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The Devils’ Sports Page – October 5, 2010

October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

As we await more news about which players will move, here’s today’s Devils’ sports page (a little light on links, but keep checking for more news throughout the day):

Former Devils defenseman Mike Mottau forging ahead with Islanders (Colin Stephenson/The Star-Ledger)

Victim of Devils’ salary cap could be Dainius Zubrus or Colin White (Rich Chere/The Star-Ledger)

Lamoriello: Cap decisions aren’t easy; No decision made on Salvador, yet (Tom Gulitti/Fire and Ice blog)

Josefson, Corrente, Tedenby, McKenna assigned to Albany (Tom Gulitti/Fire and Ice blog)

The Devils’ Sports Page – September 29, 2010

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

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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Game 80: Florida Tallies Two Goals In The Third Period To Defeat Devils, 3-2

Last season, Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen won 25 games with the New Jersey Devils while filling in for a then-injured Martin Brodeur.

Clemmensen, facing his former team, stopped 42 shots to lead the Panthers over the Devils, 3-2, at the BankAtlantic Center.

Clemmensen, who signed a three-year contract with Florida in July, faced his former team for the second time this season. He won his first start, stopping 26 shots in a 4-2 win on December 26.

Patrik Elias opened the scoring 59 seconds into the second period. Clemmensen stopped the initial shot, and a rebound chance went off the crossbar. Elias tipped the loose puck past Clemmensen for his 17th goal of the season.

Michael Frolik tied the game at 6:03 of the period. Frolik received a cross-ice pass from Nathan Horton and put a shot on net. The puck deflected off the stick of Rob Niedermayer and beat Brodeur for the tying goal.

Frolik’s goal ended the Devils’ shutout streak of 151 minutes and 29 seconds, which is the third longest in franchise history.

Dainius Zubrus collides with Radek Dvorak in the first period tonight. Photo Credit: Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo

Radek Dvorak put the Panthers ahead, 2-1, 1:14 into the third period. Rostislav Olesz fed Dvorak with a backhanded pass from below the goal line. Dvorak put the shot past Brodeur’s pads for his 14th goal of the season.

Horton stretched the Panthers lead to 3-1 at 12:23 of the period. The center beat Brodeur with a shot from the left circle for his 19th goal of the lead.

Brodeur finished with 15 saves in the loss.

Mike Mottau brought the Devils to within one at 14:46 of the period. But it would be too litte, too late, as the Devils couldn’t get the tying goal.

With the win, the Devils fell back into a tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Atlantic Division lead. Both teams have identical 46-27-7 records, and each team has 99 points. The Devils still hold first place because of their season sweep of the Penguins.

Game Notes:

David Clarkson and Nick Tarnasky dropped the gloves at 2:07 in the third period. Clarkson landed more punches, but both players had trouble keeping their balance…Devils’ defenseman Colin White caught an edge and went hard into the boards at 17:52 of the second period. White got up slowly and skated off the ice, but was fine after the game…Devils’ coach Jacques Lemaire, who wants to try and rest some of his regular players, made defenseman Andy Greene a healthy scratch tonight.

Game 79: Brodeur Wins 600 As Devils Down Thrashers, 3-0

It seems that every game brings another milestone for New Jersey Devils’ goalie Martin Brodeur.

Tonight was no different.

Brodeur won his 600th game, stopping 19 shots to blank the Atlanta Thrashers, 3-0.

Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Tobias Enstrom goes to the ice as he fights for the puck with David Clarkson during tonight's game. Photo Credit: Gregory Smith/AP Photo

Brodeur’s shutout was the ninth of the season and 110th of his career. It was the goalie’s second consecutive shutout. The team defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-0, Saturday night.

“I knew I had a chance to hit it [600 wins], but the big one was 552 and now everything is gravy, just kind of raise the bar for everybody else,” Brodeur said. “I play a lot of games, so they expect you to win if you want to do well here in New Jersey.”

Dean McAmmond opened the scoring at 15:18 of the first period. McAmmond worked a give and go with Dainius Zubrus, dropping a pass in the right circle and heading toward the net. Zubrus put a backhanded shot on net, and McAmmond tipped it past goalie Johan Hedberg for his seventh goal of the season.

Zach Parise upped the Devils lead to two 51 seconds into the second period. Defenseman Paul Martin fired a shot on net from the point. Parise, stationed at the front of the net, tipped the shot past Hedberg’s glove for his 37th goal of the year.

Travis Zajac increased the lead to three 10 seconds into the period. Zajac won the opening faceoff and sent the puck to Martin Skoula. Skoula’s pass sent Zajac into the Thrasher’s zone on a 2-on-1 with Parise. Zajac took a shot that beat Hedberg through the pads for his 24th goal of the season.

