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Game 26 Live Game Blog: Penguins Lead Devils, 2-1, In Third Period

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

The Penguins lead the Devils, 2-1, in the third period of their game tonight at the CONSOL Energy Center.

Sidney Crosby almost scored his second goal of the night at 12:21 of the third period. Crosby sent a wrist shot over the glove of Johan Hedberg, put the puck hit the pipe and came out into the slot.

David Clarkson and Deryk Engelland dropped the gloves at 14:31 of the period. The scrap started because of a hit Clarkson put on Engelland in the Penguins zone. Engelland landed some solid right hooks, but Clarkson dragged the defenseman down to end the fight.

Hedberg stoned Kris Letang to hold the deficit at one. With Rod Pelley in the box for delay of game, Letang sprung free in New Jersey’s defensive zone. The defenseman drove the net and shot low into the pads. Hedberg made the save, then absorbed the hit from Letang when he crashed the crease.

The Penguins lead in shots, 27-18. Pittsburgh, already 0-for-4 with the man advantage tonight, will have 1:09 remaining on their fifth powerplay opportunity, a tripping minor to Dainius Zubrus, to begin the third period.

Travis Zajac nearly tied the game with 4:55 left in the middle period. Jamie Langenbrunner stripped former teammate Paul Martin in the neutral zone and joined Zajac for a 2-on-1 rush. The captain passed the puck to Zajac, who cut toward the front of the net. He moved across the crease, looking to backhand a shot past the blocker of Marc-Andre Fleury. Penguins defenseman Zybynek Michalek ended the chance, knocking the puck off Zajac’s stick.

Shortly after that, Fleury stoned a Dainius Zubrus attempt from the slot. The Devils’ center skated the puck into the slot and fired a shot glove side. Fleury gloved the attempt and held on for the whistle.

Crosby’s goal at 12:49 of the second period put the Penguins ahead, 2-1.

Alex Goligosky drove the net in the Devils zone, putting a shot on Hedberg. The Devils’ goalie blocked the initial shot, but a rebound caromed off his pads and to the left of goal. Crosby, who was all alone at the side of the net, went to one knee and hammered home the shot for his 24th goal of the season.

Crosby now has two points tonight (one goal, one assist). He’s been averaging two points per game during his 16-game point streak.

Colin White should take the blame for that goal. He left Crosby all alone to come to the front of the net. I don’t know if there was a breakdown in communication, but you don’t ever leave Crosby alone near your net.

I’m not sure what the ice conditions are like at the Penguins new arena, but it looks choppy here in the second period. Several pucks have bounced over sticks, and players from both teams are wiping out on the ice.

Pascal Dupuis had an opportunity for his second goal of the game only 33 seconds into the second period. White tried to shoot the puck off a faceoff in the Penguins zone, but the puck was blocked to the neutral zone. Dupuis raced ahead of the defense and broke in on a short breakaway. Hedberg came out to challenge, and turned away the scoring chance.

The Penguins outshot the Devils, 16-8, in that first period. Pittsburgh also had three powerplay opportunties, generating six shots. The Devils were able to kill off all three opportunities.

An early whistle cost the Devils a chance for a rebound opportunity with 25 seconds left in the period. The refs blew the play dead after it appeared Fleury stopped and held a shot. But the puck trickled behind the Penguins goalie and sat all alone in the crease.

Zubrus had a beautiful scoring opportunity denied with less than a minute left in the first period. The center caused a turnover in the Penguins zone and drove the net. He couldn’t keep the puck on his stick, and missed out on an opportunity to put a shot on net.

Dupuis’ goal at 15:41 of the first period pulled the Penguins even with the Devils, 1-1.

Crosby started the play in the neutral zone, kicking a loose puck from his back skate to the blade of his stick. The Penguins captain skated into the Devils zone along the side boards, and found Dupuis open in the middle of the Devils zone. Dupuis ripped a one-timer past Hedberg for his eighth goal of the year.

The assist stretched Crosby’s point streak to 16 games.

Brian Rolston’s powerplay goal at 14:20 of the first period put the Devils ahead, 1-0.

