Starting today, The Devils Den will give you a detailed look at the New Jersey Devils upcoming opponents this season. We’ll run it down in alphabetical order, giving an in-depth look at each team.
Despite being on opposite coasts, the Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils are pretty familiar with one another. Just nine years ago, the teams squared off in the Stanley Cup Finals. An upstart J.S. Giguere matched Martin Brodeur save for save, yet couldn’t will his team to a win. And while New Jersey skated off with their third Stanley Cup championship, Giguere would take home the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Since then, Devils fans watched Scott Niedermayer win a Stanley Cup with the Ducks and rooted for his brother, Rob, who spent one season in the red and black. But without much postseason success – Anaheim hasn’t made it past the second round since the 2006-07 season – the two teams haven’t played many meaningful games.
Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek scored shootout goals to lead the Sabres over the Devils, 5-4, tonight at the Prudential Center.
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.
Here were the starting lineups for tonight’s game:
Tim Connolly – Jochen Hecht – Jason Pominville; Jordan Leopold – Steve Montador; Jhonas Enroth
Patrik Elias – Jason Arnott – Mattias Tedenby; Andy Greene – Anton Volchenkov; Johan Hedberg
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.
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 Josefson, Tim 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
The Matchup – The Pittsburgh Penguins (0-2-0) face off against the New Jersey Devils (0-1-1) in an afternoon matchup at the Prudential Center. This is the first meeting between the two teams this season.
The Last Penguins Game – The Penguins lost to the Montreal Canadiens, 2-1, Saturday night at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The Penguins held a 2-1 lead late in the third period, but Michael Cammalleri‘s second goal tied the game with 3:12 left in the period. Scott Gomez completed the comeback, beating Marc-Andre Fleury with 1:48 left in the period to put the Canadiens ahead, 3-2.
The Last Devils Game – The Devils were blown out by the Capitals, 7-2, at the Verizon Center Saturday. The Devils led, 2-1, after one period on goals from Jason Arnott and Henrik Tallinder. But the wheels would fall off in the second period, as the Capitals tallied four unanswered goal – including three in less than five minutes – to move ahead 5-2. Martin Brodeur was pulled after the second period.
Last Season’s Matchup – The Devils swept all six meetings from the Penguins last season. The Devils won the most recent matchup, 5-2, on March 17. After Chris Kunitz gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 4:01 of the first period, the Devils scored four unanswered goals – including Paul Martin’s first goal of the season – to take the lead, 4-1. Ruslan Fedotenko made it a two goal game at 5:23 of the third period, but the Devils held off the Penguins. Rob Niedermayer added an empty-netter for insurance in the win. For an in-depth look at the rivalry, click here.
The Return of Martin – Martin visits the Rock for the first time as a Pittsburgh Penguin. During the offseason, Martin signed with the Penguins after realizing the Devils were focused solely on Ilya Kovalchuk. The defenseman told Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger that he never received an offer from the Devils, deciding to go with Pittsburgh over several other teams. I’d expect him to be booed, especially since he stayed within the division.
Today’s Matchup – I think it’s obvious what the Devils need to do. The team has played awful defense, giving up quality scoring chances left and right. Both the Stars and the Capitals made the Devils pay for their mistakes, and the Penguins are another team that can score in bunches. I know the team wants to get going on offense, but they need to be responsible defensively. If the Devils continue to play sloppy in their own zone, I think we can expect another disappointing result.
This game against Pittsburgh, while early in the season, still means something to both teams. By the end of the season, both of these teams should be near the top of the conference and division. Over the past few years, they’ve battled it out for conference seeding and division crowns. The rivalry is intense, and with both teams without a win, expect a hard-fought game. I wouldn’t expect the Devils to come out flat for this one.
Game time is 4 p.m. today, and you can catch the action on MSG Plus and WFAN 660.
Can you feel something in the air? There’s a slight chill in the air, and the leaves are changing colors. The baseball playoffs are in full swing, and the NFL is already four weeks into their schedule. It all adds up to the best time of the year – hockey season. And, for the New Jersey Devils, it begins tomorrow night at the Prudential Center against the Dallas Stars.
With the beginning of the season comes the obligatory team preview. Without further adieu, here’s The Devils’ Den’s 2010-2011 Season Preview.
The Devils endured the longest offseason in recent memory. The failed to make it out of the third round for the third consecutive season, losing the series 4-1 to the hated Philadelphia Flyers. That playoff loss left a bad memory on what was a rather successful season. New Jersey clinched second in the conference, won their ninth Atlantic Division title, and made the postseason for the 13th consecutive season. They also swept the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-0-0, during the regular season.
