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Game Preview – Game 38: Your New Jersey Devils @ Ottawa Senators

New Jersey Devils vs Ottawa Senators

New Jersey Devils (21-15-1, 43 points) vs Ottawa Senators (19-5-5, 43 points)
7:30 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight, the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators will meet for the second time this season. They last met on December 8 at Prudential Center which saw Adam Henrique give the Devils the edge in a shootout, 5-4.

Devils Only Fourth in the Atlantic Division?:

Am I reading the standings right? The Devils find the Islanders as the only team under them with an 11 point difference.

The Devils have gone 7-3-0 in their last ten, and are playing some of their best hockey this season. Going into tonight’s matchup, the Devils find themselves tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference Standings  with their opponents for the night, the Ottawa Senators, and the newly re-formed Winnipeg Jets. Tonight’s game between the Devils and Senators is an important one as even though they are tied for sixth in the East, they’re only one point ahead of the ninth place Washington Capitals.

After their win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, the Devils find themselves three points behind the flight-less bird for third in the division, and fifth in the Conference.

The only problem with the Devils so far this season, when it comes to the standings at least, is they’re heavily relying on the shootout. The first tiebreaker for this season, is regulation+overtime wins. Shootout wins will not count. So far this season, the Devils have eight of their 21 wins in a shootout, giving them 13 regulation+overtime wins. Most of the others in the conference have around 18, 19 wins. The Devils need to learn to hold onto a lead and get wins in regulation or, if they must, the sudden death overtime.

Henrique named Rookie of the Month:

For the last month of 2011, Adam Henrique was named the rookie of the month.  Henrique  had 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) and posted a +9 rating in 14 games in the month. Henrique was a key part to the Devils winning 10 of 14 games and propelling the Devils into sixth in the Eastern Conference.

This is the first month that Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has not won the award, showing that Adam Henrique is indeed a threat for Rookie of the Year at season’s end.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus

Tedenby – Zajac – Clarkson
Boulton – Carter – Janssen

Salvador – Larsson
Taormina – Foster
Tallinder – Fayne

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–
The Latest on the Ottawa Senators:

The Senators are dominating the All-Star balloting, which is no surprise due to the game being played at Scotiabank Place.

The Sens find themselves tied for sixth with the Devils and Jets in the Eastern Conference standings, and are second in the Northeast Division. The Senators won five of their last seven games which has them within six points of the Bruins for the division lead; however, the Bruins have four games in hand on the Senators, which might be the Division title out of reach for the Senators with the way the defending Stanley Cup Champions have been playing.

A player to watch on the Senators tonight is Daniel Alfredsson. The Sens Captain has five points in his last five games.

Projected Senators Lineup:

Greening – Spezza – Michalek
Condra – Turris – Alfredsson
Foligno – Smith – Butler
Daugavins – Konopka – Neil

Kuba – Karlsson
Cowen – Gonchar
Phillips – Lee/Carkner

Anderson
Auld

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Game Preview – Game 26: Your New Jersey Devils @ Toronto Maple Leafs

New Jersey Devils vs Toronto Maple Leafs

New Jersey Devils (12-12-1, 25 points) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (15-10-2, 32 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight will be the second of four times this season that the Devils and Leafs will square off against each other. They last met on November 2 at Prudential Center, which saw the Leafs take a 5-3 victory.

Will the Devils Win on this Road Trip?:

The Devils cannot wait to return to Prudential Center on Thursday after they conclude this four-game road trip tonight in Toronto.

Overall, the Devils are 7-8-0 on the road this season. Three of those losses are from this current road trip which have the Devils on a season high four game losing streak.

The bright side, I  guess you could call it, is that the Devils are playing better at the end of the road trip compared to the first game against Colorado last Wednesday. In the game against the Avalanche, the Devils were made a fool of by losing 6-1. After that game, the Devils dropped consecutive contests to the Wild and Jets 4-2. They outshot their competition in both of those games. 31-16 against Minnesota, and 25-20 against the Jets.

It’s not that the team is playing bad, things just aren’t going the Devils’ way. Well, except the fact they need to learn to stop giving up goals when they have the man advantage!

The Devils have to continue to keep playing hard, and a win tonight against the Maple Leafs will be a step in the right direction for the team.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Tedenby – Elias – Sykora

Zubrus – Carter – Clarkson
Boulton – Sestito – Palmieri

Greene – Larsson
Talinder – Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–

Toronto vs. New Jersey Notes:

- Phil Kessel leads active Toronto players in assists (14) and points (18) against the Devils.

- Joffrey Lupul leads the Leafs in career goals (7) in 18 games against New Jersey. Remember, Lupul had a hat trick on November 2 in the first meeting between the two clubs this season.

