguin – Bergeron
Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Thornton – Campbell – Caron
Peverly – Kelly – Hamill

Chara – Boychuk
Corvo – Seidenberg
Ference – McQuaid

Thomas
Rask
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Game Preview – Game 7: Your New Jersey Devils @ Southland Monarchs

 

New Jersey Devils at LA Kings

New Jersey Devils
(3-2-1) @ Los Angeles Kings (5-1-1)
10:30 PM EDT
TV: MSG Plus
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight marks the second and final matchup between the Kings and the Devils this season. The two clubs met at Prudential Center on October 13, which resulted in the Devils winning 2-1 in a shootout.

Devils News:

After dropping a second straight game Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New Jersey Devils look to get back on the winning side.

Fans are worried about the team’s performance due to injuries to Jacob Josefson (broken clavicle), Travis Zajac (torn achilles)  and Martin Brodeur (sore shoulder). They’re even going as far as to compare this season to last season already. With the Devils record being 3-2-1 through six games, they already have a better record then they did at this point last year. The Devils did not win it’s third game until their 11th game last season on October 29, and did not win their fourth game until game 14 on November 3. Last season, on October 25, the Devils were 2-7-1.

With the absence of two key centers, Devils Coach Peter DeBoer made a drastic change during the team’s practice yesterday. In Saturday’s game, you saw Parise, Elias, and Sykora playing together as well as Kovalchuk, Zubrus, Palmieri.  DeBoer switched things up by swapping Parise and Zubrus. I know you’re thinking, “Wait, there’s three wingers on one line now.” You’re right. Zach Parise will be playing at center tonight in between Kovalchuk and Palmieri. Parise was drafted as a center, and had played center under Brent Sutter a couple seasons back. Parise said the change came as a bit of a surprise and was a little nerve-wracking as he hasn’t played center in years.

Breaking News:

Petr Sykora has the flu and may not be able to play tonight, the team says. If he is unable to play, you will see Mark Fraser skating at Left Wing tonight, expect major lineup changes.

Against the Kings:

All-time the Devils are 25-25-4-1 against the Kings, but only 9-14-3-1 when playing IN Los Angeles.

Patrik Elias has the most points against the Kings as a Devil, four goals and seven assists in 14 games played.

Dainius Zubrus has the most career points against the Kings with 15, five goals and ten assists in 17 games played.

Johan Hedberg is 1-6-0 against the Kings in his career, sporting a 4.09 GAA.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Kovalchuk – Parise – Palmieri
Sykora/Fraser - Elias - Zubrus

Tedenby - Henrique - Clarkson
Pelley - Mills - Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Tallinder - Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Hedberg
Kinkaid

——————–

Kings News:

The main story for the Kings, without a doubt, is the hot play of young goaltender Jonathan Quick. In his third, fourth, and fifth starts of the season, Quick became the franchise record holder for the longest shutout streak. His 1-0 victory of Dallas on Saturday has now gone 188:10 without allowing a single goal. Luckily for the Devils, he will not be playing tonight. Jonathan Bernier is expected to get the start in goal.

Stud defenseman Drew Doughty has missed three straight games after suffering an upper-body injury against the Philadelphia Flyers on October 15. He was placed on Injured Reserve on October 16 and is eligible to come off for tonight’s game; however he’s not expected to return for another 7-10 days.

The Kings are also a hot team at the moment winning four straight games, and collecting points in five straight games. This dates back to the game at Prudential Center on October 13 in which the Devils beat the Kings 2-1 in a Shootout.

Kings Leaders:

Anze Kopitar leads the team in Points (10), Goals (4) and Assists (6).
Jonathan Quick leads the Kings in Wins (5) GAA (0.81), Save % (.972) and Shutouts (3)

Projected Kings Lineup:

Gagne-Kopitar-Williams
Penner-Richards-Brown
Richardson-Stoll-Moreau
Clifford-Lewis-Hunter

Scuderi-Johnson
Mitchell-Voynov
Martinez-Greene

Bernier
Quick


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Game Preview – Game 3: The City of Angels Crowns @ Your New Jersey Devils!

LA Kings at New Jersey DevilsThe New Jersey Devils look to close out the opening three game homestand with a win against the visiting LA Kings (1-1-0) tonight at Prudential Center. This will be the first of two matchups between the two clubs this season (Oct. 25 @ LA).

The Devils (1-1-0) are coming off a celebrated victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday. After getting shutout by the visiting Flyers last Saturday, the Devils came out strong Monday with strong support from their new Captain, Zach Parise. Parise led the team with two goals including the first goal for the Devils in the 2011-2012 season. Also having a strong game Monday, was Ilya Kovalchuk who netted the game winning goal and added two assists of his own.

Pete DeBoer collected his first win as Head Coach of the Devils, something he hopes is the first of many this season. In anticipation of his second win of the season, DeBoer is making a bit of a change to the Devils lineup tonight. Skating on the fourth line tonight will be Rod Pelley and Cam Janssen making their regular season debuts in place of Adam Henrique and Eric Boulton. DeBoer says he hopes the addition of these two will bring energy and momentum to the team. Seeing Janssen on the ice will definitely be exciting to see. Willing to bet he will be in a fight before halfway through the first period.

Adam Larsson, who was listed as probable for the game, will play. Larsson said he was hit in the groin by Eric Staal in Monday’s contest against the Hurricanes. This is good news for Devils fans as the fourth overall pick in this past year’s NHL Entry Draft has been logging top on-ice minutes in his first two NHL games. It appears that Larsson is the real deal, and will be playing a full year in the NHL.

The key to victory tonight will be to stay out of the penalty box and to convert on the powerplay. The Devils have been shorthanded an outstanding 16 times in the first two games of the season. Luckily, they have not given up a single powerplay goal, but discipline is something that needs to be learned, and learned quickly. The LA Kings have a 28.6% powerplay percentage which puts them at sixth in the league. As for the Devils powerplay, the Devils have capitalized ONCE out of 10 chances, putting them 19th in the league at the moment for powerplay conversions.

Here are your projected lineups for tonight:

Devils:
Parise-Elias-Sykora
Kovalchuk-Josefson-Palmieri
Tedenby-Zubrus-Clarkson
Mills-Pelley-Janssen

Greene-Larsson
Tallinder-Fayne
Salvador-Volchenkov

Brodeur
Hedberg
—————————-
Kings:
Gagne-Kopitar-Williams
Penner-Richards-Brown
Parse-Stoll-Richardson
Clifford-Lewis-Morrow

Doughty-Mitchell
Johnson-Scuderi
Greene-Martinez

Quick
Bernier

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Game Preview – Game 2: Hurricanes @ Your New Jersey Devils

Adam Larsson vs Flyers Oct 8, 2011“Oh no. Not again.”

Those were quotes I heard upon leaving Prudential Center this past Saturday night after the New Jersey Devils lost their home opener by being shut out against Atlantic Division Rival, the Philadelphia Flyers.

My response: It’s only one game. Chill out. There are 81 more games, and 81 more chances to win. This is not the same team as last season. We just weren’t the best team Saturday night. All will be well.

Personally, despite the loss, I was impressed with the playing of some of the newcomers. Adam Larsson looked calm and collected, and it was his first NHL game. The kid will only get better. I was also happy with the play of Brad Mills. In a way he’s reminding me of a John Madden. Only time will tell.

The Devils (0-1-0) have the chance to put critics to rest today as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes (0-1-1) at a special holiday start time of 1:00 PM.

As Coach DeBoer told the media Sunday after practice, “They haven’t been off to a great start with one point (0-1-1) in their first (two games) and we obviously weren’t happy with our (first game). So, I think you’re going to see two desperate teams going at it tomorrow.”

DeBoer also said the team needs to cutdown on turnovers and up their game speed. He stated he believes the Devils were playing at a practice speed, Saturday night, while the Flyers played at a NHL level speed.

At Sunday’s practice offensives lines were switched around, and are projected to look as follows, as per Tom Gulitti:

Parise-Elias-Sykora
Kovalchuk-Josefson-Palmieri
Tedenby-Zubrus-Clarkson
Boulton-Henrique-Mills

Defensive pairings are the same as Saturday’s home opener:

Greene-Larsson
Tallinder-Fayne
Salvador-Volchenkov

The Devils, in hopes of a win, are desperate enough that they are starting Johan Hedberg, in only the second game of the season in a game that’s not the second of a back-to-back series. Last year Hedberg didn’t get his first start until the eighth game of the season.

As I said earlier, it’s only one game. This team will only get better. Just remember last season. We have to take this one game at a time.

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