Tonight’s game also marked the first time Ilya Kovalchuk visited Phillips Arena since his trade to the Devils. Kovalchuk and defenseman Anssi Salmela were sent to the Devils for Niclas Bergfors, Johnny Oduya and prospect Patrice Cormier. After the trade, Thrasher’s general manager Don Waddell revealed Kovalchuk declined offers of 12 years, $101 million and seven years, $70 million.

Fans held signs saying “You lie!” and “Kovalbum”. The left-winger was booed on his first shift, and the fans booed him every time he touched the puck.

“It was funny with all the signs,” Brodeur said. “I said to him, ‘People either like you or hate you here.’ He had some, ‘I love you’ and some ‘I hate you.’ I was laughing bit.”

Devils coach Jacques Lemaire could tell Kovalchuk was nervous.

“He was a little nervous. I could sense that,” Lemaire said of Kovalchuk. “That’s why I didn’t start him. It would not have been good for him.”

“Half the fans were booing, half were cheering,” Kovalchuk said. “That’s nice. It happens all the time.”

Kovalchuk failed to record a shot on goal and was held off the scoresheet in the victory.

With the win, the Devils clinched home-ice advantage in the first round. With Pittsburgh’s 6-3 loss to Washington, New Jersey moved into sole possession of the second seed in the Eastern Conference and first in the Atlantic Division.

Atlanta’s loss put an end to their fading playoff hopes. The 10-year old franchise has missed the playoffs nine times.

Game Notes:

Three of McAmmond’s seven goals this season have come against the Atlanta Thrashers…Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond picked up an assist on the first goal. It was only his second point in 25 games this season…Devils’ defenseman Mike Mottau missed the game to rest. Rookie defenseman Mark Fraser played in his place.

Game 72: Devils Powerplay Erupts To Sink Columbus, 6-3

March 23, 2010 1 comment

Coming into tonight’s matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Devils were 0-for-17 on the powerplay in their last six games.

The streak troubled the team so much they dedicated significant practice time throughout the week to perfect the attack.

The practice paid off, and the Devils scored three powerplay goals en-route to a win, 6-3, over the Blue Jackets Tuesday at the Prudential Center.

Zach Parise’s powerplay goal at 13:01 of the first period gave the Devils a 1-0 lead. With Rick Nash in the box for roughing, the Devils caused a turnover in the Blue Jackets zone. Patrik Elias checked defenseman Kris Russell along the side boards, and the puck slid away from both players. Jamie Langenbrunner took the puck in the right circle and fired a shot to the middle of goalie Steve Mason’s pads, creating a rebound. Parise crashed the net and put the rebound home for his 34th goal of the season.

Paul Martin scores a second period powerplay goal tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Devils tallied three powerplay goals, their most since November 11. Photo Credit Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Paul Martin made it two powerplay goals at 1:14 of the second period. With Kristian Huselius in the box for hooking, Ilya Kovalchuk passed the puck to Elias at the side boards. Elias skated to the top of the left circle and fired a wrist shot through Langenbrunner’s screen. The rebound caromed out to Martin, who pinched down to the right circle. The Devils’ defenseman fired the puck into the open net for his second goal of the season.

Down 2-0, Columbus responded to cut the lead in half. After carrying the puck into the Devil’s zone, Huselius left a drop pass for Antoine Vermette. The center fired a shot from the blue line that beat Martin Brodeur over the glove for his 23rd goal of the season.

The Devils responded, scoring three straight goals in 6:35 in the second period to blow open the game.

Kovalchuk tallied the third Devils’ powerplay goal at 12:32 of the second period. Mike Mottau started the play at the blue line by keeping the puck in the zone. He sent the puck to Parise in the left circle, who sent a cross-ice pass to Kovalchuk. Kovalchuk fired a shot to the short-side for his 37th goal of the season.

Travis Zajac’s goal three minutes later put the Devils ahead, 4-1. Martin passed the puck to Kovalchuk, who let go a shot from the slot. The puck hit Zajac in the back and bounced into the open net for his 22nd goal of the season.

Zajac wasn’t done, tallying his second goal of the period at 19:07 to extend the Devils lead, 5-1. Once again, it was Zajac deflecting a puck past Mason for a goal. Mottau fired a shot from the point that deflected off the back of Zajac’s knee and into the net for his 23rd goal of the season.

The Devils finished the game 3-for-6 with the man advantage. They last scored three powerplay goals

Martin Brodeur makes a pad save against RJ Umberger in the first period. With tonight's win, Brodeur now has 40 victories on the season - the eighth time he's reached the 40-win plateau. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

November 11, 2009 against Ottawa.