The organization wasn’t satisfied with their playoff failure, deciding to make several changes. The first change came in the coaching staff. Jacques Lemaire, who lost the locker room by the end of the season, retired on April 26. The Devils decided to go with youth at the helm, promoting then-Lowell coach John MacLean, who served as a NHL assistant for seven years. MacLean brought in Adam Oates to help a woeful powerplay and kept Larry Robinson to help with the defense. With the coaching staff set, Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello turned to the roster.
Lamoriello began the roster overhaul early in the Devils’ offseason, acquiring Jason Arnott from Nashville for Matt Halischuk and a second round pick in 2011. Arnott, who scored the game-winning goal to give the Devils their second Stanley Cup Championship in 2000, would be reunited with former “A-Line” partner Patrik Elias and former Stars teammate Jamie Langenbrunner. The Devils then bought out longtime Devil Jay Pandolfo and Andrew Peters the day before free agency began.
In an uncharacteristic move, Lamoriello signed several free agents for this year’s team. On July 1, Lamoriello signed defenseman Anton Volchenkov (six-years, $25.5 million), defenseman Henrik Tallinder (four-years, $13.5 million) and goalie Johan Hedberg (one-year, $1.5 million). The team lost Paul Martin to the Penguins and Rob Niedermayer to the Sabres.
On July 19, the Devils doled out the largest contract in NHL history for Ilya Kovalchuk. The left-winger and New Jersey agreed to a 17-year, $102 million dollar contract. It passed through the NHLPA, but not the league office. The league rejected the contract, setting off a summer of arbitration hearings and constant frustration. Eventually the team and league settled on a 15-year, $100 million deal, with amendments made to the collective bargaining agreement to ban these contracts.
To read the rest of the preview, follow the jump!
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.
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!
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 the Carolina Hurricanes.
Hurricanes vs. Devils – Historical Data
In 109 all-time regular season meetings against the Hurricanes, the Devils are 50-40-12-2. New Jersey averages 3.18 goals against the ‘Canes, and allows them to average 2.97 goals. Last season, the Devils and Hurricanes faced off four times, with the Devils going 3-1-0.
The Devils won the first game against the Hurricanes last season, blanking Carolina, 2-0, on October 17. Jamie Langenbrunner scored the game’s first goal 26 seconds into the third period, putting the Devils ahead, 1-0. Zach Parise added an insurance goal, putting the Devils ahead, 2-0, with an empty-netter at 19:26 of the third. Martin Brodeur stopped 26 shots in the win. Cam Ward made 27 saves in the loss.
The Devils took their second game in a row against Carolina, defeating the ‘Canes, 4-2, on December 9. Patrik Elias opened the scoring, giving the Devils a lead, 1-0, at 11:11 of the first period. Andy Greene extended the lead, putting the Devils ahead, 2-0, with an even-strength tally at 17:53 of the period. Greene pushed the Devils farther ahead, giving them a 3-0 advantage with a powerplay goal at 6:05 of the second period. But Carolina would not quit.
Brandon Sutter put the ‘Canes on the board, scoring at 6:48 of the period and cutting the Devils’ lead to 3-1. Tuomo Ruutu cut the lead to one, scoring on the powerplay at 8:46 to shrink the Devils’ lead to 3-2. Rob Niedermayer put the nail in the coffin, scoring an empty-net, shorthanded goal at 19:59 of the third period to extend the Devils lead to 4-2.
The ‘Canes defeated the Devils, 5-2, on February 13 for their first win of the season series. Zach Boychuk scored the game’s first goal, giving Carolina a lead, 1-0, at 16:47 of the first period. Then it became the Ray Whitney show. Whitney scored two powerplay goals, one at 4:34 and the next a minute later, in the second period to put the ‘Canes ahead, 3-0, after two periods. Jussi Jokinen scored at 3:27 of the third period to extend the lead further, putting the ‘Canes ahead, 4-0. Goals by Parise at 7:26 and Brian Rolston at 17:02 cut the Hurricanes lead in half, 4-2. Jokinen would restore the three-goal advantage, scoring with the net empty at 18:31 to put the Hurricanes ahead, 5-2.
The Devils would avenge their loss, blanking the Hurricanes for the second time, 4-0, on April 3. Dainius Zubrus opened the scoring, putting the Devils ahead, 1-0, with a powerplay tally at 13:13 of the first period. Elias increased the lead, putting the Devils ahead, 2-0, at 18:18 of the first. The score would remain the same until the third period. Parise pushed the lead to 3-0 with an even-strength goal at 7:34 of the third. David Clarkson extended the lead, giving the Devils a 4-0 advantage with an empty-net goal at 18:28 of the third period.
Continue after the jump for the rest of the preview!