Game 78 Live Game Blog: Clarkson's Goal Increases Devils Lead, 4-0, In The Third Period

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

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Clarkson's goal at 18:28 extended the Devils lead, 4-0, in tonight's game at the RBC Center.

With the Carolina net empty, Kovalchuk gained control of the puck in his zone. The winger passed the puck to Elias at the blue line, and he found Clarkson ahead of the Carolina defense at the red line. The right-winger skated down into the zone and slid the puck into the empty net for his 10th goal of the season.

After a scrum in front of the net, Parise found the puck below the goal line. The left-winger shot the puck in off of Ward's pads for his 36th goal of the season.

Brodeur continues to be sharp tonight, making a few nice saves in this period. Drayson Bowman carried the puck along the side boards, firing a shot at 13:50 of the period. Erik Staal crashed the net, trying to bring the puck from his backhand to his forehand. The puck skipped away from him, and Bowman put a backhanded shot on net that Brodeur stopped and held.

Carolina is clearly playing with some urgency now, but the Brodeur and the Devils have done a good job playing defense and keeping the shots manageable.

The top two lines have been buzzing the entire night. Elias and Kovalchuk continue to find quality scoring chances, and the first line of Parise - Travis Zajac - Zubrus have put 13 shots on net.

Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus scored first period goals to give the Devils their lead.

The Devils led the second period in shots, 10-7. They lead the overall shot total, 22-14.

While Brodeur hasn't faced many shots (12 through 14:53 of the second period), but he's had to make some very nice saves. Carolina has produced several good scoring chances, and Brodeur has met every chance with a good save.

The Devils have continued to pressure the Hurricanes in the period. New Jersey has forced turnovers, and they're getting some quality scoring chances. It helps that Ward has been juggling the puck when it hits his glove.

The Devils led the period in shots, 12-7.

The two goals are the most the Devils have scored since Saturday, March 27, when they scored four against the Montreal Canadiens.

Elias' goal at 18:18 of the first period extended the Devils lead, 2-0.

Ilya Kovalchuk skated the puck into the Hurricanes zone and stopped along the side boards. He sent a pass to the center of the zone, where Elias received the pass. The center held the puck and skated into the right circle. His shot sailed over Ward's shoulder and into the net for his 16th goal of the year.

There was some confusion after the goal. The puck went in and out, and David Clarkson put in the rebound. The goal light, however, was late to go off. The referee had his arm extended to signal goal after Elias' shot.

Zubrus' powerplay goal at 13:13 of the first period put the Devils ahead, 1-0.

With Chad LaRose in the box for interference, Carolina couldn't clear the puck at the point. Zach Parise tapped the puck to Zubrus, who was all alone in the left circle. The winger skated toward the net and put a wrist shot through the pads of goalie Cam Ward for his ninth goal of the season.

The Devils have played a solid first period, controlling the tempo throughout. If Mottau didn't take the penalty, Carolina may only have one or two shots on net.

Martin Brodeur made a spectacular save at 5:48 of the first period. With Mike Mottau in the box for hooking, Brett Carson pinched from the slot and into the right circle. He took a shot, but Brodeur slid across the crease and stacked the pass to kick the puck away.

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Here were the starting lineups:

Devils: Jay Pandolfo-Rob Niedermayer-Brian Rolston; Bryce Salvador-Andy Greene; Martin Brodeur.

Hurricanes: Zach Boychuk-Drayson Bowman-Patrick Dwyer; Brian Pothier-Jay Harrison; Cam Ward.

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The Devils enter tonight's game tied with Pittsburgh for the Atlantic Division. The Devils lead the division because of tiebreakers, but both teams are even with five games left. The Devils will also be looking to end a three-game losing streak.

Martin Brodeur will start in net tonight for the Devils.

Jamie Langenbrunner will not be in tonight's lineup. The captain will be a healthy scratch. Vladimir Zharkov will also be scratched. Mark Fraser, Jay Pandolfo and Dainius Zubrus will also play.

Here are tonight's line combinations:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Dainius Zubrus
Ilya Kovalchuk - Patrik Elias - David Clarkson
Jay Pandolfo - Rob Niedermayer - Brian Rolston
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond - Dean McAmmond - Rod Pelley
Bryce Salvador - Andy Greene
Colin White - Mike Mottau
Mark Fraser - Martin Skoula
Martin Brodeur
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Game 75 Live Blog: Bergeron Scores Game Winner As Bruins Defeat Devils, 1-0

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

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Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winning goal at 4:42 to defeat the Devils, 1-0, tonight at the Prudential Center.

Mark Stuart took a shot from the point that deflected off of Brodeur. The puck came right to Bergeron, and the center put it home for his 18th goal of the season.

Zajac and Parise had a great opportunity to score at 2:20 of the overtime period. The line kept the puck in, and Parise fired the puck short-side and high. Rask was just able to get a piece of the puck and deflect it away for the save.

The Devils led the shot category in the third, 9-8. Boston leads the overall shots, 30-20.

Both teams will earn a point, which can be a big point for Boston. If the Thrashers win, Boston will still hold eighth place in the conference.

The Devils had a great kill late in the period. Elias was sent to the box for tripping Patrice Bergeron at 17:06 of the third period. The Devils didn't allow the Bruins many chances, and afterward the Devils had some good chances in the offensive zone.

The Devils had the first powerplay opportunity of the night at 7:03 of the period. They had a few good chances, but didn't register a goal.

Here are some updates from around the league. The Rangers lead the Islanders, 4-2, in the third period. The Thrashers lead the Maple Leafs, 3-2, in the third period. The Capitals and Senators are tied, 4-4, in the third period.

Brodeur had to make a great save 44 seconds into the first period to keep the Bruins off the board. Michael Ryder brought the puck into the zone and skated around Andy Greene. He took the puck to the net and tried to slip a puck low on the glove side. Brodeur stretched his arm and stoned Ryder.

