(headline submitted by @radametz)
Saturday’s 2-1 win in Winnipeg was a tough game where the Devils battled all game. To be honest, it wasn’t their best game of the season, but they managed to win. Tonight, which was their first game back home since a 3-1-0 road trip through Pittsburgh and western Canada, the Devils made life a little easier for themselves, scoring early and often. It wasn’t a perfect game, but it was a game that everyone can feel good about. It was also Jacob Josefson’s first game back in the NHL since injuring his clavicle back in October against San Jose. Josefson was unable to record a point with 12:58 ice time, however eight Devils recorded points and four of them put up multi-point games tonight, including a two-goal performance from Ilya Kovalchuk.
The first period was somewhat sloppy for the most part, as neither team was able to generate high-quality chances early on. The Devil who did come close to scoring early was David Clarkson. He had a number of chances in front of the net, but hit the post on the power play and missed the net on another good scoring chance. Then, with just over a minute remaining in the first period, Zach Parise deflected a Winnipeg shot from the point down and sent Ilya Kovalchuk alone on a breakaway. Kovy froze Jets goaltender Chris Mason and beat him to give the Devils a late 1-0 lead, in which they carried into the intermission.
That goal must have sparked the team, because they came out and absolutely dominated the second period. 90 seconds into the middle period, Petr Sykora one-timed Henrik Tallinder’s pass and it beat Mason cleanly to double the Devils’ lead. Just over three minutes later, David Clarkson went back to his patented toe-drag and somehow, the puck beat Mason. The Devils made it 3-0. Less than three minutes after Clarkson’s 16th of the season, Ilya Kovalchuk picked up his second of the game and 19th goal of the season. Winnipeg may have been fatigued, having played their third game in four nights, but the Devils were able to take advantage of them.
Once the Devils made it 4-0, they seemed to focus on preserving Martin Brodeur’s bid for his first shutout of the season. Unfortunately, Tobias Enstrom’s shot from the point beat Brodeur eight minutes into the third period, but three minutes later, Patrik Elias buried a rebound of Anton Volchenkov’s shot to make it 5-1, which held as the final. Brodeur stopped 20 of 21 shots he faced. Although the Devils started out a little slow, and couldn’t seem to connect on consecutive passes, once Kovalchuk scored at the end of the first period, they took the game over and never looked back.
Some game notes: Patrik Elias was honored before the game started for recently playing his 1,000th NHL game (all with the Devils). He put up a goal and two assists, which is exactly what he did on the night of his 1,000th game. He’s averaging a point-per-game this season (44 points in 44 games), as is Ilya Kovalchuk (40 points in 40 games). David Clarkson scored his 16th goal of the season tonight, which is one shy of his career high in goals. Brodeur is still without a shutout this season. He has never gone this late in a season (January 17th) without at least one shutout in his career as the Devils’ starting goaltender. Ilya Kovalchuk now has 60 goals as a New Jersey Devil. He has not recorded a hat trick as a Devil, despite tonight being his fifth multi-goal game as a Devil. Devils defensemen continue to put up points of late. Tonight, Kurtis Foster, Henrik Tallinder and Anton Volchenkov found the score-sheet, and Foster finished with a +3 plus-minus rating (as did Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora).
The Devils will continue their homestand Thursday night against the Boston Bruins. The team certainly remembers how Boston blew the Devils out on January 4th, 6-1, despite giving the Bruins a tough time in Boston earlier in the season.
Tonight will be the first and only time this season that the New Jersey Devils and the Columbus Blue Jackets will meet. Last season, they met on March 20 in Columbus in which the Devils won 3-0 to secure Martin Brodeur’s 115th career shutout.
Devils vs Blue Jackets Recap:
The Devils were able to score three goals in under four minutes to give themselves a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission. The team look great. But, a 3-0 lead is always said to be the worst lead in hockey.
It proved to be true, as the Panthers scored two goals in each the second and third period. Tomas Fleischmann‘s goal with 2:03 left in the third period proved to be the difference.
The Devils wrapped up their five game road trip with a 3-2 record.
Devils Injury Updates:
Anton Volchenkov (facial laceration) missed most of Monday’s game against Florida, but will play tonight.
Eric Boulton (non-displaced fracture in right hand) has been assigned to Albany (AHL) for conditioning purposes.
Tim Sestito has been recalled from Albany (AHL).
Travis Zajac (torn Achilles tendon) has been cleared by doctors, and is expected to practice with the team in two weeks.
Jacob Josefson (broken clavicle) is still recovering and isn’t expected back until March.
Against the Blue Jackets:
All-time the Devils are 7-2-2-0 when playing the Blue Jackets and 3-0-1-0 when playing in New Jersey.
Patrik Elias is the all-time leading scorer for the Devils against the Blue Jacketswith 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 10 games played.
Ilya Kovalchuk, however, has the most career points against the Blue Jackets with 11 points (3 goals, 8 assists) in nine games played. Kovalchuk is also two points away from notching his 100th career point as a New Jersey Devil.
Martin Brodeur is 6-2-2-0 in his career against the Blue Jackets with a 2.17 GAA.