With Dupuis in the box for hooking, Mattias Tedenby curled behind the Penguins net with possession of the puck. He came up to the side boards and passed the puck to Jason Arnott, who was streaking into the zone. The center blasted a shot toward net that went wide right. The puck hit Rolston, and the left-winger corralled the loose puck and fired it home for his second goal of the season.

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Game 19 Live Game Post: Versteeg Goal Extends Maple Leafs Lead To 3-1 In Third Period

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Kris Versteeg’s powerplay goal at 13:17 of the third period extended the Maple Leafs lead to 3-1 in the third period of tonight’s game at the Air Canada Centre.

With Matt Corrente in the box for hooking, the Maple Leafs set up inside the Devils zone. Nazem Kari found the right-winger alone in the right faceoff dot, and Versteeg one-timed the puck past Hedberg’s shoulder for his fifth goal of the season.

Johan Hedberg will begin the third period in net. Martin Brodeur looked like he tweaked something in his elbow after colliding with John Mitchell while making a save. In his last relief appearance, Hedberg stopped 21 shots in the Devils’ 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on November 3.

Toronto has outshot the Devils, 20-18, through two periods. The Devils will have 46 seconds of powerplay time left on the cross-checking minor to Luke Schenn.

That isn’t a recipe for success, however. The Devils’ powerplay is a hapless 1-for-35 on the road.

Martin Brodeur held the score at 2-1 with a diving save on Mitchell. After a turnover along the side boards, Mitchell broke in on net. He tried to cut across the front for a stuff attempt, but Brodeur went down to the ice and knocked the puck off of Mitchell’s stick.

Dainius Zubrus’ goal at 10:14 of the second period cut the Maple Leafs lead to 2-1.

Ilya Kovalchuk began the play, holding the puck at the blue line. The left-winger found Alexander Vasyunov along the end boards with a pass, and the rookie threw the puck toward the front of the net. Zubrus crashed the net and swiped at the puck, missing with his stick. The puck deflected off of the center’s skate and past Jonas Gustavsson for his second goal of the season.

Phil Kessel’s goal at 7:29 of the second period extended the Maple Leafs lead to 2-0.

Kadri held the puck at the right point, and sent a pass through the Devils defense to Kessel down in the bottom of the left circle. Kessel, who was left alone, took the puck and fired it by Brodeur for his ninth goal of the season.

That was a complete defensive breakdown by the Devils, who all followed the puck instead of sticking with their assignments.

Mikhail Grabovski’s powerplay goal at 1:42 of the second period put the Maple Leafs ahead, 1-0.

With Brian Rolston in the box for hooking, Clarke McArthur sent a pass from his defensive zone to Nikolai Kulemin at center ice. The forward carried it on the wing and fired a shot on Brodeur. The Devils goalie left a rebound in the slot, and no Devil could reach the puck. Grabovski crashed the slot and fired a shot through a screen and into the back of the net for his fifth goal of the year.

The Maple Leafs outshot the Devils, 9-6, in the first period. Many of those nine shots were great scoring chances, and Brodeur needed to be sharp against the Toronto scorers.

Phil Kessel hit the post on a shot attempt during the Maple Leafs’ first powerplay opportunity. With Anton Volchenkov in the box for hooking, Kessel carried the puck along the side boards. He fired a shot on net that beat Brodeur low. The puck caromed off the post and back into the Devils’ defensive zone.

Brodeur made a great save on a loose puck in the crease to keep the game scoreless at the ten minute mark of the first period. Phil Kessel fired a one-timer on net, and Brodeur blocked the attempt with his pad. The puck skipped over the equipment, but the Devils goalie corralled the puck with his stick and put his glove on top of it to freeze play.

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Here were tonight’s starters:

DEVILS

Brian Rolston – Travis Zajac – David Clarkson; Colin White – Matt Corrente; Martin Brodeur

MAPLE LEAFS

Clark McArthur – Mikhail Grabovski-Nikolai Kulemin; Luke Schenn-Tomas Kaberle; Jonas Gustavsson

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The New Jersey Devils head to Toronto to face off against the Maple Leafs tonight at the Air Canada Centre.

The Devils and Maple Leafs both sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. New Jersey sits in 14th place, while Toronto sits in the 13th position.

This is the second game of a three game swing for the Devils. The team lost to the Boston Bruins, 3-0, on Monday night. They wrap up their trip Saturday in St. Louis.

Martin Brodeur will start his third straight game for the Devils. Last season, Brodeur didn’t start any of the games in Toronto. Jonas Gustavsson gets the start for the Maple Leafs, replacing injured goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Here were the line combinations during pre-game warmups:

FORWARDS: Ilya Kovalchuk, Dainius Zubrus; Alexander Vasyunov; Patrik Elias – Jason Arnott – Mattias Tedenby; Brian Rolston – Travis Zajac – David Clarkson; Rod Pelley – Adam Mair – Stephen Gionta

DEFENSEMEN: Colin White – Henrik Tallinder; Andy Greene – Anton Volchenkov; Olivier Magnan – Matt Corrente

GOALIES: Martin Brodeur; Johan Hedberg

Game 18 Live Game Blog: Wheeler’s Goal Extends Bruins Lead To 3-0 In Third Period

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Blake Wheeler’s goal at 43 seconds of the third period extended the Bruins lead to 3-0 in the third period of their game tonight at the TD Garden.

With Henrik Tallinder pinching down the boards, Mark Recchi created a turnover near the blue line. The veteran left-winger carried the puck through the neutral zone and fed Wheeler near the Devils’ blue line. Wheeler carried it to the circle and fired a wrist shot toward the net. The puck glanced off of Colin White’s stick and through the legs of Martin Brodeur for Wheeler’s fourth goal of the season.

The Bruins and Devils each put seven shots on net in the second period. Through two periods, the Bruins lead in shots, 17-14.

Nathan Horton’s goal at 43 seconds of the second period put the Bruins ahead, 2-0.

Milan Lucic carried the puck into the neutral zone, and passed cross-ice to Horton. The right-winger carried the puck across the line and let go a wrist shot near the top of the circle. The puck beat Brodeur stick side for Horton’s eighth goal of the season.

There was a delay midway through the second period as the crew at TD Bank fixed broken glass.

The Devils penalty killers have been busy tonight. In the first period, they faced a 5-on-3 chance, in which they allowed a goal. But down 2-0, the P.K. players killed off a four-minute double minor to Mattias Tedenby for high sticking.

The Bruins led the period in shots, 10-7.

Michael Ryder’s powerplay tally at 15:26 of the first period put the Bruins ahead, 1-0.

With both Matt Corrente and Adam Mair in the box, Ryder received a pass from Patrice Bergeron near the goal line. The right-winger held the puck and fired a shot on Brodeur. The puck snuck through a gap between the Devils goalie and the near post for Ryder’s sixth goal of the year.

Both teams have had excellent scoring chances throughout the first few minutes of play. Patrik Elias gave the Devils a great opportunity within the first minute of play. Breaking in on a 2-on-1, Elias held the puck and cut across the slot. Tim Thomas came out of the net, and Elias looked to have a wide-open chance. But Thomas kicked out the pad to make a save, and stoned Mattias Tedenby with the back of his knee on a rebound attempt.

Brodeur made his own great save, using a poke check to deny Daniel Paille on a breakaway opportunity.

While Paille broke in alone on Brodeur, Rod Pelley and Adam McQuaid dropped the gloves near center ice. Though Pelley dropped McQuaid immediately, the Bruins rookie got up and made it an even fight. Eventually Pelley dropped McQuaid to the ice for the win.

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Here were the starting lineups:

DEVILS

Patrik Elias – Jason Arnott – Mattias Tedenby; Colin White – Matt Taormina; Martin Brodeur

BRUINS

Jordan Caron – Blake Wheeler – Mark Recchi; Dennis Seidenberg – Mark Stuart; Tim Thomas

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The New Jersey Devils (5-10-2) travel to Boston to face off against the Boston Bruins (8-5-1) at TD Garden in Boston.

The Devils are looking to put together their first win streak of the season. After a win, New Jersey is 0-4-0 and has been outscored, 15-4.

Captain Jamie Langenbrunner and rookie defenseman Matt Taormina will miss tonight’s game with injuries. Both players had a MRI taken Monday, but won’t know the results until tomorrow.

Matt Corrente will step in for the injured Taormia. The rookie defenseman missed seven games with a non-displaced fracture of his right hand.

Martin Brodeur starts in net for the Devils. Tim Thomas will get the start for the Bruins.

Here were the line combinations during pre-game warmups:

FORWARDS: Ilya Kovalchuk – Travis Zajac – Alexander Vasyunov; Patrik Elias – Jason Arnott – Mattias Tedenby; Brian Rolston – Dainius Zubrus – David Clarkson; Rod Pelley – Adam Mair – Stephen Gionta

DEFENSEMEN: Colin White – Henrik Tallinder; Andy Greene – Anton Volchenkov; Olivier Magnan – Matt Corrente

GOALIE: Martin Brodeur

Game 17 Live Game Blog: Oilers and Devils Headed To OT Tied 3-3

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

The Oilers and Devils move to overtime tied, 3-3, in tonight’s game at the Prudential Center.

The Devils lead in shots, 36-24, through three periods.

Mattias Tedenby’s powerplay goal at the 11 minute mark  of the third period tied the game, 3-3

With Ales Hemsky in the box for high-sticking, the Devils won a faceoff in the Oilers zone. Andy Greene held the puck along the point, and sent a shot on net. Tedenby tipped the puck into the back of the net for his first career goal.

Both Tedenby and Alexander Vasyunov scored their first NHL goals tonight.

Tedenby was robbed by Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk at 4:29 of the period. With Jason Strudwick in the box for hooking, the Devils worked the puck around the zone. Tedenby received the puck in front of the net with no defender around. He put the puck to the top shelf, but Debnyk flashed the glove and made a terrific save.

The Devils lead in shots, 24-20, through two periods. Both teams have created excellent scoring chances, but Edmonton has looked better through two periods. They’ve constantly found ways to move the puck to the low slot, and they’ve created several good chances.

Brian Rolston’s goal at 16:52 cut the Oilers lead to 3-2.

David Clarkson held the puck behind the net and drove to the side. He tried a wraparound shot that Dubnyk stopped. The goalie couldn’t find the rebound, and Rolston backhanded the rebound through the five hole for his first goal of the season.

Sam Gagner’s goal at 5:12 of the second period extended the Oilers lead to 3-1.

The Devils were caught in a bad line change, which led to the Oilers goal. Gagner and Ales Hemsky broke into the zone on a 2-on-1, but Henrik Tallinder cancelled the chance with a pass. Rookie Taylor Hall controlled the loose puck and put a shot on Martin Brodeur. The rebound bounced up in the air, and Gagner whacked it into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season.

Travis Zajac almost made it 3-2 at 13:30 of the second period. A loose puck came to Zajac in the low slot, and the center one-timed the puck on Dubynk. The rookie stoned Zajac to end the scoring threat.

Jason Arnott missed a golden scoring opportunity earlier in the period. Patrik Elias caused a turnover in the neutral zone and broke in with Arnott on a 2-on-1. The left-winger passed the puck over to Arnott, and he rifled a shot off the post and into the corner.

Vasyunov’s first career goal at 15:43 of the first period cut the Oilers lead to 2-1

Both Vasyunov and Zajac stayed out for a long shift as they moved into the Oilers defensive zone. Patrik Elias corralled a loose puck at the side boards and moved to the goal line. Elias then layed a pass to Zajac along the end boards, who passed the puck to the front of the net. Vasyunov skated into the slot and beat Dubynk for his first goal of the season.

Colin Fraser’s second goal at 9:50 of the first period extended the Oilers lead to  2-0.