The Bruins lead the period in shots, 9-6. They lead the game total, 22-11.

While there hasn't been a goal, the Bruins have the better scoring chances through two periods. Boston has made Brodeur work to keep them off the board through two periods. The Devils, on the other hand, haven't put much pressure on Rask.

Here are some updates from around the league. The Rangers scored three goals and lead the Islanders, 3-2, in the second period. Atlanta is leading Toronto, 2-1, near the end of the second period. The Capitals scored two goals to pull even with the Senators, 3-3, in the second period.

There hasn't been much to talk about this period. At 10:26 of the second period, the Bruins lead the shot category, 4-1.

Lemaire reunited the line of Parise, Travis Zajac and Jamie Langenbrunner. Patrik Elias shifted back down and will now center the second line of Kovalchuk and Zharkov.

Here are some updates from around the league. The Islanders lead the Rangers, 2-1, in the second period. Atlanta leads Toronto, 2-0, in the second period. Ottawa leads Washington, 2-1, in the second period.

The Bruins led the shot category, 13-6, in the first period.

That wasn't a great period at all. The Devils couldn't breakout, and they never put any pressure on Rask or the Bruins defense. Brodeur had to play well to keep the Bruins off the board.

Here are some updates from around the league. The Islanders are beating the Rangers, 2-0, after one period. The Ottawa Senators are beating the Capitals, 2-1, after one period in Washington, DC.

The Bruins once again had a great scoring chance at 17:13 of the first period. Daniel Paille held the puck behind the net, and fed a pass to Steve Begin on the crease. Brodeur stopped the initial shot and a rebound to keep the Bruins scoreless.

The Devils fourth line almost created an empty-net chance for the Devils at 13:37 of the first period. The forecheckers of the Devils forced goalie Tuukka Rask to make a bad pass, and the puck sat in front of an empty net. Dean McAmmond tried to knock the puck home, but the Bruins cleared the zone.

Martin Brodeur made a diving save at 11:21 of the first period to keep Boston off the board. After a turnover by the Devils, the Bruins worked the puck to the point. A Bruins defender shot the puck toward the net, where Brodeur made the initial save. The puck bounced to his right, and Sturm tried to jam the puck home. Brodeur covered the puck with his blocker hand to freeze play.

The Bruins have really come out firing, and they've dominated play here early in the period.

Devils coach Jacques Lemaire continued to juggle the lines in tonight's games. He moved rookie winger Vladimir Zharkov to the second line with Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac. Dainius Zubrus spent pre-game warmups with the second line, but he is now on the fourth line with Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond and Dean McAmmond.

Zach Parise blocked a Dennis Seidenberg shot at 4:50 of the first period. Parise immediately went to the ice, but he got up and skated to the bench. He hasn't missed a shift in the period.

Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart almost gave the Bruins an early lead. He hit the left post with a shot from the point at 1:50 of the first period.

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Here were tonight's starting lineups:

Bruins

Marco Sturm-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi; Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg; Tuukka Rask.

Devils

Zach Parise - Patrik Elias - Jamie Langenbrunner; Martin Skoula - Paul Martin; Martin Brodeur

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The Devils come into this game two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for first in the Atlantic Division. New Jersey does have a game in hand against their rivals.

The Bruins are currently eighth in the conference, two points ahead of the Atlanta Thrashers.

Martin Brodeur will start in net for the Devils. Tuukka Rask will start for Boston.

Devils coach Jacques Lemaire will dress the same players who played Sunday in Philadelphia. Jay Pandolfo, Rod Pelley, Anssi Salmela and Mark Fraser are tonight's healthy scratches. There were some line changes, as Dainius Zubrus moved back to right wing on the second line. Brian Rolston moved back down to the third line.

Here are tonight's line combinations:

Zach Parise - Patrik Elias - Jamie Langenbrunner

Ilya Kovalchuk - Travis Zajac - Vladimir Zharkov

Brian Rolston - Rob Niedermayer - David Clarkson

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond - Dean McAmmond - Dainius Zubrus

Bryce Salvador - Andy Greene

Colin White - Mike Mottau

Martin Skoula - Paul Martin

Martin Brodeur

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Game 73 Live Game Blog: Devils Lose, 4-3, In Shootout

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

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The Devils and the Rangers, tied 3-3, will head to a shootout in tonight's game at the Prudential Center.

Christensen SCORES on Rangers first attempt.

Parise MISSES on Devils first attempt.

Anisimov MISSES on Rangers second attempt

Elias MISSES on Devils second attempt

Dubinsky MISSES on Rangers third attempt

Zajac MISSES on Devils third attempt

Rangers win shootout, 1-0, and win game, 4-3.

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Chris Drury scored with 16 seconds left to tie the game, 3-3.

Erik Christensen made a nice pass for the goal. Possessing the puck behind the net, Christensen put a backhand pass through the legs of defenseman Colin White and to the crease. Drury one-timed the puck through the Brodeur's legs for his 12th goal of the season.

The Devils led in shots through three periods, 37-27.

Langenbrunner's goal at 12:57 puts the Devils ahead, 3-2.

Elias sent a backhanded pass to Langenbrunner along the blue line. The captain skated the puck into the left circle and blasted a puck past Lundqvist for his 17th goal of the season.

Elias missed his second breakaway opportunity 50 seconds before the goal. Skoula found Elias with a long pass from the defensive zone. Elias came in alone and tried to put the puck through Lundqvist's pads. The Rangers' goalie closed the pads and denied the goal.

Artem Anisimov's goal at 9:40 of the third period tied the game at two.

Anisimov's goal came from a bad defensive play by Bryce Salvador. With Brandon Prust and Salvador racing for the puck in the Devils zone, Salvador decided to try and play Prust instead of the puck. Prust skated by Salvador and sent a centering pass to Anisimov at the front of the net. Anisimov held the puck, and Brodeur went down to the butterfly. Anisimov lifted the puck over a helpless Brodeur and into the net for his 12th goal of the season.