With the win, the Devils snapped a two-game winless streak. New Jersey overtook Pittsburgh for the Atlantic Division lead, and they now hold the second spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Devils will finish their three-game homestand Wednesday night against the New York Rangers.

Game Notes:

Brodeur won for the 40th time this season, marking the eighth time the Devils goalie reached that mark…Kovalchuk finished with four points (1 G, 3 A), by far his most productive night as a Devil…Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond once again dropped the gloves, fighting Jared Boll in the second period. This fight didn’t last 2:30 minutes like his Sunday bought, and there wasn’t a clear-cut winner.

Game 65: Devils Break Skid, Beat Rangers, 6-3

March 11, 2010 1 comment

After the New Jersey Devils loss to Edmonton on Sunday, the Devils’ were on a two-game slide and needed something to change their lethargic play.

Coach Jacques Lemaire cited one thing the Devils needed one thing to get back on track.

Practice.

After two physically intense days of practice, the Devils responded to the challenge with a win over their rivals, the New York Rangers, 6-3, Wednesday night at the Prudential Center.

“The last two days we’ve been working on the team concept,” Lemaire said. “The guys responded very well to it. I think we played with more intensity. We showed that we really wanted to win tonight, more than I’ve seen lately. We’re headed in the right direction. This is what we want.”

Brian Rolston fires the puck threw the legs of Henrik Lundqvist for a second-period goal in tonight's game. Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Jamie Langenbrunner broke a 3-3 tie at 13:06 of the second period. After a turnover by the Rangers in their own zone, Patrik Elias passed the puck to Andy Greene at the point. Greene sent the puck cross-ice to defenseman Mike Mottau, who shot the puck toward the net. Langenbrunner tipped the puck past Lundqvist and into the net for his 16th goal of the season.

That score would prove to be the decisive strike, as the Devils went on to score three more goals in the win.

Devils’ center Rob Niedermayer scored the game’s first goal at 4:16 of the first period. Brian Rolston took an awkward angle shot, and the rebound came to Niedermayer in the slot. The center blasted the puck off of Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s right shoulder and into the net for his eighth goal of the season.

The Rangers tied the game 57 seconds later to tie the game at one. Vaclav Prospal set up near the side of the net, and Marian Gaborik found him with a pass. Prospal, who was wide open, put the puck past a diving Martin Brodeur for his 15th goal of the season.

Bryce Salvador’s goal at 18:17 of the first period restored the Devils’ lead. Salvador began the play by keeping the puck in the zone. He took the puck and did a spin-o-rama, passing the puck behind the net to Niedermayer. Niedermayer got knocked down, and Langenbrunner passed the puck to Greene at the right point. Greene passed the puck to Salvador, who one-timed the pass. The puck hit the stick of Ollie Jokinen in front and went in for Salvador’s fourth of the season.

Erik Christensen pulled the Rangers even with the Devils at 5:01 of the second period. Brandon Dubinsky carried the puck into the zone and found Christensen at the point alone. Christensen received the puck and deked around a Devils’ defenseman, putting him alone in the slot. He whipped a shot past Brodeur for his sixth goal of the year.

The seesaw battle continued, with the Devils scoring again to take a lead, 3-2. With Wade Redden in the

Zach Parise celebrates his second-period goal against the New York Rangers tonight. Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

box for hooking, Brian Rolston took a shot on Lundqvist. Both Dainius Zubrus and Travis Zajac crashed the net, bringing the defensemen with them. The puck slid to the right side of the net, where Zach Parise came untouched and backhanded it into the empty net for his 31st goal of the year.

Just 37 seconds later, Brandon Prust scored to draw the Rangers even. The Rangers’ used their forecheck to force a turnover from Mark Fraser, who tapped a loose puck into the slot. Jody Shelley took a spin-o-rama shot that Brodeur stopped. But Prust worked his way to the front of the net and put the rebound past the Devil’s goalie for his second goal of the year.

The Devils lost three leads, but they showed resiliency, continuing to pressure the Rangers and put shots on Lundqvist.

“Three days ago we might have (crumbled),” said Langenbruner, who scored the eventual game-winning goal at 13:06 of the third period. “But we had a different mindset tonight. We didn’t let those things affect us. You could see it on the bench. It was a tough break on the third goal that they tied it up on, but it was right back, ‘We’re still going to get it.’ And that wasn’t there the last little while when something goes wrong, we were like, ‘Here we go again.’ It was much-better mindset and it I think it showed in the way we played as solid a 60 (minutes) as we have in a long time.”

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