- Leafs Center, David Steckel, played 18 games with the Devils last season.

Projected Maple Leafs Lineup:

Lupul – Bozak – Kessel
MacArthur – Connolly – Frattin
Kulemin – Colborne – Crabb
Rosehill – Steckel – Dupuis

Phaneuf – Gunnarsson
Liles – Franson
Gardiner – Schenn

Reimer
Gustavsson

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Game Preview – Game 25: Your New Jersey Devils @ Winnipeg Jets

New Jersey Devils vs Winnipeg Jets



New Jersey Devils
 
(12-11-1, 25 points) @ Winnipeg Jets (10-11-4, 24 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG Plus 
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight is the second of four times that the Devils and Jets will meet this season. They last played on November 5, which saw the Devils win 3-2 in overtime.

First Period Defense:

For the second time in two games, the New Jersey Devils allowed the opposition to score three goals in the first period. First on Wednesday night, the Devils allowed three goals to the Avalanche and found themselves down 3-0 at the end of the first period. Last night, the Devils gave up three goals once again in the first period, this time to the Minnesota Wild.

Despite giving up three goals in the first period, the Devils looked like a better team against the Wild then they did against Colorado. They outshot the Wild 31-16 in the game. Zach Parise said he thought the team deserved better than they got due to their play being better than when they got slaughtered by the Avalanche.

It was also a night that backups had to save their teams. Johan Hedberg came in for the Devils just 8:17 into the game when starter Martin Brodeur gave up three goals on four shots. Josh Harding had to come in for the Wild to replace Nicklas Backstrom who left the game after one period with a lower body injury.

Johan Hedberg is expected to get the start tonight in Winnipeg.

Last time the Devils were in Winnipeg:

Date: Dec. 29, 1995
Site: Winnipeg Arena
Score: Jets, 5, Devils 3
Goals: NJ—Petr Sykora 2, Bill Guerin. WPG—Mike Eastwood, Dave Manson, Ed Olczyk, Teemu Selanne, Keith Tkachuk.
Assists: NJ—Guerin 2, Steve Thomas 2, Sykora, Kevin Dean. WPG—Selanne 2, Tkachuk 2, Manson, Olczyk, Darrin Shannon.
Goaltenders: NJ—Martin Brodeur (33 saves, 37 shots—1 ENG). WPG—Tim Cheveldae (31 saves, 34 shots)

Devils’ lineup:

Forwards: Neal Broten, Bob Carpenter, Bill Guerin, Bobby Holik, John MacLean, Randy McKay, Mike Peluso, Stephane Richer, Brian Rolston, *Petr Sykora, Steve Thomas, Valeri Zelepukin.

Defensemen: Shawn Chambers, Ken Daneyko, Kevin Dean, Scott Niedermayer, Jason Smith, Scott Stevens.

Goaltender: *Martin Brodeur.

*Current Devils

(Courtesy of Tom Gulitti of The Record)

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora – Elias – Zubrus

Tedenby – Carter – Clarkson
Boulton – Sestito – Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Talinder – Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Hedberg
Brodeur

——————–

Jets Coming Off a Win against….Themselves:

The Winnipeg Jets are currently playing in the Eastern Conference this season, which means they only got one home game against the Phoenix Coyotes, who were the Jets until they moved to Phoenix in 1996. Thursday night, the Jets hosted the Coyotes before a sold out MTS Centre. The crowd for the game was really into it, especially when Bryan Little scored a goal 6:53 into the game which eventually was the game winner.

The crowd also gave Coyotes’ captain Shane Doan a reasonable applause as he is the only player on the Coyotes currently who had donned a Jets jersey before the move.

Projected Jets Lineup:

Ladd – Burmistrov – Wellwood
Kane – Little – Wheeler
Klingberg – Stapleton – Jaffray
Glass – Slater – Thorburn

Byfuglien – Stuart
Oduya – Bogosian
Kulda – Flood

Pavelec
Mason

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.

Game Preview – Game 12: Atlantapeg Thrashjets @ Your New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils vs Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg Jets (5-6-1) @ New Jersey Devils (5-5-1)
7:00 PM EDT
TV: MSG Plus 2
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

This is the first of four matchups between the Devils and the Jets this season. Last season, the Devils took three of four from the then, Atlanta Thrashers.

Devils Sneak Past Flyers:

A lot happened in Thursday’s game against the Flyers that could make any Devils fan angry. Especially Danny Briere’s shootout move which angered some NHL fans.

