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Game 6 Preview: Beat The B’s

October 16, 2010 Leave a comment

The Matchup: The Boston Bruins (1-1-0) face off against the New Jersey Devils (1-3-1) at the Prudential Center. This is the first meeting between the teams this season.

The Last Bruins Game: The Bruins blanked the Coyotes, 3-0, last Sunday at the O2 Arena in Prague. After a scoreless first period, Milan Lucic gave Boston a 1-0 lead at 12:11 in the period. Nathan Horton extended the lead, putting Boston ahead, 2-0, at 19:57 of the period. Tyler Seguin then scored his first NHL goal to increase the lead and put the Bruins ahead, 3-0. Tim Thomas stopped 29 shots for the shutout.

The Last Devils’ Game: The Devils lost to the Avalanche, 3-2, last night at the Prudential Center. Despite outshooting Colorado 17-3 in the first period, the Avs took a 1-0 lead into the locker room thanks to a powerplay goal by Cody McLeod. TJ Galiardi extended the Avalanche lead to 2-0 at 11:48 of the second period. Matt Taormina cut the lead to 2-1 with his first NHL goal at 14:48 of the second period. Chris Stewart put the Avs ahead by two, scoring at 4:31 to put Colorado ahead 3-1. Ilya Kovalchuk cut the lead to one once again, scoring at 8:49 to bring the Devils’ within one. But they couldn’t finish their opportunities, and lost to the Avalanche.

The Last Bruins – Devils Matchup: The Bruins took the last meeting of the season, shutting out the Devils, 1-0, on March 30. Both teams played to a scoreless draw until overtime, when Patrice Bergeron fired home the game-winning goal with 19 seconds left in the extra period. Martin Brodeur stopped 33 shots in the losing effort. Tuukka Rask stopped 21 shots for his fifth shutout of the season.

For a full recap of the team’s historical matchup, click here.

Shaking The Rust (And Lag): The Bruins haven’t played in six days because they opened their season in Prague. That’s a long layoff, and we’ll see if that has any negative effects in tonight’s matchup.

Tonight’s Matchup: The Devils need to finish, plain and simple. They had 43 shots on Craig Anderson last night, and many were quality scoring chances. In three games, the Devils have put 109 shots on net and have only four goals to show for the effort. They need to start getting it done on the offensive end and burying their opportunities.

But last night’s game was also positive. The Devils were aggressive on the forecheck and really imposed their will in the first period. Brodeur didn’t have the best night in net, getting beat high on the three goals. But the team had another good effort last night. The Devils get to take on a team that hasn’t played in six days. Not only should the Devils have more jump in their step, but they should pressure the Bruins into several mistakes.

Game time is 7 p.m., and you can catch all the action on MSG Plus.

Game 5 Preview: Devils Look To Stop Avalanche

October 15, 2010 Leave a comment

The Matchup – The Colorado Avalanche (2-1-0) face off against the New Jersey Devils (1-2-1) in the first and only meeting of the season.

The Last Avalanche Game – The Avs defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 5-4, in a shootout Wednesday night. Down 3-2 after the second period, the Avs tied the game on a goal by Daniel Winnik at 4:43 of the third period. Patrick Eaves put the Red Wings back ahead, scoring a shorthanded goal at 7:52 of the period. But Colorado would answer back, with David Jones tying the game at four apiece at 11:24 of the third. The teams went to the shootout, and both Peter Budaj and Jimmy Howard kept the puck out of the net. But in the sixth round, Brandon Yip beat Howard, scoring the game-winner in the shootout.

The Last Devils Game – The Devils defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 1-0, in overtime on Wednesday in Buffalo. Both Ryan Miller and Martin Brodeur kept the game scoreless through regulation, with both making big saves. In the overtime period, Jamie Langenbrunner skated the puck to center ice, and fed a pass to rookie defenseman Matt Taormina. The rookie brought the puck deep into the zone, and momentarily lost it. He regained the puck and fed a pass to Ilya Kovalchuk, who went down to one knee and blasted a shot over Milller’s blocker for the game-winning goal

The Last Avs – Devils Game – Last season, the team’s only faced each other once, on January 16. The Avalanche struck early, with Chris Stewart giving Colorado a 1-0 lead 3:17 into the first period. T.J. Galiardi scored a late period goal to extend the lead to two. The score remained 2-0 until the third period, when Rob Niedermayer cut the lead in half. But the Avalanche would add a late insurance goal to win the game, 3-1.