Ryan Jones began the play in his own zone, flipping the puck high into the Devils zone. Olivier Magnan attempted to glove down the puck, but he missed and was knocked off the puck. Foster picked up the loose puck in the low slot and fired it past the stick of Martin Brodeur for his second goal of the season.

Clarkson tried to spark his team by fighting Zach Stortini at 12:50 of the first period. Clarkson threw some good shots, but picked up an extra minor for instigating because he grabbed Stortini and threw the gloves to goad him into the bout. That also carries a ten minute misconduct penalty.

Vasyunov had the opportunity to tie the game only seconds before the Oilers’ second goal. The Devils’ right-winger broke into the Oilers zone on a 2-on-1, and came in on Oilers goalie Devan Dubynk alone. Instead of shooting, he decided to pass it across the zone, and the puck was picked off the Oilers defense.

Foster’s first goal of the period put the Oilers ahead, 1-0.

Fraser drove the net and tried to stuff the puck past Brodeur. The Devils goalie made two stops, but Fraser knocked in the third attempt for his goal of the season.

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Here were the starting lineups:

OILERS:

Taylor Hall – Sam Ganger – Ales Hemsky; Jim Vandermeer – Ryan Whitney; Devan Dubnyk

DEVILS:

Ilya Kovalchuk – Travis Zajac – Alexander Vasyunov; Colin White – Henrik Tallinder; Martin Brodeur

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The Devils are looking for their first win at home this season. They’ve lost seven in a row at the Prudential Center, a new franchise record.

Martin Brodeur will start in net tonight for the Devils. He missed two-plus games with a bruised right elbow. The Devils also welcome back Brian Rolston, who missed four weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia.

Devils’ captain Jamie Langenbrunner will miss tonight’s game with an upper body injury.

Game 16 Live Game Blog: Devils, Sabres Heading To Shootout

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek scored shootout goals to lead the Sabres over the Devils, 5-4, tonight at the Prudential Center.

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Tyler Ennis’ goal at 8:54 of the third period tied the game, 4-4

Tyler Meyers went behind the net to gain a loose puck. He came to the side of net, and Henrik Tallinder came to cover the defenseman. He slid a pass through the crease to Ennis, who had an open net to shoot into for his third goal of the season.

That’s the third lead the Devils coughed up tonight.

Colin White made a great play while shorthanded to deny Jason Pominville of a decent scoring opportunity. With Jason Arnott in the box for hooking, Pominville received a long pass from his own zone. He found a way to spin around White, but the Devils defenseman spun around and knocked the puck off his stick.

There were six goals scored in the second period, including three by the Devils. They can’t seem to score three in a game sometimes.

Jamie Langenbrunner put the Devils back on top, 4-3, at 18:01 of the period.

Henrik Tallinder fed Langenbrunner the puck from the point, and the Devils’ captain took it behind the net. Langenbrunner then spun around in the left circle and put a shot toward the net. The puck caromed in off the skate of Sabres’ defenseman Chris Butler for his third goal of the season.

Meyer’s goal at 13:50 of the second period tied the game, 3-3.

Ex-Devil Rob Niedermayer held the puck along the goal line, and the entire defense came to the puck. The center threaded a pass to Meyers, who pinched down into the left circle. The Sabres’ defenseman had all the time in the world to pick his spot, and beat Johan Hedberg high to the blocker side for his fourth goal of the season.

Jason Arnott’s powerplay goal at 12:01 of the second period put the Devils ahead, 3-2.

With Ennis in the box for hooking, the Devils moved the puck around the point. Andy Greene fed Arnott a puck at the left point, and the center blasted a shot on net. The puck found its way through a screen and past Jhonas Enroth for Arnott’s second goal of the game.

It’s the first multi-goal game for a Devil this season.

David Clarkson’s goal at 7:58 of the second period tied the game, 2-2.

Alexander Vasyunov started the play, carrying the puck down along the side boards and around the back of the net. The rookie shot the puck towards the net, where Clarkson was crashing. The right-winger kept his stick on the ice and deflected the puck past Enroth and into the top of the net for his second goal of the season.