The Devils found themselves down 2-0 in the second period, but retaliated quickly after Philly scored their second goal. Zach Parise scored with a quick backhand to pull the Devils within one. Not only was this goal important for the entire team, but it gave the Parise, Henriqure, Kovalchuk line some energy. This proved as minutes later, Ilya Kovalchuk stole a pass and fed it to Adam Henrique for Henrique’s first career NHL goal.

The Devils then found themselves down early in the third period after a penalty shot was awarded to Maxime Talbot. With just over six minutes left in the game, great pressure by the Devils and Patrik Elias, especially, allowed the surging David Clarkson to score and send the game into overtime.

Elias and Parise scored for the Devils in the shootout giving the team a huge win, but not before some controversy with Flyers’ Danny Briere’s shootout move. It appeared that Briere came to a complete stop along with the puck, which is a no-no. Rules state that the puck must maintain a forward motion at all time. From certain replays it appears that the puck does indeed move backwards after Briere stops. The referees reviewed it and called it a goal. It will be interesting to see what happens from here on out.

The Devils’ Curse:

Two of the Devils key centermen, Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson, are currently out with injuries making the middle of the Devils lineup a bit lacking.

Martin Brodeur missed about three weeks with a sore shoulder. When he returned, he seemed a little off of his game. Even going as far as to say that his shoulder hurt Thursday morning, and he doesn’t know if the shoulder will ever be 100%.

Now, Andy Greene was a last minute scratch on Thursday night due to a lower body injury that Head Coach Pete DeBoer said that Greene had been playing with for a while.

And just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse. Ilya Kovalchuk appeared to have pulled a muscle while skating late in the third period. During this morning’s skate, Kovalchuk was skating with Parise and Henrique but left the ice early. Not looking good, but could be a game time decision.

AND THEN, after leading the Devils to a win over the Flyers, Johan Hedberg said he suffered a back injury during the game. He says he feels much better now, though.

Against the Jets/Thrashers:

All time the Devils are 26-10-8-0 when playing the Jets/Thrashers and are 12-6-4-0 when playing in New Jersey.

Patrik Elias has the most points as a Devil against the Jets with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists).

Dainius Zubrus also has 34 points in his career against the Jets also with 14 goals and 20 assists.

Ilya Kovalchuk has four goals and one assist in five games played against his former club.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Clarkson
Sykora – Elias – Zubrus

Tedenby – Carter – Palmieri
Pelley – Mills – Janssen

Salvador – Larsson
Tallinder – Fayne
Fraser – Volchenkov

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–

Jets Catch Devils’ Curse

If you thought the New Jersey Devils had it bad with injuries, the Winnipeg Jets will laugh in your face. The Jets blueline is struggling at the moment missing key components of the Jets defense, including backup goaltender Chris Mason. Here are the Jets injuries coming into tonight’s game.

Tobias Entrom (upper body)
Ron Hainsey (upper body)
Chris Mason (groin)
Mark Stuart (upper body)
Randy Jones (right foot)

The Jets are also without forward Eric Fehr due to a shoulder injury.

To offset the missing players, the Jets have called up Paul Postma, Brett Festerling and Mark Flood from the St. John’s IceCaps from the American Hockey League.

Jets Against Devils:

The Jets (not the Atlanta franchise, but the old Jets who are now Phoenix) were 20-8-7-0 when facing the Devils in the regular season, including 8-5-4-0 when playing in New Jersey.

Since this franchise used to be the Atlanta Thrashers, the leading scorer against the Devils, now plays for the Devils. Ilya Kovalchuk had 15 goals and 9 assists against the Devils.

Now the leading scorer against the Devils is Nik Antropov with 18 points (9 goals, 9 assists) in 29 games against the Devils.

Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec is 2-2-1 with a 2.61 goals against average all time against the Devils.

Projected Jets Lineup:

Ladd – Little – Wellwood
Kane – Antropov – Burmistrov
Mcardle – Stapleton – Wheeler
Glass – Slater – Thoburn

Postma – Byfuglien
Festerling – Bogosian
Oduya – Flood

Pavelec
Mason


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Game Preview – Game 8: Your New Jersey Devils @ Winnipeg Jets Version 1.0

New Jersey Devils vs Phoenix Coyotes

New Jersey Devils (4-2-1) @ Phoenix Coyotes (3-3-2)
10:00 PM EDT
TV: MSG Plus
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight is the only game between the Devils and the Coyotes this season. The two teams last met on December 16, 2010 at Prudential Center. That game saw Ilya Kovalchuk score a pair of goals and Martin Brodeur stop all shots, leading the Devils to a 3-0 win.

Devils @ Kings Recap:

In their last game against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, the New Jersey Devils played a complete team game. Passing was tape-to-tape and it appeared that the team was having fun out on the ice.

