Throughout the offseason and training camp, Running With The Devils 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 “Analysis/Reaction” tab. In today’s preview, we go to the Western Conference, taking a look at this season’s matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Coyotes vs. Devils – Historical Data
In 64 all-time regular season meetings against the Coyotes, the Devils are 20-35-9-0. New Jersey averages 2.91 goals against Phoenix, but allows the Coyotes to average 3.34 goals against them. In their only meeting last season, the Coyotes defeated the Devils, 4-3, in Phoenix.
Matthew Lombardi opened the scoring, putting the Coyotes ahead, 1-0, at 13:16 of the first period. Peter Mueller extended the lead, giving Phoenix a 2-0 edge with an even-strength goal at 19:29 of the period. The second period would be all New Jersey. Brian Rolston scored at 9:31 of the second, cutting the Phoenix lead in half, 2-1. Travis Zajac knotted things up, scoring at 14:06 to tie the game, 2-2.
The Coyotes took control in the third period. Daniel Winnik put Phoenix ahead, 3-2, with an even-strength tally at 11:52 of the period. Zbynek Michalek extended the lead to 4-2 with his powerplay tally at 13:08 of the period. Rolston would net his second goal of the game, at 15:16, to pull the Devils within one and shrink the Coyote lead, 4-3. But the Devils couldn’t mount the comeback and lost in the desert.
Devils vs. Coyotes – This Season’s Matchup
The Devils and Coyotes face off once this season, on December 15 at the Prudential Center. The Coyotes stayed quiet this offseason, opting to re-sign most of their own players. But they did recently make a splash, signing Eric Belanger to a one-year deal. It wasn’t the signing that was a surprise, it was the fact that Belanger signed with the Coyotes after believing he had a deal with the Capitals that made it interesting. Overshadowing all of these moves was the news that, once again, the Coyotes were bankrupt and could possibly be on the move. This seems like a daily ritual in Phoenix, so the news came as no surprise to anyone.
The Coyotes showed some promise last season, eclipsing the 100-point total for the first time in franchise history and making it to the playoffs. The move to acquire Bryzgalov in 2008 came to full fruition last season, as the goalie finished second in the Vezina voting. If the Coyotes can repeat their success from last season, they’ll be a tough team to face. But it’s only one meeting, and while it would be nice to get some points out of the matchup, it’s not completely necessary for the Devils to beat Phoenix.
In 19 career games against the Coyotes (18 starts), Brodeur is 11-8-0 with a 2.30 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage…In 33 games against the Coyotes, Jamie Langenbrunner has 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) and is a +1.
Photo Credit: Ross D. Franklin/AP