Projected Devils Lineup:
Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora – Elias – Zubrus
Palmieri – Carter – Clarkson
Tedenby – Sestito – Janssen
Greene – Larsson
Tallinder – Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador
Columbus Coming off Back-to-Back Wins:
The Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves last in the NHL standings with a 5-13-2 record. However, they have momentum they need coming into tonight’s game.
The Jackets beat the Flames Monday night, 4-1, and now have back-t0-back wins for the first time in 42 games, stretching back to February 2010. Luckily for them, this stretch wasn’t close to the NHL record for games played without back-to-back victories, which is 173 set by the Washington Capitals from the 1974-75 season to the 1976-77 season.
The team hopes these wins, will jump-start the team’s offense and defense, and get them out of the slump they are currently in.
Blue Jackets and Devils Stats and Tidbits:
While David Vyborny has the most career points, all-time, as a Blue Jackets against New Jersey, seven points (3 goals, 4 assists), Vinny Prospal has the most career points among active Blue Jackets with 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists) in 50 games played.
The last trade between these two clubs happened back in 2003 when the Devils acquired Grant Marshall for a 2004 Conditional Draft Pick.
Curtis Sanford is expected to start between the pipes tonight for the Blue Jackets. He has a career record of 0-1-0 against the Devils with a 3.57 GAA.
Projected Blue Jackets Lineup:
Nash – Carter – Umberger
Prospal – Letestu – Johansen
Vermette – Pahlsson – Dorsett
Calvert – MacKenzie – Boll
Tyutin – Nikitin
Methot – Wisniewski
Moore – Clitsome
His name has become quite popular in the last week amongst Devils fans, and with good reason. Adam Henrique didn’t make this team coming out of training camp, but went to Albany and continued to work on his game. Then, after playing just 3 games with the Albany Devils and notching one assist, the 21-year-old center from Brantford, Ontario, Canada received the call every minor league player dreams of. The New Jersey Devils needed him, and although it was due to an injury to another talented center in Jacob Josefson, that was all Henrique needed to hear.
He has made an immediate impact in the early season thus far, scoring 4 goals, and 3 assists in just 10 games. And after scoring back to back game winning goals against the Jets in overtime and the Hurricanes on November 8th, he has quickly become a fan favorite. Chants of “Hen-Rique!” Hen-Rique!” rang out from the crowd after each goal and during his post-game interviews.
Selected 82nd overall in the third round of the 2008 entry draft, Henrique has put up impressive numbers throughout his entire career in both the OHL and AHL. During the 09-10 playoffs while playing for the Windsor Spitfires, Henrique scored a stunning 20 goals in 19 playoff games, and was awarded the “Wayne Gretzky 99 Award” for OHL Playoff MVP as his team won its 2nd of back to back Memorial Cup Championships. Henrique also helped Team Canada win the silver medal at the World Junior Championships back in 2010. Clearly, he is no stranger to success in his young career, and that can only mean good things for the New Jersey Devils.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the talented Henrique as the season progresses. With the return of Josefson and Travis Zajac on the horizon, he’ll certainly need to keep up this pace if he hopes to stay with the parent club. So far, he’s making it pretty difficult for the Devils to send him back down to Albany.
What does the Devils Army think of Adam Henrique? Feel free to comment and Let’s Go Devils!
|2010-2011 Season Stats|
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
Game Preview – Game 6: Your New Jersey Devils @ Pittsburgh Birds That Can’t Fly (7PM, MSG+, WFAN 660 AM)
So, last night was heart-breaking.
The energy Prudential Center had after David Clarkson scored the go-ahead goal with minutes left in the third period was unbelievable, but you can’t expect to win a game when you get outshot 41-19. The Sharks kept firing hard and seemed to want that win a little more than we did. I hope last night’s performance doesn’t affect tonight’s game.
Tonight, the New Jersey Devils (3-1-1) will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins(5-2-2) for the first of six meetings between the Atlantic Division rivals this season.
After stopping 38 of 41 last night, Johan Hedberg is expected to make the start between the pipes again for the Devils tonight. This worries me a little bit as I bet Hedberg is exhausted after last night’s game, but with the way he kept us in the game last night, I’m more than excited to have him play. Hedberg has been the reason the Devils are where they are so far this season. Losing Martin Brodeur to a shoulder injury was a blow, but the Moose stepped up and showed he has what it takes to be a number one goaltender in the NHL.
Speaking of injuries, the already thin Center depth chart got even thinner, as Jacob Josefson is expected to miss three-to-four months after having surgery to repair his broken clavicle. This is not the first time Josefson has missed time due to injury. Just last season, Josefson missed 30 games due to repairing a torn ligament in his right thumb. General Manager Lou Lamiorello told the media this morning that he would look into acquiring a veteran center, but as of now, Adam Henrique has been recalled from Albany.
Injury news from the Penguins could make any Devils fan happy. There will be no Evegeni Malkin (knee) and Sidney Crosby (concussion) playing in tonight’s game. While this is viewed as an advantage for the Devils, the Penguins have been on fire without their top superstars. Think of it this way, former coach Jacques Lemaire said that the defense likes when Brodeur doesn’t play because they know they have to up their game. The same goes for the Penguins offense without their top two point scorers, Malkin and Crosby.
Here are the projected lineups for tonight’s game: