Things are changing drastically here at Running With The Devils.
Since our last blog post on February 12, which recapped the Devils' loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, our staff has shuffled around. Former writers Devin Mattera and Raj Vaidya left Running With The Devils to join the Devils Army Blog staff; additionally, former editor Darren joined the crew over at The Hockey Writers. Writer Scott Robb has taken over the operation of the blog.
Running With The Devils will be returning from its brief hiatus on Saturday, March 2, to recap the Devils' contest against theBuffalo Sabres.
Visit us on our brand new twitter page and like us on facebook. There are a lot of great things in store for this site in the near future! Stay tuned.
Things are changing drastically here at Running With The Devils.
The New Jersey Devils' five-game winning streak came to an abrupt end on Tuesday evening. The Devils were defeated by a fiesty Carolina Hurricanes team in a game that could have easily gone the Devils' way. After falling behind 2-1 going into the third, the Devils tied the game at two, but allowed two more unanswered goals before time ran out.
While the game did not turn out the way New Jersey had hoped, they remain at the top of the Eastern Conference at 8-2-3.
The Devils hit a road bump last week in Pittsburgh and responded well. Hopefully, they can do the same after yesterday's loss. The focus in the locker room must now be on the fact that the Philadelphia Flyers are rolling into town on Friday night.
Ilya Kovalchuk collected his fifth goal of the season last night on a first period Devils powerplay. The play was ruled "no goal" on the ice, but upon further review, the call was overturned. The powerplay was decent at best last night; good puck movement, as usual, just not enough shots.
Jussi Jokinen tied the game for Carolina early on in the second period. The Canes added another goal 18:29 into the middle frame to take the lead. Patrick Dwyer tallied his fourth of the season to put Carolina in front 2-1.
New Jersey made some clear adjustments in the locker room between the second and third periods. They came out with a faster pace of play and had several quality chances. Ryan Carter took a loose puck away from a Carolina defender and sneaked one by goaltender Cam Ward to tie the game at two. Carter's second goal of the season came 1:34 into the third and shifted the momentum back to the Jersey side.
Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Mark Fayne, who missed the morning skate yesterday due to a death within his family, took a useless (a very useless, that is) penalty 6:31 into the third which sent the Hurricanes to the powerplay attack. Jiri Tlusty wasted no time and scored less than a minute later what would be the game-winning goal.
The Devils had a chance to tie the game late in the third but were shorthanded, yet again, after Andy Greene was called for tripping with under three minutes to play. Jiri Tlusty iced the game with his second goal of the night (an empty-netter) and propelled the Hurricanes to a 4-2 victory.
- The Devils did not play their best game of the year last night. You win some, you lose some. New Jersey has a big divisional match-up coming up this Friday night and can make a quick response to last night's game by beating the Flyers on home ice.
- The stupid penalties have to stop. Nothing more to say here.
- Despite not playing so great, the Devils had a chance to win this game. Clarkson could not connect on a golden opportunity early on in the third in which he and Henrique had a 2-on-1. Butler also fanned on a shot as the puck was trickling across the crease with under a minute to play. It was a difficult shot, but one that he could have made.
- Dainius Zubrus has been placed on Injured Reserve. Andrei Loktionov has been recalled from Albany. I am excited to see what this kid's got. Hopefully, he gets a solid opportunity to play and produces.
As mentioned, the Devils are back in action on Friday night against the Philadelphia Flyers. I will be at the game, so stop by and say hello. Section 107, row 7, first seat! We have to ROCK the ROCK on Friday and say NO to orange! Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM EST.
For all of your latest Devils news and reaction, follow Running With The Devils (and me) on twitter. Let's go Devils!
Carolina Hurricanes (6-4-1) @ New Jersey Devils (8-1-3)
This is Carolina’s first trip to the rock this season. The Canes are 6-3-1 in their last 10 and 4-2-1 on the road. Carolina is currently sitting in 1st place in the Southeast Division and in 3rd place overall in the Eastern Conference
The Devils Last Game
They rolled into Pittsburgh and behind Clarkson’s two goal night and another from Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils completed a weekend sweep of the Penguins. You can read Scott’s recap on that game right here.
The Hurricanes Last Game
They traveled to Long Island last night to take on the Islanders which turned out to be a very high scoring affair. Carolina, who battled back a number of times in this game was able to grab the lead at 4-3 in the third and hang on for a 6-4 victory.
The Canes have speed and talent. The Staal brothers, Jeff Skinner, Alex Semin and as of very recently, Jiri Tlusty are guys that can give you problems. The Devils will need to play disciplined hockey, stay out of the box and stick to the PDB system and I think we can stop the Canes top guys and get pucks into their net. Too many chances on the PP might be a deadly scenario for us tonight, despite our recent PK success.
The Penguins were successful at clogging the middle of the ice on Saturday afternoon but then got away from that on Sunday night which allowed David Clarkson to get back to doing his thing, which apparently is pumping pucks into the net on a nightly basis. I would expect that the Canes saw that on tape and will take that approach tonight.
NJ’s Possible Line Combinations
Zubrus will be scratched again tonight and Tallinder looks to be a healthy scratch again.
Guys I Will Be Watching Tonight
For Carolina – Jiri Tlusty has 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 2 games and points in four of his last five. Jussi Jokinen is having the best season but he ALWAYS seems to be a pest when the Canes and Devils get together.
For NJ – Of course we have to keep our eye on Clarkson. The guy is having a tremendous season and you have to hope it can continue, no matter what that means come July. Elias just keeps piling up the assist numbers and while I’d like to see more goals, assists are important as well. And finally, Adam Larsson who is coming off arguably his best game of the season.
So I used to be all over this guy because every training camp I would pick that year to be the year Clarkson broke out. And every year he would disappoint me. That is until Pete DeBoer got here. Clarkson is thriving under DeBoer and this season seems to be no expection. 12 games, 9 goals, 6 assists, 15 points. Show of hands, who predicted this kind of season for Clarkson? I'm keeping my hand down because I certainly did not.
I always thought David Clarkson could be this generation's Randy McKay. You know, the type of player that gets in front of the net, pesters the goalie, is there to jump on rebounds and not afraid to mix it up when push comes to shove.The thing is, Randy McKay never turned heads like David Clarkson is doing...
Keep it up Clarky!!no comments
The New Jersey Devils extended their winning-streak to five games on Sunday evening after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 3-1. The Devils dominated the Penguins this weekend, outscoring their division rival 6-2 in two games and playing solid hockey for the full 120 minutes.
Ryan Carter energized the Devils as soon as the puck dropped. He scrapped with Robert Bortuzzo and got a few good hits in. The Devils committed only three minor penalties tonight and kept the Penguins off the board on the penalty kill.
David Clarkson collected his eighth and ninth goals of the season tonight, propelling the Devils to victory. Ilya Kovalchuk added his fourth tally of the year in between.
And what else can be said about Devils' goaltender Johan Hedberg? Moose played in his third game this season, stopping 23 of 24 shots, and collected his second win. Throughout those three games, Hedberg has only allowed 2 goals and is 2-0-1. It is nice to know that there is a solid goaltender ready to go behind Martin Brodeur--Hedberg definitely provides that comfort.
Photo: Keith Srakocic
The Devils power play has really come to life over the five-game win streak. After going 1-for-1 tonight, New Jersey has connected on seven of its last 22 opportunities (32%). Excellent puck movement has led to goals, and goals lead to wins.
The Devils defense really stepped it up tonight. Evgeni Malkin was limited to just one point (an assist) tonight, while Sidney Crosby put up a goose egg in the points column. The "superstar" forwards were held to a combined one point in the home-and-home series.
I am happy to report that there are no negatives, as far as I can see, with the way the Devils are playing as of late. If they keep this up, they are serious Cup contenders. And don't tell me that our fast start "doesn't matter." Of course it does. In a shortened season, getting off to a good start is key.
New Jersey is now 8-1-3 to start the year. They have collected 19 out of 24 possible points, good enough for second in the NHL. The Devils are on pace for 76/96 points this year. That will win the Eastern Conference. Guaranteed.
Jersey's Team looks to continue its red-hot play on Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM at The Rock. For all of your latest Devils news and reaction, follow us on twitter. Staff writer Scott Robb can also be found on twitter.
I can’t even describe my emotions right now. Despite a killer blizzard, the old saying goes, “The show must go on.” Well, it did and that game was a beauty. Two teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New Jersey Devils, both came into this game on big win streaks and high spirits. The winner would enjoy the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference lead for the next 28 hours. Though it was a very shaky and uncertain start, the Devils overcame any obstacles that were thrown at them by the Penguins and delivered a masterful performance.