The Devils are finding success with long-ice passes. With the Rangers trailing, the Devils forwards are able to get past the pinching defenseman. As a result, they've had some great scoring chances in the third period.

Elias' goal at 3:53 of the period gave the Devils a lead, 2-1.

Clarkson collected a loose puck behind the net and skated it to the side boards. Elias, coming off the bench, found an open spot in the slot. He one-timed Clarkson's pass over the glove of Lundqvist for his 14th goal of the season.

Brodeur made a great save to keep this game tied at one. With the Rangers getting possession behind the net, the puck came to Ollie Jokinen in the slot. The center rifled a shot on goal, but Brodeur stopped the shot with his mask for the save.

Ryan Callahan is out for the rest of the game after re-aggravated a leg or hip injury.

Brandon Dubinsky's powerplay goal at 7:32 of the second period tied the game at one.

With Rolston in the box for interference, Dubinsky collected a loose puck behind the net. He skated to the side boards and passed the puck to Michael Del Zotto, who passed the puck right back on a give-and-go. Dubinsky skated into the right circle and shot the puck through a screen and into the net for his 17th goal of the season.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored at 5:21 of the first period to give the Devils a lead.

The Devils moved into the zone with a 3-on-2 rush, and Brian Rolston put a slap shot on goalie Henrik Lundqvist. The puck bounced off the heel of his glove, and Kovalchuk put the rebound through Lundqvist's pads for his 38th goal of the year.

Rolston's assist was his first point in seven games.

The Devils outshot the Rangers, 10-8, in the second period. They hold an advantage in total shots, 21-12.

The Devils were badly outplayed during the first part of the second period. But the team woke up and played a solid game during the latter half of the period. Also, Martin Brodeur played well in the second period. There was nothing he could do on the goal against, and he made several incredible saves during that period.

The Devils had two great opportunities to take the lead. Parise had a goal disallowed at 10:19 of the second period. Jamie Langenbrunner drove to the front of the net and tried to pass the puck to Parise on the crease. With the puck spinning behind Parise, he turned around to find the puck. It bounced off of his shoulder and found the back of the net. On a video review, the league ruled he intentionally put the puck in using his shoulder.

A few seconds before that chance, Patrik Elias had a great opportunity to give the Devils a lead. With Zach Parise in the box for holding the stick, Martin Skoula cleared the puck out of the zone. Elias got behind the defense and broke in alone on Lundqvist. Lundqvist tried a poke check and missed, but recovered and stopped Elias with his right pad for the save.

The Rangers have come out with a sense of urgency in the second period. After being outshot, 11-4, in the first period, the Rangers lead the shot total, 7-2.

The game has been chippy throughout, as Devils and Rangers game tend to be. Jody Shelly and Andrew Peters dropped the gloves at 9:01 of the first period. Shelly landed most of the punches, but Peters knocked him to the ice with a solid right to end the fight.

After a 3-for-6 night with the man advantage, the Devils failed to score in their first two powerplay attempts.

David Clarkson and Sean Avery exchanged words during the pre-game warmups, and looked like they may fight right off the opening faceoff. Clarkson grabbed Avery's jersey, but no one dropped the gloves. The players were eventually split.

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Here were the starting lineups:

Devils:

Dainius Zubrus - Rob Neidermayer - David Clarkson; Martin Skoula - Paul Martin; Martin Brodeur

Rangers:

Sean Avery - Chris Drury - Ryan Callahan; Marc Stall - Michael Rosival; Henrik Lundqvist

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The Devils enter tonight's game with a chance to clinch a playoff berth. If the Devils can earn a point in tonight's game and the Thrashers lose in regulation, the Devils will officially be in the playoffs.

The team needs at least one point to move ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for first in the Atlantic Division.

The Rangers enter the game five points behind the Boston Bruins for eighth in the Eastern Conference.

The Devils lead the season series with the Rangers, 3-2. This is the final game of the six-game series.

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Jay Pandolfo and Andrew Peters will suit up tonight, replacing Rod Pelley and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond on the fourth line. Mark Fraser and Anssi Salmela remain healthy scratches on the defensive end.

Here are tonight's line combinations:

Zach Parise - Patrik Elias - Jamie Langenbrunner

Ilya Kovalchuk - Travis Zajac - Brian Rolston

Dainius Zubrus - Rob Niedermayer - David Clarkson

Andrew Peters - Dean McAmmond - Jay Pandolfo

Bryce Salvador - Andy Greene

Colin White - Mike Mottau

Martin Skoula - Paul Martin

Martin Brodeur

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Game 72 Live Game Blog: Parise's Goal Extends Lead, 6-3, In The Third Period

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

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Parise's second goal of the game at 12:52 of the third period extends the Devils lead, 6-3, in tonight's game at the Prudential Center.

Elias corralled the loose puck on the side boards and sent the puck to Langenbrunner deeper in the zone. The captain passed the puck to Parise, who was wide open in front of the net. Parise put the puck from his backhand to the forehand and wristed a puck over Mason's glove for the goal.

Huselius' goal at 6:00 of the third period cut the Devils lead, 5-3.

Vermette started the play behind the net. The center came around and passed the puck across the crease. The puck snuck under the skate of Nash and went to Huselius, who put the puck into the net for his 21st goal of the season.

Jakub Voracek's goal at 19:40 of the second period cut the Devils lead to three goals, 5-2.

Umberger passed a puck from his zone to Brassard at the blue line. Brassard and Voracek came in on a 2-on-1, and Brassard sent a cross-ice pass to Voracek. Voracek one-timed a shot past the skate of Brodeur for his 14th goal of the season.

The Devils lead the game in shots, 19-18. Along with Zajac's two goals, Kovalchuk has four points (1 goal and three assists).

