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Game 23 Preview: No Letdowns Against The Lowly Islanders

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (7-13-2) face off against the New York Islanders (4-12-5) at Nassau Coliseum. It’s the first of six meetings between the two teams this season.

The Last Devils Game: The Devils defeated the Calgary Flames, 2-1, in a shootout Wednesday night at the Rock. David Clarkson deflected a puck past Henrik Karlsson to give the Devils’ a 1-0 lead. New Jersey wouldn’t hold it, as Rene Bourque tied the game, 1-1, in the third period. Ilya Kovalchuk tallied the only goal in the shootout to lead the Devils to victory. Johan Hedberg stopped 25 shots for the win.

The Last Islanders Game: The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Islanders, 4-3, Wednesday night on Long Island. The teams traded leads throughout two periods, and ended the middle frame tied, 3-3. Jakub Voracek played hero in overtime, scoring the game-winner at 2:31 of the period. The loss sent the Isles to their 14th straight loss.

The Last Devils – Islanders Game: The Devils and Isles faced off six times last season, with New Jersey winning the season series, 4-2-0. The Devils pounded the Islanders, 7-1, in their final meeting of the season to win the Atlantic Division.

Dainius ZubrusDean McAmmond and Zach Parise scored within a span of 4:54 to put the Devils ahead, 3-0, in the first period. Zubrus opened the scoring, giving the Devils a lead at 10:54 of the first period. Parise increased the lead to 2-0 at 14:18 of the period with an even-strength tally. McAmmond finished the first period scoring, extending the lead to 3-1 with an even-strength goal.

The Devils stretched the lead to 5-0 in the second period. Patrik Elias scored on the man-advantage at 11:16 of the second, increasing the lead to 4-0. Brian Rolston would answer with a powerplay tally, putting the Devils ahead, 5-0, at 19:11 of the period.

New Jersey continued the scoring in the third period. Kovalchuk continued the rout, netting an even-strength goal at 8:47 to increase the lead to 6-0. Matt Moulson ended the shutout, scoring a powerplay goal at 13:10 of the period to put the Islanders on the board. Elias capped the scoring, netting his second goal at 18:24 of the period.

Tonight’s Matchup: The Devils finally won two games in a row against the Flames, marking the first time this season the team won consecutive games. Now they head to Long Island, where the team will look to continue the good times.

It finally feels like the Devils have something going. The second line looks awesome, the defensive play improved, and Hedberg gives the Devils a solid option in net. The two games showed a marked improvement in all aspects of the Devils play. The Isles provide the opportunity to continue the recent success. Losers of 14 straight, the Islanders are clearly struggling. But it’s not a lack of effort that cost the team wins. Some bad breaks and bad luck have largely driven their skid. Therefore, the Devils can’t sleep on their Atlantic Division rivals.

New Jersey needs to come out with pressure from the drop of the puck. They didn’t effectively pressure Calgary, and while they still won, the Devils didn’t create many scoring chances. The Isles will come into this game hungry and firing on all cylinders. Pressuring in all three zones will slow their game and could discourage the Isles from taking chances. That’ll help the Devils take control of the game.

New Jersey also needs to improve on their offensive play. During Wednesday’s game, the team failed to connect on their passes and looked sloppy through the neutral zone. They continually struggled to set up the offense, which stopped the team from setting up many great scoring chances. That inability forced the shootout and allowed Calgary to hang around the entire game. With a struggling team, the Devils need to take advantage early. Offensive pressure in the Isles zone play could break down, leading to some early scoring chances for the Devils.

Gametime is 1 p.m., and you can check all the action on MSG Plus or WFAN 660 AM. Here are the projected starting lineups:

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; Mark Fayne – Matt Corrente

GOALIES: Johan Hedberg; Mike McKenna

Devils 2010-2011 Schedule Preview – Florida Panthers

September 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Throughout the offseason and training camp, The Devils’ Den will preview the Devils 2010-2011 schedule, giving you an in-depth preview of the 29 other teams the Devils will face next season. We’ve already completed several previews, all of which can be found under the “Season Preview” tab. In today’s preview, we go to the Eastern Conference, taking a look at this season’s matchup with the Florida Panthers.

