The offseason continues to slog on, and while the NHL and NHLPA are fighting over Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract, the Devils are preparing for the 2010-11 NHL season. The team, which has made the postseason 13 straight times and won the Atlantic Division last season, will look to finish the regular season near the top of the Eastern Conference. Throughout the next month, I’ll preview each team on the Devils schedule this season, giving historical data and what the Devils can look forward to this season. Up first, the Dallas Stars.
Devils vs. Stars – Historical Data
The Devils are 12-9-1 all-time against Stars during regular season play. Last season, the team’s split the season series. On November 21, 2009, the Stars defeated the Devils, 5-3, in Dallas. Brian Rolston scored 55 seconds into the game to give the Devils an early lead. But Dallas responded with three unanswered goals in the period to take a 3-1 lead. After giving up three goals on nine shots, Yann Danis was pulled and Martin Brodeur played the rest of the game. Rolston scored again in the second, and Travis Zajac tied the game at 6:31 of the third. The Stars answered back, with Tom Wandell scoring the game-winning goal at 9:07 of the period. Stephane Robidas added insurance at 14:09 of the period.
The Devils won the second game of the series, 4-0, on January 5 at home. Patrik Elias started the scoring, tallying his first goal of the game at 18:02 of the first period. The Devils would explode for three goals in the second period, with Elias scoring his second goal of the game at 6:59 of the period. Brodeur made 28 saves for his third shutout in seven days.
The Devils are also 4-2 all-time against the Stars in the regular season. They defeated Dallas in six games to win their second Stanley Cup title, in 2000.
Devils vs. Stars – This Season’s Matchup
The Devils and the Stars will meet twice during the 2010-11 regular season. Both teams begin their season Friday, October 8 at the Prudential Center. They play their second game February 22, 2011 in Dallas.
The Stars enter this season missing two of the franchise’s most recognizable players. Goalie Marty Turco, who holds team records for most wins and shutouts in a season, wasn’t re-signed during the offseason. The team will look to replace his production with Kari Lehtonen and Andrew Raycroft. The franchise also moves on without their all-time scoring leader Mike Modano. Modano holds all-time franchise records for goals (557) and assists (802). The team will return leading scorer Loui Eriksson and points leader Brad Richards.
Other Notable Information:
The Stars missed the playoffs and finished 12th in the Western Conference last season. Along with signing Raycroft, the Stars added Stanley Cup winner Adam Burish and former-Devil Brad Lukowich. Last season, the Stars allowed more goals against (254) than goals for (237).