Zajac's second goal of the period brought the Devils put the Devils ahead by four.

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.

Travis Zajac's tip-in at 15:40 of the second period extended the Devils' lead, 4-1.

Kovalchuk took a loose puck and 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.

Kovalchuk's PP goal at 12:32 in the second period extends the Devils' lead to two, 3-1.

Mike Mottau started the play at the blue line by keeping in a loose puck. He sent a puck to Parise in the left circle, who sent a cross-ice pass to Kovalchuk in the right circle. Kovalchuk fired a shot to the short-side for his 37th goal of the season.

This is the second time this season the Devils scored three powerplay goals. They previously scored tallied three powerplay goals November 11 against Ottawa.

After that goal, Jared Boll and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond dropped the gloves. I would call it a draw, but both players got good hits in on the other.

Michael Blunden and Dean McAmmond dropped the gloves at 8:57 of the second period. Blunden hit McAmmond high with a check, and McAmmond went after him. The Devils' center dropped the gloves and took down Blunden, stripping his helmet and hitting him with a few jabs.

For that act, McAmmond took a double-minor for roughing and a game misconduct penalty.

The Devils killed a 5-on-3 powerplay at 9:13 of the period. With David Clarkson in the box serving a minor for McAmmond, Rob Niedermayer took a penalty for hooking. The Devils didn't allow a lot of pressure on net, and Huselius tripped Martin to end the 5-on-3 advantage.

Antoine Vermette's goal at 3:40 in the second period cut the Devils lead in half, 2-1.

After carrying the puck into the Devil's zone, Huselius passed the puck to Vermette. The center fired a shot from the blue line that beat Brodeur over the glove for his 23rd goal of the season.

Paul Martin's powerplay goal at 1:14 pushed the Devils lead to 2-0.

With Kristian Huselius in the box for hooking, 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.

The Devils are now 2-for-3 on the powerplay tonight.

Umberger has been a terror on the penalty kill. He had another shorthanded opportunity, but Ilya Kovalchuk made a great diving play to lift the stick and end the threat.

Zach Parise's powerplay goal at 13:01 of the first period gave the Devils the 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 Steve Mason's pads, creating a rebound. Parise crashed the net and put the rebound home for his 34th goal of the season.

Before that, the Devils were 0-for-17 in their past six games with the man advantage.

The Blue Jackets led the period in shots, 10-9.

Umberger had a shorthanded chance at 12:50 of the first period. Blue Jacket's goalie Steve Mason cleared the puck, and Umberger picked up the puck at the blue line. He came down into the zone and fired a shot from the left circle. Brodeur caught the puck and held it for the whistle.

Martin Brodeur made a nice stick poke at 5:39 of the first period. Blue Jackets center Derick Brassard received a pass in the slot, but he flubbed the shot. Brodeur sprawled on his back and poked the puck away from Brassard and the middle of the slot.

Brodeur had to be strong again at 8:25 of the period. A Columbus defender sent the puck to the front of the net, where R.J. Umberger tried to hammer home the rebound. Brodeur made two left-pad saves before getting his glove on the puck for the stoppage in play.

Here were the starting lineups:

Blue Jackets: Kristian Huselius-Antoine Vermette-Rick Nash; Kris Russell-Mike Commodore; Steve Mason

Devils: Zach Parise-Patrik Elias-Jamie Langenbrunner; Colin White-Mike Mottau; Martin Brodeur

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The Devils enter the game two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Atlantic Division with two games in hand.

Martin Brodeur will start in net for the Devils. This will be his second attempt for his 40th win of the season. If he wins tonight, he will record eight 40+ win seasons in his career.

Steve Mason will start for the Blue Jackets.

Defenseman Anssi Salmela and Mark Fraser and forwards Jay Pandolfo, Vladmir Zharkov and Andrew Peters will be the Devils' healthy scratches for the second game in a row.

Here are tonight's line combinations:

Zach Parise - Patrik Elias - Jamie Langenbrunner

Ilya Kovalchuk - Travis Zajac - Brian Rolston

Dainius Zubrus - Rob Niedermayer - David Clarkson

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond - Dean McAmmond - Rod Pelley

Bryce Salvador - Andy Greene

Mike Mottau - Colin White

Martin Skoula - Paul Martin

Martin Brodeur

 

 

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Game 65 Live Blog: Zajac's Goal Extends Lead, 6-3, In The Third Period; Lundqvist Chased To The Bench

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

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Travis Zajac's goal at 16:21 of the third period extends the Devil's lead, 6-3, in the third period tonight at the Prudential Center.

The play began with a turnover by Del Zotto at center ice. Zubrus stripped the young defenseman and sent the puck to Zajac, who entered the zone alone. His shot was initially stopped by Auld, but the puck trickled through his pads for Zajac's 21st goal of the season.

That score broke Zajac's career high of 20 goals, set last year.The Rangers start with 1:53 of powerplay time. They are 0-for-2 with the man advantage tonight.

Fraser hasn't played since his mistake in the defensive zone led to Prust's goal in the second period. Seems to me to be a bit harsh of a penalty for the rookie's first mistake of the season, but the Devils are playing well without him.

The Devils took leads of 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2, but the Rangers came back to tie each time. Twice, the Rangers scored within a minute of the Devils' goal.

The Devils outshot the Rangers, 13-7, in the second period. They lead the shot total, 21-13.

Brian Rolston's goal at 15:19 extended the Devils lead, 5-3.

After the Devils broke up a 4-on-2 Rangers' break, they started up ice with a 4-on-1 of their own. Niedermayer passed the puck to Rolston, who held the puck and skated to the right circle. Rolston tried to feed David Clarkson on the crease, but Rangers' defenseman Dan Girardi dove to deflect the pass. The puck went through the pads of Lundqvist and into the back of the net.