The Panthers held Zach Parise to three assists and no goals against them last season. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Devils vs. Panthers – Historical Data

In 69 all-time regular season meetings against the Panthers, the Devils are 41-21-7-0. New Jersey averages 2.78 goals against Florida, and allows the Panthers to average 2.10 goals against them. Last season, the team’s squared off four times, with the team’s splitting the season series, 2-2-0.

The Devils won the first matchup of the season, 3-2, in Florida. After a scoreless first period, Rob Niedermayer opened the game’s scoring, giving the Devils a lead, 1-0, at 11:14 of the period. Rostislav Olesz pulled the Panthers even, scoring at 13:58 to tie the game at one. Travis Zajac would restore the Devils’ lead, putting New Jersey ahead, 2-1, with a powerplay goal at 17:47 of the second period.

But, once again, the Panthers would battle back. Stephen Weiss tied the game, netting a powerplay goal at 14:37 of the third period to knot the game at two. David Clarkson played the hero for New Jersey, scoring the team’s second powerplay goal at 16:25 to put the Devils ahead, 3-2.

The Panthers evened the season series on December 11, defeating the Devils, 4-2, at the Prudential Center. Jordan Leopold put the Panthers on the board first, scoring at 3:53 of the first period to put Florida ahead of New Jersey, 1-0. Michael Frolik extended the lead, putting the Panthers ahead, 2-0, at 2:24 of the second period. Shawn Matthais scored a minute later, pushing the lead to 3-0. But the Devils wouldn’t fold it in.

Brian Rolston put New Jersey on the board, scoring at 7:16 to cut Florida’s lead to 3-1. Dean McAmmond drew the Devils even closer, scoring just 1:05 into the third period to shrink the Panthers’ lead to 3-2. But the effort wouldn’t pay off, as Frolik scored the proverbial dagger at 2:23 of the third period to restore Florida’s two-goal lead which put them ahead, 4-2.

The Devils blanked Florida, 2-0, on January 20 at The Rock. It took almost two full periods, but Zajac put the Devils on the board first, scoring the game’s first goal at 18:30 of the second period to give the Devils a lead, 1-0. McAmmond iced the victory at 19:59 of the third period, tapping in a shorthanded, empty-net goal for the 2-0 lead. Martin Brodeur finished with 22 saves for the shutout win. Tomas Vokoun stopped 31 shots in the loss.

For more of the preview, read after the jump!

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Devils 2010-2011 Schedule Preview – Minnesota Wild

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Throughout the offseason, The Devils’ Den will preview the Devils 2010-2011 schedule, giving you an in-depth preview of the 29 other teams the Devils will face next season. We’ve already completed several previews, all of which can be found under the “Season Preview” tab. In today’s second preview, we go to the Western Conference, taking a look at this season’s matchup with the Minnesota Wild.

Jamie Langenbrunner recorded his first career hat trick against the Wild last season. Photo Credit: Tom Olmscheid/Associated Press

Devils vs. Wild – Historical Data

In 10 all-time regular season meetings against the Wild, the Devils are 7-1-2. New Jersey averages 3.70 goals per meeting and allows Minnesota to average 2.30 goals per meeting. The two teams squared off once last season in Minnesota, with the Devils winning, 5-3.

Dean McAmmond opened the scoring, giving the Devils a lead, 1-0, at 5:13 of the second period. Jamie Langenbrunner extended the lead, scoring a powerplay goal at 6:57 of the period. Eric Belanger put the Wild on the board, scoring at 9:08 of the second to cut the Devils lead to 2-1. Mikko Koivu tied the game, 2-2, with a shorthanded tally at 19:22 of the period. The Devils would jump ahead again, with Langenbrunner scoring his second powerplay goal of the period at 19:56 to put the Devils ahead, 3-2.

Jay Pandolfo extended the Devils lead, putting New Jersey ahead, 4-2, at 11:35 of the third period. Andrew Brunette brought Minnesota within one, scoring at 16:09 to shrink the Devils lead to 4-3. Langenbrunner completed the hat trick, scoring an empty-netter at 19:43 to put the Devils ahead, 5-3.