The Sabres scored two goals in 13 seconds to take a 2-1 lead over the Devils.

Roy gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead at 5:35 of the second period. Roy received a pass from Vanek and skated the puck over the blue line. He blasted a slap shot from the low slot that beat Johan Hedberg for Roy’s eighth goal of the season.

Thirteen seconds earlier, Pominville tied the game at 1-1. Tim Connolly took a shot from the point that Hedberg stopped, but a rebound went to the slot. Pominville collected the rebound and beat the Devils’ goalie for his first goal of the season.

Hedberg kept this game scoreless here early in the second period. The Devils made a blind pad save on a shot, and stopped two Buffalo stuff attempts from the side of the crease to keep the Devils ahead.

Arnott’s even-strength goal at 10:12 of the first period gave the Devils a 1-0 lead.

Rookie Mattias Tedenby began the play after creating a turnover in his own zone. He feathered the puck up to Arnott in the neutral zone, who passed the puck to Patrik Elias along the boards. Elias skated the puck down the side boards and blasted a slap shot on net. Enroth made the initial save, but couldn’t stop Arnott as he crashed the net. The center whacked the puck home for his fifth goal of the season.

The assist for Tedenby is his first career NHL point.

The Devils almost pushed the lead to 2-0 at 7:23 of the second period. Dainius Zubrus tripped a man in the Devils zone, but the Sabres kept control of the puck. Enroth made his way to the bench for the extra skater, giving Buffalo an extra skater. An errant pass by the Sabres went through the Devils defensive zone and back down toward their own net. Clarkson, who could not touch the puck, shielded Sabres defenseman Shaone Morrisonn as the puck slowly slid toward the net. But it wouldn’t go in, as the puck trickled wide.

Hedberg came up with a big save to keep the game scoreless. Ennis drove to the front of the net, and looked to have the right side of the net open. Hedberg flashed the pad and made a skate save to deny Ennis and keep the game scoreless.

Ilya Kovalchuk had the first good scoring chance of the night. The left-winger skated through three Sabres defenders, and came alone to the front of the net. Kovalchuk sent the shot wide, however, so it was yet another missed scoring chance for the Devils.

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Here were the starting lineups for tonight’s game:

SABRES
Tim Connolly – Jochen Hecht – Jason Pominville; Jordan Leopold – Steve Montador; Jhonas Enroth

DEVILS
Patrik Elias – Jason Arnott – Mattias Tedenby; Andy Greene – Anton Volchenkov; Johan Hedberg

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The Devils continue to look for their first win on home ice tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. This is the third meeting between the two teams this season. They’ve split the season series, 1-1-0. The Sabres won the most recent meeting, 6-1, on October 23.

Both starting goalies are out with injuries tonight, leaving the backups to win the game. Johan Hedberg will get the start for the Devils, his third consecutive game. Jhonas Enroth will start for the Sabres.

Devils rookie right-winger Mattias Tedenby makes his season debut tonight. He’s the eighth Devils rookie to make his season debut this season.

Game 10 Live Game Blog: Greene PP Goal Cuts Sharks Lead, 5-2, In The Third Period; Thornton Completes Hat Trick

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Andy Greene’s powerplay goal at 14:22 cut the Sharks lead to 5-2 in the third period tonight at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.

With Dany Heatley in the box for holding, the Devils worked the puck down low. After a shot on net, several players took a whack at the puck, but couldn’t put it past Antero Niittymaki. The puck trickled out to Dainius Zubrus in the slot. He passed the puck to Greene, who put the shot to the top of the net for his first goal of the game.

Heatley’s goal at 6:47 of the third period extended the Sharks lead to 5-1.

The Thornton line once again created a great scoring chance. Patrick Marleau controlled the puck behind the net, and passed it to Joe Thornton along the side boards. Thornton then sent a puck to the front of the net and over the stick of Henrik Tallinder. Heatley tapped the puck past Martin Brodeur for his third goal of the season.

The Thornton line has scored all five goals in the game.

Thornton’s hat trick helped stake the Sharks to a 4-1 lead over the Devils after two periods.

Thornton’s third goal of the night, a powerplay tally, came at 16:55 of the second period. After the Devils benefitted from a awkward bounce from the boards, the Sharks received one of their own. After trying to clear it around the boards, Brodeur went behind the net, expecting the puck to come behind. But it bounced off the end boards and went to the front of the net, where Thornton came crashing down. The center fired the puck past a diving Tallinder for his fifth goal of the season.

The Sharks led the period in shots, 13-10. They hold the advantage in total shots, 30-21.

David Clarkson’s goal at 3:06 of the second period cut the Sharks lead to 3-1.

The Devils got an assist from the boards that led to Clarkson’s goal. The puck, dumped in from the red line, hit a crease in the glass and trickled out to the low slot. Niittymaki went behind the net to play the puck, and couldn’t recover as Clarkson fired a shot to the top shelf for his first goal of the season.

The Devils have played a better second period, but they’re still allowing some good scoring chances to the Sharks. They need to cut down on the sloppy play, because the Sharks will capitalize on those mistakes.

Coach John MacLean shook up the lines between periods, and so far it’s been successful. The line of Zubrus – Rod Pelley – Ilya Kovalchuk did a great job of shutting down the Thornton line during the first half of the period.

The Sharks led in shots, 17-11, in the first period. Unfortunately for the Devils, they couldn’t dodge the bullet as they have in other games. I wonder what changes, if any, we’ll see in the second period.

Thornton scored twice, and Marleau lit the lamp to put the Sharks ahead of the Devils, 3-0, after the first period.

Thornton’s second goal of the game, at 18:59 of the first period extended the Sharks lead to 3-0.

Marleau put a shot on net from the side boards that Brodeur should have stopped. But the Devils goalie was tangled with Thornton, who crashed the net, and the big center poked home the puck for his fourth goal of the season.

Marleau’s goal at 11:16 of the first period extended the Sharks ahead of the Devils, 2-0.

Joe Thornton was instrumental in beginning the play. The center over-skated the puck behind the net, but Martin Brodeur thought he still had it. Marleau took the loose puck behind the net and put a wrap-around try on Brodeur. The puck hit the Devils’ goalie in the pads, but trickled through for Marleau’s third goal on the season.

Thornton’s goal at 9:57 of the first period put the Sharks ahead of the Devils, 1-0.

The play began with a turnover in the Devils zone. Dany Heatley scooped up the loose puck at the point, and sent a pass to Thornton in the right circle. The center’s shot deflected off of Devils’ defensman Matt Taormina’s stick, and the puck beat Brodeur stick side for his third goal of the year.

Marleau, who earned an assist on the goal, recorded his 700th career point.

The Devils had the first powerplay opportunity of the night as Scott Nichol went to the box for slashing at 5:40 of the period. But the team was unsuccessful, and the Devils fell to 0-for-16 on the powerplay on the road. That’s good for last in the NHL.

Both teams seem a bit tentative in the early going. The Sharks had some of the better opportunities, but no one has got the offense set up.

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Here were tonight’s starters:

DEVILS
Zach Parise – Travis Zajac – Dainius Zubrus; Colin White – Matt Taormina; Martin Brodeur

SHARKS
Ryane Clowe – Joe Pavelski – Devin Setoguchi; Niclas Wallin – Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Antero Niittymaki

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The Devils two victories have come on the road this season. The team blanked both Buffalo and Montreal. San Jose is still searching for their first home win.

The Devils struggled mightily out of the gate to begin the season. The team hasn’t looked good, and their offense has been anemic, leaving New Jersey dead last in goals for in the entire league.

New Jersey has also struggled in the second period, allowing opponents to outscore them 17-4 in the middle period.

Since 2000, the Devils are 7-1-0 against the Sharks. Let’s hope they can run that record to 8-1-0 tonight.

Martin Brodeur will start for the Devils. Antero Niittymaki will start for the Sharks.

Game 9 Live Game Blog: Kovalchuk cuts deficit in half, 2-1, in the third period

October 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Ilya Kovalchuk’s goal at 14:08 of the period cut the Rangers lead to one, 2-1, over the Devils in the third period of tonight’s game at Madison Square Garden.

The play started at the point, where Matt Corrente collected a loose puck. The rookie defenseman put a shot on net, and Henrik Lundqvist blocked it away with a pad. Dainius Zubrus, who crashed the crease, collected a loose puck. He sent a no-look pass between his legs to Kovalchuk, who whipped the puck into the wide-open net for his third goal of the season.

Michael Rosival and Ryan Callahan scored second period goals to put the Rangers ahead, 2-0.

Callahan’s powerplay goal at 12:22 put the Rangers ahead, 2-0.

With Ilya Kovalchuk in the box for a questionable interference call, Dubinsky controlled the puck along the side boards. The forward drifted to the circle and put a shot on net, where Callahan redirected the shot through Brodeur’s pads for his first goal of the season.

The Devils had killed off the first three Rangers powerplays of the game before that goal.

Michael Rosival’s goal at 1:26 of the period gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead.

The play started off a rebound shot from Ruslan Fedentko down on the goal line. The shot hit Brodeur high and stung Brodeur. Michael Rosival fired a shot from the point, and the puck deflected off of Devils’ defenseman Andy Greene and into the back of the net.

The scorers originally credited Fedetenko with the goal, but changed the goal to Rosival. It is Rosival’s second of the year.

The Rangers led the second period shots, 12-6, and hold the overall lead in shots, 29-16.

Marc Staal almost made this a three-goal lead with 3:49 left in the second period. His shot ricocheted off the post, and it came out of the crease. The Devils, for what seems like the first time all season, catch a break.

The Rangers led in shots, 17-10. The Devils will have 1:10 of powerplay time left on the minor to Sean Avery. New Jersey is 0-for-1 tonight on the powerplay.

Brodeur one again came up huge at 3:45 of the first period. With the Rangers on the powerplay, the Devils coughed up the puck in their own zone, and Callahan took the puck at the doorstep. The Devil-killer tried to deke and beat Brodeur low, and the Devils goalie laid out in his crease. The puck slid under him, but went wide and missed the net.

The Devils broke out on two 2-on-1 opportunities in the period, but both times tried to force a pass instead of shooting the puck. Down in shots, 13-5, the Devils need shots, not cute passing.

Brodeur once again made a great save at 8:37 of the period. Brandon Dubinsky controlled the puck behind the net with the Blueshirts on the man advantage. The forward found Michael Del Zotto, who pinched down into the circle. He snapped a one-timer on net, but Brodeur was there to make the save.

Both teams have had good scoring chances tonight, but Martin Brodeur has been the busier of the two netminders. He’s had to make some good saves, including a denial of a wraparound try by Alex Frolov.

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Here are tonight’s starters:

DEVILS
Ilya Kovalchuk – Rod Pelley – Jamie Langenbrunner; Colin White – Matt Taormina; Martin Brodeur

RANGERS
Sean Avery – Derek Stepan – Ruslan Fedentenko; Michael Del Zotto – Dan Girardi; Henrik Lundqvist

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The Devils are 0-3-1 at home this season, but is 2-1-0 on the road. Those two victories have been shutouts.

Devils coach John MacLean made some line changes during pre-game warmups. Ilya Kovalchuk has shifted to the left wing on a line with Jacob Josefson and Jamie Langenbrunner. David Clarkson and Patrik Elias will be centered by Jason Arnott.

The Devils are coming off a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres last night. Johan Hedberg, making his first start of the season, was pulled after allowing four goals on nine shots. The team played terribly in front of him and couldn’t generate anything against Ryan Miller and the Sabres defense.

It was the second time in eight games New Jersey allowed five or more goals this season. Last season, the team only allowed five or more goals seven times.

Martin Brodeur will start for the Devils. Henrik Lundqvist gets the start for the Rangers.

The Devils have already lost one Atlantic Division game this season. The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated New Jersey, 3-1, on October 10.

The Rangers lost their only division game as well, losing to the New York Islanders, 6-1, on October 11.