After that goal, Rangers' coach Jon Torterella pulled Lundqvist. The Rangers' goalie gave up five goals on 17 shots. This is his first time being pulled in 29 career games against the Devils.

Backup goalie Alex Auld replaced Lundqvist.

Langenbrunner 's goal at 13:06 put the Devils ahead, 4-3.

After a turnover by the Rangers, Patrik Elias directed the puck to Greene at the point. Greene sent the puck cross-ice to Mike Mottau, where the defenseman took a shot. Langenbrunner tipped the puck past Lundqvist and into the net for Langenbrunner's 601st point of his career.

Brandon Prust scored 37 seconds later to tie the game, 3-3.

The goal came from a good forecheck by the Rangers. Mark Fraser turned the puck over behind the puck, and it slid to the slot. 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 Brodeur for his second goal of the year.

Zach Parise's powerplay goal at 8:38 put the Devils ahead, 3-2.

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

Erik Christensen's goal at 5:01 of the period tied the game.

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.

Niedermayer had a great short-handed breakaway attempt. With Zach Parise in the box for interference, Michael Del Zotto lost the puck at the Rangers' blue line, and Niedermayer picked it up and raced into the zone. He went wide and tried to wrist the puck five-hole, but Lundqvist closed the pads and made the save

Martin Brodeur just made an incredible save at 1:36 to keep the Devils ahead. Jokinen and Gaborik broke in on a short 2-on-1. Gaborik sent the pass to Jokinen, but Brodeur dove across the crease and blocked the shot with the top part of his goalie stick. He recovered and covered the rebound to stop play.

It's been quite some time since I've seen a typical, Broduer jaw-dropper.

Bryce Salvador's goal at 18:17 of the first period put the Devils ahead.

Salvador made a nice play to keep the puck in the zone. He took the puck and did a spin-o-rama, putting a pass behind the net to Niedermayer. Nidermayer got knocked down, and Jamie Langenbrunner passed the puck to Andy 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.

Four seconds later, Rangers enforcer Jody Shelley and Devils tough-guy Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond dropped the gloves at center ice. Both players got some good shots in, but it was ultimately a draw.

With all the chatter in the first period, I was surprised that was the only fight.

The Devils led the opening period in shots, 8-6.

Vaclav Prospal scored 57 seconds after the Devils to tie the game at one.

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.

Rob Nidermayer gave the Devils a short-lived lead at 4:16 of the period. David Clarkson made the play happen with some solid work in the offensive zone. Brian Rolston took an awkward angle shot, and the rebound came to Niedermayer in the slot. The center blasted the puck off of Henrik Lundqvist's right shoulder and into the net for his eighth goal of the season.

Both teams are showing a lot of energy early. Brodeur has had to make some great saves early in this game, and it looks as if this might be a barn-burner here at the Rock.

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The Devils dropped their last game Sunday, a 2-0 shutout loss in Edmonton. The Devils are just 6-13-1 in their last 20 games, and they trail Pittsburgh by five points for the Atlantic Division lead.

The Rangers come in on a three-game losing streak (two in overtime) and trail the Bruins for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Martin Brodeur will start in net for the Devils. Henrik Lundqvist gets the nod for the Rangers.

Vladimir Zharkov, Andrew Peters, Jay Pandolfo and Anssi Salmela will be the healthy scratches. Rookie Mark Fraser, Rod Pelley, and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond will start.

Here are the line combinations for tonight's game:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Dainius Zubrus

Ilya Kovalchuk - Patrik Elias - Jamie Langenbrunner

Brian Rolston - Rob Niedermayer - David Clarkson

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond - Dean McAmmond - Rod Pelley

Bryce Salvador - Andy Greene

Colin White - Mike Mottau

Mark Fraser - Martin Skoula

Martin Brodeur

 

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Live Game Blog: Poulit's Goal Doubles Oilers Lead, 2-0, In The Third Period

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

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Marc Pouliot's goal at 8:28 increased the Oilers lead to two goals in the third period of their game at Rexall Place.

Sam Gagner began the play in the neutral zone, taking the loose puck and passing it ahead to Robert Nilsson. Nillson deked around Devils' defenseman Colin White and drove to the slot. As he fell to the ice, he passed to an open Pouliot in the slot. Pouliot sent the puck to the top of the net for the goal.

That goal came right after a Kovalchuk breakaway. Kovalchuk split two defenders in the neutral zone, grabbing a loose puck and moving in alone on Deslauriers. Kovalchuk attempted to put a wrist shot through Deslauriers' legs, but the Oilers goalie closed his pads and made the save.

Soon after the second goal, Devils' enforcer Andrew Peters tried to begin a fight with Ryan Whitney. Both went off for roughing penalties, but Peters earned a game misconduct for continuing to talk to the officials and Whitney.

Gilbert Brule scored 1:23 into the second period to put the Oilers ahead, 1-0.

Brodeur came behind the net to play the puck. It took a bad hop off the boards and came to Andrew Cogliano. Cogliano put the puck past Anssi Salmela on the side boards, and it rolled to Patrick O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan sent a quick pass to Brule in front, and the forward one-timed the puck past Brodeur for his 14th goal of the season.

At the 15 minute mark of the third period, the Devils still don't have a shot on net. Edmonton has put four on Brodeur.

The Devils had their best opportunity of the third period at the 14 minute mark. Edmonton goalie Jeff Deslauriers stopped an initial shot, but the rebound came to the front. Several players crashed the net, but Gilbert seemed to protect the puck from the oncoming Devils. He slid the puck to Deslauriers to freeze the puck.

Gilbert should have been called for a penalty for closing his hand around the puck in the crease.

All you have to do is look at the quality of shots, and it's understandable why the Devils are down 1-0. It seems like every forward is trying to take on the entire defense or forcing passes to the slot. The Oilers, on the other hand, are working the puck and getting high-quality scoring chances, usually from the low areas of the points to the slot.