Martin Brodeur made 29 saves in the win. Niklas Backstrom stopped 21 shots for the loss.

Devils vs. Wild – This Season’s Matchup

The Devils and Wild will face off once this season, on January 4 at the Prudential Center. During the offseason, the Wild signed several key free agents to help bolster a squad that missed the playoffs last season. The team re-signed Guillaume Latendresse and Koivu, two important offensive players, locking them up for a combined nine years. The team also signed underrated center Matt Cullen and Eric Nystrom to three-year contracts. They added John Madden in August, bringing in a quality veteran center.

This is another one-game series that should be interesting. The Wild were a good team out West, but fell apart a bit last season. It’ll be another homecoming for Madden, and it should be an interesting game. But it’s only for two points, and while it would be nice to get the win, this one game shouldn’t impact the standings.

Stat Pack

Langenbrunner’s hat trick was the first of his career…In 10 career starts against Minnesota, Brodeur is 7-1-2 with a 2.23 goals against average and a .925 save percentage.

Devils 2010-2011 Schedule Preview – Atlanta Thrashers

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Throughout the offseason, The Devils’ Den will preview the Devils 2010-2011 schedule, giving you an in-depth preview of the 29 other teams the Devils will face next season. We’ve already completed several previews, all of which can be found under the “Season Preview” tab. In today’s second preview, we stay in the Eastern Conference, taking a look at this season’s matchup with the Atlanta Thrashers.

Ilya Kovalchuk played for both the Thrashers and Devils last season. Photo Credit: Dale Zanine/US Presswire

Thrashers vs. Devils – Historical Data

In 40 all-time regular season meetings, the Devils have dominated the Thrashers, with their record at 23-9-3-5. The Devils average 3.25 goals against Atlanta and allow 2.23 goals against. In four meetings last season, the Devils went 3-1-0 against the Thrashers.

The Thrashers won the first game of the season series, 4-2, October 16 at the Prudential Center. Travis Zajac opened the scoring, giving the Devils a lead, 1-0, at 8:07 of the second period. Rich Peverley tied the game, 1-1, netting a powerplay goal at 14:57 of the second. Atlanta would take the lead in the third period, with Evander Kane putting the Thrashers ahead, 2-1, at 1:36 of the third. Peverley would score another powerplay goal, extending the lead, 4-2, at 5:55 of the period. Zach Parise cut the lead to one, netting an even-strength goal at 13:10 to cut the lead to 3-2. Chris Thorburn would score the game’s last goal, tallying a shorthanded goal to double the lead and put the Thrashers ahead, 4-2.

The Devils won the second game, 5-4, on December 19 in Atlanta. Ron Hainsey scored the game’s first goal, giving the Thrashers alead, 1-0, at 7:15 of the first period. Rob Niedermayer tied the game at one with an even-strength tally at 12:55 of the period. Atlanta jumped ahead again, with Nik Antropov giving Atlanta the lead, 2-1, at 14:30 of the first. Pavel Kubina extended the lead, putting Atlanta ahead, 3-1, with an even-strength gal at 17:14 of the first period. Those three first period goals chased Martin Brodeur, but the Devils wouldn’t quit with their star goalie on the bench.

Brian Rolston cut the Thrashers’ lead to 3-2 with an even-strength goal at 2:46 of the second period. The Devils tied it up at 6:12, with Dean McAmmond netting a powerplay goal to knot the game up at 3-3. Rod Pelley gave the Devils their first lead at 10:04 of the second, putting New Jersey ahead, 4-3. McAmmond stretched the lead to 5-3 with his second goal of the game at 11:45 of the third period. Vyacheslav Kozlov tallied on the powerplay to bring the score to within one, 5-4, but the Devils held on for the victory.

Yann Danis, who started the second period, stopped 20 shots for the win. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 37 for the loss.

Continue reading for the rest of the preview!

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Devils 2010-2011 Schedule Preview – New York Islanders

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Throughout the offseason, The Devils’ Den will preview the Devils 2010-2011 schedule, giving you an in-depth preview of the 29 other teams the Devils will face next season. We’ve already completed several previews, all of which can be found under the “Season Preview” tab. In today’s preview, we go to the Eastern Conference, taking a look at this season’s matchup with a familiar foe, the New York Islanders.