Dainius Zubrus led the team’s efforts with a pair of goals in the matchup, leading the Devils to a 3-0 victory. Patrik Elias also scored, assisted by Petr Sykora. It appears that not only did Elias and Sykora find their old chemistry again, but Zubrus appears to be the Arnott-style player they needed on the line with them.

Johan Hedberg was completely outstanding again, stopping all shots fired at him. This shutout was Hedbergs 18th career shutout and he now improves to 4-1-1 on the season as Martin Brodeur continues to recover from a shoulder injury.

Zach Parise also played his first game as a center this season, in between Ilya Kovalchuk and Nick Palmieri. The line did not produce any points in the game; however, Parise did have a 64% face-off percentage. Not too bad for his first game.

Devils Claim Carter off Waivers:

On Wednesday, the Devils claimed center Ryan Carter off of waivers from the Florida Panthers. Carter has no points, six penalty minutes and is a -1, so far this season.

Carter had been playing with the Florida Panthers for the first seven games this season. He was acquired by the Panthers last year from Carolina. Coach DeBoer had the opportunity to work with him in Florida and is excited for what Carter can bring to the Devils.

Over his career, Carter has played 189 games and has 14 goals & 21 assists. He has previously played for Florida, Carolina and Anaheim.

Carter is participating in the morning skate at Jobing.Com Arena in Phoenix this morning wearing number 20. He is centering Mills and Janssen, meaning Rod Pelley is the extra forward.

Interesting Trivia: Carter got his first two NHL goals on February 8, 2008 in a 2-1 Anaheim win over the New Jersey Devils, scoring both on Martin Brodeur.

Against the Coyotes:

All-time the Devils are 18-29-7-0 in 54 games played against the Phoenix Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets.

Patrik Elias has the most points in his career, among active Devils with 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists) in 18 games played against the Coyotes.

John MacLean has the most career points, among any Devils player, with 20 points (13 goals, 7 assists).

Johan Hedberg is 3-5-1 against the Coyotes in his career, sporting a 3.54 GAA.
Projected Devils Lineup:

Kovalchuk – Parise – Palmieri
Sykora – Elias – Zubrus

Tedenby – Henrique – Clarkson
Mills-Carter-Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Tallinder – Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Hedberg
Kinkaid

——————–

Coyotes Coming Off A Loss:

Coyotes captain, Shane Doan, reached the 300-goal milestone in front of hometown Phoenix on Tuesday in a game against the Dallas Stars. The third period goal would give the ‘Yotes a 2-1 lead, but they could not hang on as they fell 3-2 in a shootout. Upon collecting his 300th goal, Doan now joins only Scott Mellanby as players to score 300 goals, but never score a hat trick.

Lucky Alternate Jersey?:

The Coyotes will wear their alternate black jerseys every Thursday and Friday home game this season. Currently this season, they’re 0-1-0 while wearing the jersey, but they will look to turn that around tonight. Last season, the Coyotes were 8-5-1 while wearing the jerseys and have put up a total of 21-8-2 since debuting the jersey for the 2008-2009 season.

Projected Coyotes Lineup:

Whitney-Langkow-Doan
Boedker-Hanzal-Vrbata
Pyatt-Gordon-Korpikoski
Torres-Nokelainen-Bissonnette

Yandle-Morris
Ekman-Larsson – Aucoin
Schlemko-Klesla

Smith
LaBarbera


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Atlanta Thrashers Moving to Winnipeg

Atlanta ThrashersThe Atlanta Thrashers were sold to True North Sports and Entertainment. True North’s purchase of the team has been announced and the team will be moved to Winnipeg, Canada. The announcement was made at the MTS Centre in Winnepeg where the team will play after the sale is approved by the NHL Board of Governors in mid-June.

The Jets played in Winnipeg until 1996, when the team was relocated to Phoenix. After the Coyotes announced plans to stay in Phoenix for at least one more season, True North successfully acquired the NHL’s other misplaced southern US franchise.

The Jets moved out of Canada when the Canadian dollar was worth roughly 73 cents American. With player salaries paid in American dollars, but all ticket, merchandise, and other purchases made in Canadian dollars, relocation to the US made sense despite the loyal fan base. Hockey teams with small arenas were not profitable in the 1990s. Now that the two countries’ dollar values are nearly equal, Canada appears to be slated to get another team back. They also have a new arena that currently hosts an AHL team, Manitoba Moose.

The franchise’s leading scorer is our very own Ilya Kovalchuk. He had 328 goals and 287 assists for the Thrashers from 2001 to 2010, where he averaged better than a point per game.

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