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Game 40: Boston Bruins at New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils vs Boston Bruins

Game Time:  7:30 PM
TV: NBCSN
Radio: 970 AM

Match-Up

The New Jersey Devils (15-14-10) will play host to the Boston Bruins (25-9-4) tonight for third and final meeting of the season. This is the second game between these teams in the last week. Last Thursday, the Devils shipped up to Boston in a game that saw the Devils throw everything but the kitchen sink at Tuukka Rask, but he stopped all 40 shots. Jaromir Jagr would score in his debut as a Bruin, and the Devils would fall 1-0. These are two teams headed in different directions, as Boston is fighting to win the Northeast Division, and New Jersey is fighting to keep its playoffs hopes alive.

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The Stats: New Jersey Devils vs Philadelphia Flyers Infographic

Devils vs Flyers Stats

Game Preview – Game 35: Your New Jersey Devils @ Carolina Hurricanes

New Jersey Devils vs Carolina Hurricanes

New Jersey Devils (19-14-1, 39 points) vs Carolina Hurricanes (11-19-6, 28 points)

7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

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

Hedberg
Brodeur

*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

Ward
Peters

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Game Preview – Game 34: Washington Capitals @ Your New Jersey Devils!

New Jersey Devils vs Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals (17-14-1, 35 points)  vs New Jersey Devils (18-14-1, 37 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight will be the third of four matchups between the Devils and the Capitals. Most recently, they split a home-and-home on November 11 and 12, which saw the Capitals collect the win in New Jersey, and the Devils return the favor in Washington.

Devils Picking Up Play:

Despite being only four games over .500, the New Jersey Devils’ play recently has been picking up. Before their 4-1 loss Tuesday against division rivals, the New York Rangers, the Devils were on a season-high four game winning streak.

Looking at the standings, the Devils currently sit fourth in the Atlantic Division, but are still within striking distance of the teams above them. Currently the Devils are five points behind the Penguins, seven behind the Rangers, and nine behind the Flyers.  Not only are they within striking distance of division teams, but the Devils currently sit eighth in the Eastern Conference standings. A win tonight, could put them up as high as sixth. Also, their opponents tonight , the Washington Capitals, are only two points behind the Devils for eighth. A win tonight is key for both teams.

Tonight’s game at Prudential Center will be an important one for the Devils as they look to get back on the winning side of the standings. Despite having only won half of the games on their home ice, the Devils still have the best penalty kill in the league. And while their powerplay is good enough for 27th out of 30, the Devils might catch a break due to the Capitals having collected the least amount of points, in the East, while on the road.

Last Game Against Washington:

NJD @ WSH
Final Score: 3-2 SO

The Devils found themselves down 2-0 to end the first period, but goals from Petr Sykora and Ryan Carter tied the game up shortly before the end of the second period.

After a scoreless third period and overtime, the game went into a shootout. Zach Parise scored in the first round for the Devils, but the next skater for the Capitals was Alexander Ovechkin who got one past Johan Hedberg. The shootout remained tied until the fourth round when David Clarkson, of all people, scored the game winner.

Projected Devils Lineup:

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

Tedenby – Zajac – Clarkson
Sestito – Carter – Janssen

Salvador – Foster
Volchenkov – Urbom
Taormina – Fayne

Brodeur
Hedberg

*Note: Adam Larsson has been granted permission to return to Sweden to attend his grandmother’s funeral. He is expected to miss tonight’s game as well as Monday’s game against Carolina.*
——————–
The Latest on the Washington Capitals:

It’s hard to imagine that the Capitals have gone 10-14-1 since they started the season at 7-0-0. A lot has changed since than including a coaching change. After firing Bruce Boudreau, the Capitals now have Dale Hunter behind the bench calling the shots.

In their last game, on Tuesday, the Capitals defeated the Nashville  Predators by a score of 4-1. After this win, the Capitals have won four out of their last six proving that the Capitals team looks to have their feet back under them. The bright side of this victory was that the Capitals big-three, Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin all had a goal in the game. Surprisingly, this was the first time this had happened since October 2010.