Yann Danis defeated his former team, 2-1, in the first matchup of the season. Photo Credit: Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Islanders vs. Devils – Historical Data

In 205 all-time regular season meetings, the Devils are 73-105-22-5 against the Islanders. The Devils average 2.99 goals against the Islanders, but New Jersey allows the Islanders to average 3.57 goals against them. Last season, the teams met six times, with the Devils winning the season series, 4-2-0.

The teams first met on November 6, with the Devils defeating the Isles, 2-1, at the Prudential Center. Frans Nielsen gave the Isles the early lead, scoring an even-strength goal at 6:23 of the first period. Cory Murphy tied the game at 2:38, pulling the Devils into a tie, 1-1. Brian Rolston scored the eventual game-winner on the powerplay at 13:40 of the second period. Martin Biron stopped 31 shots in the loss. Yann Danis made 24 saves to defeat his former team.

Zach Parise recorded six points (four goals, two assists) against the Islanders this season. Photo Credit: Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

The Devils blew out the Isles in their next meeting, defeating the Islanders, 6-1, at the Prudential Center. The Isles once again struck first, with Richard Park scoring the game’s first goal at 11:18 of the first period. The Devils would come alive, scoring six unanswered goals over the final two periods. Mike Mottau started the run, evening the score at one with a goal 58 seconds into the second period. Rolston put the Devils ahead, 2-1, with a powerplay goal at 12:06 of the period.

The Devils pulled away in the third period, scoring four goals. Patrik Elias pushed the lead to 3-1 with a powerplay tally at 10:30 of the third period. Zach Parise put the Devils ahead, 4-1, with an even-strength goal at 11:54 of the period. Rolston scored his second goal of the game at 12:32, increasing the lead to 5-1. Elias netted his second goal, pushing the lead to 6-1 at 19:15 of the third.

The Islanders got revenge for the blowout, blanking the Devils, 4-0, on January 18 at Nassau Coliseum. Matt Moulson scored the game’s first goal, netting an even-strength tally at 1:07 of the first period. Mark Streit scored a powerplay goal at 3:44 of the first, increasing the lead, 2-0. Josh Bailey continued the scoring in the second, giving the Isles a 3-0 lead at 15:42 of the period. Moulson capped the scoring, netting his second goal at 18:05 of the period.

Continue reading for the rest of the preview!

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Devils 2010-2011 Schedule Preview – Toronto Maple Leafs

September 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Throughout the offseason, The Devils’ Den will preview the Devils 2010-2011 schedule, giving you an in-depth preview of the 29 other teams the Devils will face next season. We’ve already completed several previews, all of which can be found under the “Season Preview” tab. In today’s preview, we stay in the Eastern Conference, taking a look at this season’s matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Pierre-Luc Letorneau-Leblond and Jay Rosehill fight during a game on February 2. Photo Credit: Abelimages/Getty Images North America

Maple Leafs vs. Devils – Historical Data

In 114 all-time regular season meetings against Toronto, the Devils are 38-51-20-5. New Jersey averages 3.05 goals against the Maple Leafs, but they allow Toronto to score 3.33 goals per meeting. Last season, the teams met four times, with the Devils going 2-1-1 against the Maple Leafs.

The Devils won the first meeting of the season, 5-4, in overtime. Carl Gunnarson scored the game’s first goal, his first in the NHL, at 6:11 of the first period. But the lead wouldn’t last long, as the line of Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and Dainius Zubrus would take control. Parise tied the game at one apiece with a goal at 7:10 of the period. Parise would net another goal in the period, putting the Devils ahead 2-1 at 13:40 of the first period.

Zubrus gave the Devils a 3-1 lead at 9:22 of the second period. Colton Orr cut the lead back to one, netting a goal at 14:41 of the period. But Patrick Davis would restore the two goal lead, scoring his first NHL goal at 17:19 of the period. Toronto roared back in the third, with Alexei Ponikarovsky and Matt Stajan scoring goals to tie the game at 4-4 and send it to overtime. Zajac netted the overtime winner at 4:14 of the extra period, giving the Devils the 5-4 win.

The Maple Leafs would exact revenge on February 2, winning the first game of a home-and-home series, 3-0, in Toronto. Nikolai Kulemin scored the game’s first goal, putting Toronto ahead, 1-0, at 4:40 of the first period. Toronto extended the lead in the second period, putting the game out of reach. Phil Kessel put the Maple Leafs ahead 2-0 at 2:23 of the period, and Francois Beauchemin scored a powerplay goal to give Toronto a 3-1 lead. Newly-acquired goalie Jean-Sebastian Giguere stopped 30 shots for the win.

The Devils took the second game of the home-and-home series, 4-3, in Ilya Kovalchuk’s debut. Zubrus gave the Devils an early 1-0 lead at 13:20 of the first period. But the lead wouldn’t last, as Toronto would roar ahead in the second period. Tomas Kaberle tied the game at one with a powerplay goal at 3:39 of the period. Lee Stempniak put the Maple Leafs ahead, 2-1, with a powerplay tally at 10:23 of the period. Rickard Wallin finished off the scoring, extending the lead to 3-1 at 19:41.

The Devils would answer back in the third period. Dean McAmmond brought the Devils to 3-2 with a goal at 16:56 of the period. The Devils would wait until the final minute for the real dramatics. Zajac scored a 6-on-4 powerplay goal to tie the game at 19:16 of the period. Then, with 19 seconds left, Jay Pandolfo scored the game-winning goal, giving the Devils a 5-4 win.

Continue after the jump for the rest of the preview!

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Can Tedenby and Josefson Immediately Produce For The Devils?

May 18, 2010 2 comments

Last Friday, the Devils signed both Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson to three-year, entry-level contracts. The Swedish players, selected only one year apart, will attend both rookie and training camp this season. But the big question facing both players is this – can they produce immediately?

This past season was a great showing for Devils’ prospects. Players like Mark Fraser, Vladimir Zharkov and Niclas Bergfors all received big minutes and contributed immediately. Other prospects, such as Matt Halischuk, had smaller roles, but still contributed effectively. Some players, such as Fraser, have a good opportunity to make the team next season. And it looks like both Tedenby and Josefson will have the same opportunity.

When talking about both prospects, Devils’ general manager Lou Lamoriello expected the players to be ready for the NHL.

“In our opinion we think they should be ready to make the next step to the NHL,” Lamoriello said to Bergen Record reporter Tom Gulitti. “They both had good seasons in the Elite League in Sweden. They’ve both had all the international competition they need.”

Lamoriello even went as far to say he believed there’s a good chance both players will be on the roster next season, even though he still has yet to find a coach. With all this positive talk and high expectations surrounding Tedenby and Josefson, I’d like to take a look at each players and weigh in with my expectations of them for this season.

Tedenby, selected in the first round of the 2008 draft, has drawn comparisons to fellow NJ Devil Zach Parise.

Mattias Tedenby – LW

Tedenby, from everything I’ve read, seems to be the real deal. The Swedish winger, only 5’9″ tall, possess great speed and even better offensive creativity. Tedenby, the Devils 2008 first-round pick (24th overall), doesn’t shy away from contact, seemingly willing to throw his body around and play physical hockey. Scouts have also praised his acceleration, and some even compare him with Zach Parise.

But there’s always some flaws as well. In the reports I’ve read, Tedenby gets bashed for not playing good defensive hockey. Some scouts believe he can be too offensive minded, which diminishes his backchecking and defensive abilities. His size has also been questioned, but it seems like anyone under 5’11” usually faces questions about durability, etc. in the NHL

Overall, Tedenby seems to be a solid NHL prospect. I do believe he spent some time in camp with the Devils this past offseason, but I could be wrong. From the reports I’ve read, he could easily become the next Bergfors and, potentially, the next Parise. It’ll be interesting to watch him develop through both rookie and training camp. I could see Tedenby making the team as a fourth-line winger, with the opportunity to move up the depth chart based on play.

Here’s some video of a Tedenby goal. The stickhandling and shot are both pretty nasty:

Continue reading after the jump for the prospect profile of Jacob Josefson.

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