Brodeur had to make another spectacular save with 25 seconds left in the period. Bryce Salvador passed the puck to the front of the net, where O'Sullivan intercepted it. O'Sullivan tried a spin-o-rama shot, but Brodeur stacked the pads and made the save.

The Oilers outshot the Devils, 16-9, in the period. They lead the overall shot total, 19-15.

Lemaire changed the lines here in the second period. Kovalchuk skated on the top line, and Langenbrunner shifted down to the second line. Lemaire restored the lines at 3:54 of the period.

The Devils had a great penalty-kill during a Dainius Zubrus slashing penalty. The Devils didn't allow the Oilers to set up their powerplay, possessing the puck and pressuring the Oilers defense. They tallied three shorthanded shots, and it's seemed to bring the Devils to life a bit in the period.

Dean McAmmond went to the locker room after a hit from Stortini at 6:30 of the second period. Stortini put McAmmond into the bench area, and McAmmond hit the boards with the side of his body. He immediately came off the ice and went to the tunnel.

Soon after the goal, Zach Parise took a holding penalty 2:09 into the second period. The Devils' forwards seem to be getting frustrated with their play thus far.

Brodeur made a great pad save on a re-directed shot by Tom Gilbert. Gilbert directed a shot from the point on Brodeur, and he had to quickly put out the right pad to make the save.

The Oilers have had the better play so far in the second period. They've continually pressured the Devils on the forecheck, and they haven't let the forwards or defenseman get quality scoring chances.

The Devils held the edge in shots, 6-3. The advantage, however, isn't an accurate indicator of period. Most of the first period was played in the neutral zone and on the Devils side of the ice. They need to come out in the second period more aggressive and take control of the period.

Although the Oilers have only recorded two shots, Brodeur has been busy in his own zone. Most of the play has been in the Devils zone thus far, and he's had to be sharp. He made a very nice right pad save on Ryay Potulny in front 2:52 into the game.

The Devils 12th ranked powerplay (18.8% prior to the game) couldn't do much with their first chance of the night. With Zach Stortini in the box for roughing, the Devils couldn't generate a shot on net.

Interesting decision by Jacques Lemaire tonight for his starters. Lemaire is sending out the Ilya Kovalchuk - Dainius Zubrus - Patrik Elias line to start the game instead of the top line of Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Jamie Langenbrunner.

Defenseman Martin Skoula will make his debut for the Devils tonight. He replaces Mark Fraser in the lineup. Andrew Peters gets the start over Jay Pandolfo. Rod Pelley and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (upper body injury) also will not play.

Martin Brodeur gets the start in net for the Devils. Jeff Deslauriers will start for the Oilers.

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I talked to Jay from Low On Oil, an Edmonton Oilers blog. I asked him a few questions about the team coming into this matchup. Here are the questions and his responses.

1. With the team mired in last place, what is there to look forward to coming into the end of the season?

That’s pretty easy to be honest—drafting in the top two at the 2010 NHL Entry draft. The harder question to answer is what there is to look forward after that entry draft. It looks like the Oilers are going to be in a two or three year rebuild which means the 2011 entry draft will be the next thing to look forward to.

2. Give us your take on the trade for Ryan Whitney.

Even with the trades at the deadline, the Oilers are still in salary cap hell heading into next season. There’s a long list of players who are pending RFA’s that will be looking for varying degrees of raises for next season including Sam Ganger, Gilbert Brule, and Ryan Potulny among others.

I had mixed feelings about the Ryan Whitney trade. On the one hand, Lubomir Visnovsky is an exceptionally talented player and a joy to watch. In fact, he was one of the few players that I enjoyed watching on this team this season.

On the other hand, the Oilers had to move salary and there wasn’t much of a market for Souray with his current health problems. As good as Visnovsky currently plays, he’s 32 years old and headed for a decline in performance due to age. The Oilers won’t likely be a competitive team during that time period, so trading him made sense in that regard.

As for the Ryan Whitney trade, I like the fact that it adds size and youth to the blue line. His contract also saves $1.6 million in cap space. However, there’s no question that the Ducks got the best player in this trade. As well, I don’t like the fact that Whitney has lingering issues with his feet. Signing another player with ongoing injury concerns is disconcerting.

3. How have injuries de-railed the team?

It’s actually been one hell of a year for injuries. I myself get sickened when I hear Oilers management use the injuries as an excuse for the team’s performance this season. At the same time, the litany of injuries is getting pretty remarkable.

To an extent, the injuries have resulted from a combination of bad luck and poor management. The single biggest injury to impact this team was the season ending back injury for Nikolai Khabibulin.

Now, signing an over 35-year-old player to a 4 year contract at nearly twice the next highest goaltender signing of last summer, was monumentally stupid. Most feel that Steve Tambellini, the Oilers GM, should have been fired for signing Khabibulin to that contract. Really, there probably a few teams if any that could ride the goaltending tandem of Deslauriers and Dubnyk to a playoff spot this season.

After that, the Oilers fielded a roster of sub 200 lbs/sub 6’ tall players which has probably contributed to a degree to the injuries this season. I think that many teams took liberties while playing against the Oilers which they might not have under different circumstances.

Finally, I think if nothing else, the injuries have exposed the lack of depth and poor construction of the Oilers roster. At the end of the day, all things considered, the silver lining in the clouds are that the injuries will help the Oilers to get a higher draft pick than they would have had they not been plagued with injuries. Either way, the Oilers current roster this season was a long way from being a competitive team.