The Devils wouldn’t leave the game completely healthy. Early in the second period, Patrik Elias took a vicious hit from Ryan Wilson. Skating down the right side, Wilson met Elias with a shoulder to the chest. The Devils’ left-winger laid on the ice for several minutes, but waved to the crowd as he was taken off the ice.

For a full preview of the historic matchup between the teams, click here.

Finally Full – The Devils will finally have a full roster to play tonight. After the team moved injured Brian Rolston to the LTIR, the Devils recalled Jacob JosefsonTim Sestito and Matt Corrente from Albany of the AHL. All three are expected to play tonight, with Josefson making his NHL debut.

Tonight’s Matchup – Wednesday’s game was the best of the young season for the Devils. They played a complete game, were aggressive on the forecheck, and made the smart plays. They only scored one goal, but that’s what sometimes happens when a great goalie is in the net.

So, what does the team need to do tonight? Repeat that performance from Wednesday. The Devils need to pressure the Avs and their young forwards and defenseman and force them into mistakes. They need to be strong on the puck and make the right decision. Most importantly, the Devils need to skate hard for 60 minutes. As I said above, the team finally has a full four lines to play. That means every player should be busting it out there because they have the extra legs.

The Devils also need to pressure Craig Anderson. He’s a good goalie, but he’s no Ryan Miller, and he’s given up at least three goals in all of his starts this season. If the Devils can cause pressure early and often, they may be able to jump out to an early lead.

Game time is 7 p.m., and you can catch all the action on MSG Plus.

Here’s tonight’s projected lines from the morning skate:

Forwards: Zach Parise – Travis Zajac – Ilya Kovalchuk; Patrik Elias – Jason Arnott – Jamie Langenbrunner; Dainius Zubrus – Jacob Josefson – David Clarkson; Rod Pelley – Tim Sestito – Adam Mair

Defenseman: Henrik Tallinder – Andy Greene; Colin White – Matt Taormina; Alexander Urbom – Matt Corrente

Goalies: Martin Brodeur, Johan Hedberg

Devils 2010-2011 Schedule Preview – Colorado Avalanche

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Throughout the offseason, The Devils’ Den will preview the upcoming 2010-2011 season schedule for the New Jersey Devils. New Jersey finished second in the Eastern Conference and made the playoffs for the thirteenth straight year last season, and the team will look to duplicate that success in the upcoming season. After previewing a few teams so far (you can find those under the “Season Preview” tab), we move to the next team – the Colorado Avalanche.

Patrik Elias was knocked out of the Devils only matchup against the Colorado Avalanche last season. The Avs won the game, 3-1. Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Avalanche vs. Devils – Historical Data

The Devils are 34-32-8-1 all-time against the Avalanche, which includes the team’s seven game series in the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals. The Devils average 3.43 goals for in their meetings against Colorado, and allow the Avalanche 3.39 goals.

Last season, the team’s only faced each other once, on January 16. The Avalanche struck early, with Chris Stewart giving Colorado a 1-0 lead 3:17 into the first period. T.J. Galiardi scored a late period goal to extend the lead to two. The score remained 2-0 until the third period, when Rob Niedermayer cut the lead in half. But the Avalanche would add a late insurance goal to win the game, 3-1.

The Devils wouldn’t leave the game completely healthy. Early in the second period, Patrik Elias took a vicious hit from Ryan Wilson. Skating down the right side, Wilson met Elias with a shoulder to the chest. The Devils’ left-winger laid on the ice for several minutes, but waved to the crowd as he was taken off the ice.

Devils vs. Avalanche – This Season’s Matchup

The two teams face off one time this season, on October 15. The Avs haven’t made any significant changes during the offseason. The team will still feature some talented young players, such as Paul Statsny and Matt Duchene, but don’t expect them to be competitive in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. Colorado has fallen a long way from the perennial power they were in the early 2000s, and I’d expect to see the same roster as last season.

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