Injury wise, the Capitals are still missing Mike Green, who is still recovering from a groin injury suffered six weeks ago. Besides him, no impact players are missing from their lineup.

Also, it is being reported that the Capitals will be wearing their third jersey tonight at Prudential Center. These are the jerseys that the Capitals wore during the Winter Classic last season.

Projected Capitals Lineup: 

Ovechkin (C) – Laich – Brouwer
Johansson – Backstrom (A) – Semin
Chimera – Halpern – Ward
Hendricks – Perrault – Knuble (A)

Alzner – Carlson
Schultz – Wideman
Hamrlik – Orlov

Neuvirth
Vokoun

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Game Preview – Game 21: Your New Jersey Devils vs New York Islanders

New Jersey Devils vs New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils (11-8-1, 23 points) vs New York Islanders (5-10-4, 14 points)
3:00 PM EST
TV: MSG Plus 2
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Today’s black Friday matchup will see the Devils and Islanders meet for the first of six meetings this season, as well as the first game of a home-and-home series. The Devils won the season series last year, 4-2-0. Two of those four wins came in overtime.

Devils vs Blue Jackets Recap:

On Wednesday, the Devils hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets at Prudential Center and were able to secure their seventh win in 10 games.

Dainius Zubrus scored the only Devils goal in regulation, and Ilya Kovalchuk & Zach Parise scored in the shootout to give the Devils their 11th win of the season. Last year, the Devils didn’t get win number 11 until game 42 of the season.

Martin Brodeur also kept the Devils in the game by making 35 saves on the night.

The Devils, now 11-8-1 on the season, are now tied for third place in the Atlantic Division with cross-Hudson rivals, the New York Rangers.

Palmieri sent to Albany (AHL):

Yesterday was not a Happy Thanksgiving for Nick Palmieri who was informed that he was being sent to the Albany Devils of the AHL.

Palmieri’s play this season has not been up to par with his play last season. Last season, Palmieri had nine goals, eight assists and a plus-9 in 43 games.

So far this season, Palmieri only has three goals, three assists and is a minus-5 in 19 games played.

Palmieri didn’t play Monday against the Panthers and played just over eight minutes on the fourth line in the Devils win over Columbus Wednesday.

Palmieri’s demotion comes when Eric Boulton is also in Albany on a conditioning stint. It also means that Mattias Tedenby can expect some more ice-time as he still looks for his first goal of the season.

Against the Islanders:

All-time the Devils are 74-80-20-1 when playing the Islanders and 29-47-12-0 when playing at the Nassau Coliseum.

Patrik Elias is the all-time leading scorer for the Devils against the Islanders with 74 points (30 goals, 44 assists) in 71 games played.

Zach Parise has 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists) in 36 career games against the Islanders.

Johan Hedberg is 6-6-2 in his career against the Islanders with a 3.02 GAA

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora – Elias – Zubrus

Tedenby – Carter – Clarkson
Pelley – Sestito – Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Tallinder – Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Hedberg
Brodeur

——————–

Islanders’ Bad Luck Continues:

The New York Islanders found themselves down 1-0 early to the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night, but were able to score three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead.

However, a subpar performance from goaltender Rick DiPietro saw the Flyers tie the game and win it in overtime.

The Islanders find themselves on a three game losing streak, and have dropped the last 13 of 16. 

Random Islanders Stats:

The Islanders have given up a goal on their opponent’s first shot of the game in each of their last two games and a total of five times this season. They are 0-3-2 when this happens this season.

The Islanders are 4-1-2 when scoring first and 1-9-2 when allowing the game’s first goal.

To coincide with the Devils’ third period problems, the Isles have been outscored 15-1 in the final frame over their last seven games, including three empty net goals. So far this season, the Islanders have been outscored 26-8 in the third period.

Projected Islanders Lineup:

Moulson – Tavares – Parenteau
Grabner – Nielsen – Okposo
Martin – Bailey – Niederreiter
Haley – Reasoner – Ullstrom

Streit – Staios
Macdonald – Hamonic
Mottau – Jurcina

Montoya
DiPietro

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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

Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

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