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Here are tonight's line combinations:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Jamie Langenbrunner

Ilya Kovalchul - Dainius Zubrus - Patrik Elias

Brian Rolston - Rob Niedermayer - David Clarkson

Andrew Peters - Dean McAmmond - Vladimir Zharkov

Bryce Salvador - Andy Greene

Colin White - Mike Mottau

Anssi Salmela - Martin Skoula

Martin Brodeur

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Live Blog: Devils Cut Lead To Two, 5-3, In The Third Period; Kovalchuk OK After Hit In First

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

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The Devils scored two goals in 1:18 and cut the Flames lead to two, 5-3, in the third period of tonight's game at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Kovalchuk followed with his 34th goal of the season. Elias passed the puck to Kovalchuk, who took a shot from the right circle. The puck trickled through Kiprusoff and over the goal line.

Parise's second goal of the game at 16:08 cut the Flames lead, 5-2.

With Mark Giordano in the box for roughing, Zajac carried the puck into the zone. Two Flames pinned him on the side boards, but Zajac found a way to get the puck to Langenbrunner in the slot. Langenbrunner one-timed the shot, and Kiprusoff made the initial save. The puck trickled behind him, and Parise tapped the puck into the open net for his 30th goal of the season.

Matt Stajan and Brandon Moss scored 33 seconds apart to extend the Flames lead to  5-1.

Moss created a turnover after a hit in the Devils zone. Niklas Hagman took a shot that hit Moss in front of the net. The puck slid by Brodeur and toward the right post. Moss put the puck past Brodeur for his eighth goal of the season.

Stajan scored after Brodeur gave up another big rebound in the zone. Rene Bourque took a shot from the slot that bounced off of Brodeur's right pad. Stajan collected the loose puck in the zone and put the puck through Brodeur's pads for his 19th goal of the season.

That makes five straight goals for the Flames.

Clarkson and Mayers fought again at 10:34 of the third period. They both threw some big punches, but Clarkson landed more and took Mayers down again.

After the fight, Clarkson went back to the locker room.

Clarkson has been the only Devil to be physical tonight. Calgary used their physical game to set the tone, and they've absolutely dominated the game.

It hasn't helped that Brodeur continues to give up rebound after rebound. After looking sharp in the first period, his play has regressed greatly.

The Flames scored three straight goals in the second period to take the lead, 3-1.

The Flames outshot the Devils, 11-8 in the period. The Devils lead in overall shots, 17-16.

Eric Nystrom's goal at 16:04 put the Flames ahead by two.

Glencross was the key to that goal. After coming off the bench for a change, Glencross beat Andy Greene and eliminated the icing. He checked Greene into the sideboards, and the Devils defenseman turned the puck over to Nystrom. Nystrom drove to the front of the net, and Brodeur tried to poke the puck away. It snuck under Brodeur's pads and across the crease, and Nystrom backhanded the puck past a diving Brodeur for his seventh goal of the season.

That makes three unanswered Flames goals in the period.

Curtis Gelncross' shorthanded goal at 5:41 put the Flames ahead, 2-1.

Kovalchuk took the puck at the point after a Devils face-off win. He tried to make one too many moves, and Glencross stripped him of the puck. Glencross chased it down at center ice and broke in alone on Brodeur. He put the puck high over the glove for his third shorthanded goal of the season.

The Devils are 0-for-3 tonight on the powerplay.

Calgary has absolutely dominated the Devils this period. They've played a physical game, putting a hit on any Devil who touches the puck. Their forcheck has been aggressive, and the Devils can barely get anything going in the zone.

David Clarkson and Jamal Mayers fought at 9:10 of the period. None of them really threw many punches, but Clarkson body-slammed Mayers down to the ice to end the fight.

Daymond Langkow's goal at 1:43 tied the game at one.

The Flames were able to catch the Devils top line of Parise, Travis Zajac and Langenbrunner on the ice for an extended period of time. After a faceoff win, Christopher Higgins took the puck behind the net. Higgins took a shot from the goal line hit the stick of Brodeur and went right to Langkow in the slot. Langkow backhanded the puck past Brodeur for his 12th goal of the season.

Zach Parise broke the scoreless tie 13:37 into the opening period.

Andy Greene broke up a clearing attempt on the forecheck in the Flames zone. The defenseman shot the puck, but it missed and bounced out from behind the net. Jamie Langenbrunner grabbed the puck at the goal line and sent a pass between his legs to Parise. Parise let go a shot from the right side of the net that beat Mikka Kiprusoff for the goal.

The Devils led the period in shots, 9-5.

Brian Rolston made a great defensive play with 16 seconds left in the period. With the Flames on a 3-on-2 break, Rolston skated in behind the play. As Jarome Iginla got ready to fire a one-timer, Rolston put his stick blade down and stopped Iginla from getting off the shot.

There was a scary collision between Devils left-winger Ilya Kovalchuk and Flames defenseman Steve Staois. Kovalchuk got in front of Staios on a race to the boards for a puck. As Kovalchuk went to get the puck, he lost an edge. He went down to the ice, and Staois' knee hit Kovalchuk in the head. Staois hit his face off the top runner of the boards. Both players were able to skate back to their respective benches.

Kovalchuk went back to the locker room after the hit. He returned to the ice at 8:20 and played on the second line.

Brodeur looks sharp so far, and the defense has blocked five or six shots so far this period.

Calgary has controlled the pace of play so far. They've been getting quality shots on net, and the Devils haven't been able to get anything going.

Here are the starting lineups:

DEVILS

Forwards: Zach Parise-Travis Zajac-Jamie Langenbrunner. Defensemen: Bryce Salvador-Andy Greene. Goaltender: Martin Brodeur.

FLAMES

Forwards: Rene Bourque-Matt Stajan-Jarome Iginla. Defensemen: Ian White-Robyn Regehr. Goaltender: Miikka Kiprusoff.

Before the game, the Flames honored five members of the Canadian women's hockey team. They also brought out other gold-medal winners.

The Devils will face former coach Brent Sutter for the first time. Sutter stepped down last year to be closer to family, but took the Flames coaching job.

