New Jersey Devils (4-2-1) @ Phoenix Coyotes (3-3-2)
10:00 PM EDT
TV: MSG Plus
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
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
Greene – Larsson
Tallinder – Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador
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:
Ekman-Larsson – Aucoin
The 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.