New Jersey is also looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since January. The team defeated Montreal Canadians 2-1 in overtime January 9 and defeated the Rangers, 1-0, in a shootout January 12. They haven't won two consecutive regulation games since January 2 in Minnesota and January 5 at home against Dallas.

Martin Brodeur will start in net for the Devils.

With Pittsburgh's win last night, the Devils fall into second in the Atlantic Division. They are one point behind the Penguins.

Rod Pelley, Andrew Peters and Martin Skoula are the Devils healthy scratches. Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond remains on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

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Live Game Blog: Langenbrunner's EN Goal Extends Lead, 5-2, In The Third Period; Kovalchuk Scores First Goal As A Devil

Written by AJ Manderichio on .


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Langenbrunner's empty-net goal at 19:18 gave the Devils a three goal lead over the Predators, 5-2, tonight at the Prudential Center.

Langenbrunner caused a turnover at the blue line and easily flicked the puck into the empty net for his 15th goal of the season.

Parise's powerplay goal at 13:08 increased the Devils lead over the Predators, 4-2.

With Dan Hamhuis in the box for tripping, Kovalchuk carried the puck down the side boards. He tried to pass the puck to the front, but it deflected off of defenseman Shea Weber's skate. The puck slid into the slot, where Parise put a wrist shot past Rinne for his 27th goal of the season.

That was the first powerplay tally of the night for the Devils. They were 0-for-4 with the man advantage to that point.

Kovalchuk's goal at 8:24 of the period broke the tie.

Elias carried the puck up the side boards and sent a backhanded pass to a wide-open, streaking Kovalchuk. The Devils left-winger skated to the slot and sent a wrist shot past the outstretched glove of Rinne for his first goal as a Devil.

After he scored the goal, some fans decided to throw their hats on the ice to celebrate the goal.

This game would not be close if not for the play of Rinne. The Predators goalie has made some incredible saves tonight, and, even though the Devils missed a few opportunities, Rinne has had to stand on his head to keep his team in the game.

Devils coach Jacques Lemaire once again shifted his lines tonight. Patrick Elias is now centering a line with Kovalchuk and Langenbrunner. Dainius Zubrus moved up to the first line and is playing right wing with Parise and Zajac.

Kovalchuk almost had his first goal as a Devil with 22 seconds left in the second period. With the Devils in the zone, Elias carried the puck behind the goal line. He sent a pass to the front, but Kovalchuk couldn't put the puck past Rinne.

The Predators led the period in shots, 10-9. The Devils lead in total shots, 22-16.

Patrick Elias' goal at 2:30 in the second period tied the game, 2-2.

Elias received the puck at the blue line and took a slapshot from the point that beat Rinne high for his 11th goal of the season.

Jordin Tootoo's goal 46 seconds into the second period put the Predators ahead, 2-1.

The goal was a bad one by Brodeur. Tootoo skated in over the blue line and used a Devils defenseman to screen Brodeur high. He snuck the puck low on Brodeur for his fourth goal of the season.

The Devils have now been outscored, 12-1, in the second period in their last six games.

The Devils outshot the Predators, 13-6, in the first period.

Patrick Elias had a chance to give the Devils a lead late in the first. With 20 seconds left in the period, Elias found a way to slip behind the Predators defense. He received the puck at the blue line and moved in on a breakaway and carried the puck to the slot. He let go a wrist shot low, but Rinne blocked the puck with his pads for the stop.

Cal O'Reilly's powerplay goal at 18:30 of the first period tied the game.

Dan Hamhuis began the play at the point. Hamhuis sent a pass to Colin Wilson in the left circle, and he found O'Reilly in the slot with a perfect pass. O'Reilly's shot beat Brodeur high glove side, where it bounced off the crossbar and in for the goal.

It's O'Reilly's second goal of the season.

Parise had a golden opportunity to give the Devils a two-goal lead during a 5-on-3 powerplay chance. Langenbrunner sent the puck from the point to Parise in the right circle. Parise had an open net, but put the puck through the crease.

The Devils also seemed to be trying to get Ilya Kovalchuk set up for some shots during that powerplay. They moved the puck well, but it seemed they were trying to force it to him.

Travis Zajac's starting the scoring at 9:49 of the first period.

Jamie Langenbrunner carried the puck into the Predators zone, where he skated around three defensemen. He went into the slot and held the puck just below the goal line, bringing goalie Pekka Rinne out of the net. Langenbrunner sent a pass from behind the net to Zajac in front, who tapped the puck into the empty net for his 19th goal of the season.

The Devils are forcing the action of play early. They've placed a lot of pressure on the Predators forwards, causing several turnovers on the forecheck. They've also been driving to the net and getting off quick shots. At just over eight minutes into the first, the Devils lead the shot total, 7-1.

Tonight's game is the final home game for the Devils before the Olympic break. The team will play in Carolina tomorrow night, and their next home game will be March 10 against the Rangers.

Zach Parise will dress and play in tonight's game. The Devils left-winger missed the game Wednesday night against the Flyers with a stiff neck.

The Devils two recent call ups, Matt Corrente and Cory Murphy, will dress and play in tonight's game. Andrew Peters and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (placed on injured reserve today with an undisclosed injury) are the scratches tonight.

Here are the lineups from pre-game warmups (according to Tom Gulitti, Bergen Record reporter)

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Jamie Langenbrunner

Ilya Kovalchuk - Dainius Zubrus - Patrick Elias

Brian Rolston - Rob Niedermayer - Vladmir Zharkov

Rod Pelley - Dean McAmmond - Matt Corrente

 

Bryce Salvador - Andy Greene

Colin White - Mike Mottau

Mark Fraser - Cory Murphy

Martin Brodeur

 

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Game 21: As They Play The Stars

Written by Darren S. on .

I don't get to do this very often because getting to the TV for the drop of the puck at 7pm is impossible but since this game is in Dallas and kicking off at 8pm NJ time, I figured this was the best time to do... so as they play, come chat with us here....

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