The first period was a struggle for New Jersey. Pittsburgh’s Brandon Sutter opened the scoring a minute and a half into the game on the power play. From that point, the majority of the period (and match too) was themed with penalties. Unfortunately when the Devils had the power play, they were very mediocre. At one point, I was wondering whether it was worth declining those Penguins penalties. The second period also featured more Pittsburgh penalties but I was happy to see a massive improvement from the Devils. They were passing and shooting the puck very skillfully and though there were no goals, I felt that it would only be time before they get one past Marc-Andre Fleury. On the other end, Marty Brodeur was having one hell of a game (no pun intended) and made some great saves on players, such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Regardless, my patience was thinning but with three and a half minutes left in the 2nd, Stefan Matteau, out of all others, freed my anxiety. After taking a great slap pass from Andy Greene, Matteau was left all alone on Fleury’s left side and wristed the puck into the goal. It was a great goal for Matteau and what a better time for him to get his first ever in the NHL? With the game tied, suddenly now the momentum was all belonging to New Jersey and I felt very confident about a breakout 3rd period. The only blemish the Devils had in that 2nd period was when Marty left his crease to retrieve his stick and Malkin shot the puck at the net from across the ice. The puck was sliding on Marty’s crease but the refs blew the play dead due to an offside. That was a funny moment for Brodeur but a big sigh of relief for Devils fans. The Penguins killed themselves in the 3rd with penalties. They took so many that I’m sure most fans lost count (5 penalties). On one of those NJ power plays, Bobby Butler shot a puck that rang off the crossbar and Adam Henrique found the puck on his stick and an open net in front of him. He took full advantage of that and the Devils now had a 2-1 lead with about 9 minutes left to play. I’m sure Butler thought he had a goal on that but no worries, because he found the back of the net too on another NJ power play, just a couple of minutes after Henrique’s goal! I couldn’t believe that the Devils had a 3-1 lead over Pittsburgh based on what was happening in the early stages of the match. Brodeur silenced the final Penguins chance by making a highlight save on Malkin from the side of the net (that will definitely make SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays). The Devils held on for the 3-1 victory and with that, first place in the Atlantic Division and first place in the Eastern Conference! In addition, this is their 4th straight victory. I’d also like to thank Winter Storm Nemo for postponing tonight’s match between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning because a Bruins win would have put them in first place. New Jersey will have a huge rematch with these heartbroken Penguins tomorrow in Pittsburgh. The game will not be easy but I have faith so bring it on and let’s go Devils! A win would be golden. Puck drop is set for 7:30 P.M. and the game will be broadcasted on the NBC Sports Network.no comments
While our fellow writers, Devin Mattera and Scott Robb, were in attendance tonight, I was running errands but made sure to catch up with this game on the radio. After the 2nd intermission, I was able to watch the game on TV. Regardless of the way I followed this game, I have to say, I was very impressed by the way the New Jersey Devils handled the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight. They’ve certainly got the momentum going their way.
I have to say, from the time the puck dropped, the Devils were controlling the play. They played a fast-paced game and I noticed every forward contributing to a scoring chance (minus Krys Barch). From what I was hearing on the radio, Stefan Matteau had a great chance to put the Devils up but unfortunately, Tampa goalie Anders Lindback made what appeared to be, a spectacular save. Though they headed to the 2nd intermission scoreless, I felt that New Jersey would break the scoring soon. Indeed that’s what happened in early in the 2nd period. Anton Volchenkov fired the puck like a bullet towards Linback. Because the shot was so strong, Adam Henrique found the rebound and put it in the net. I’m tellin ya – Henrique has been on fire since his return and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to stop any time soon. The Devils caught a bad break 10 minutes after the Henrique goal, when Lightning forward Nate Thompson made a great shot that beat Marty Brodeur high. When the Devils started taking penalties, Tampa had a great chance to take the lead but instead, it went the other way. Ilya Kovalchuk blocked a pass and took the puck into the Lightning’s zone, ever so slowly. That patience opened up a shooting lane for Kovy, and he took it. The puck beat Lindback near his glove. Kovalchuk’s late shorthanded goal gave NJ a 2-1 lead heading into the 2nd intermission. The third period was a bit concerning for me as Tampa created many chances and the Devils didn’t have a shot on goal for half of the period. The fun really started with about 6:30 to go in the game, when the Lightning got into some serious penalty trouble. When the Devils were on the regular power play, Tampa forward Adam Hall made a big mistake by taking a high-sticking penalty. Apparently that coach pissed off Lightning coach Guy Boucher, who was given a penalty as well. Two 5-on-3s for New Jersey and what better a time to get those calls go our way? Andy Greene cashed in on the first one, beating Lindback similarly to how Henrik Tallinder beat Evgeni Nabakov last week. 14 seconds later, Elias confused Lindback with his filthy puck-handling skills at the side of the net. When Elias saw the opening, he shot it and sure enough, it went for a goal. New Jersey was certainly cruising on to victory with a 4-1 lead but Tampa defenseman Matt Carle scored with about 2 minutes to go to make it a 2 goal game. The Devils had a million chances to get the empty netter but for some reason couldn’t get one. Nonetheless, Devils over the Lightning 4-2! The winning streak has now reached 3 straight games! Unfortunately the Pittsburgh Penguins embarrassed the Washington Capitals so the Atlantic Division lead still belongs to the Pens, but that can change on Saturday. Bring on the Penguins (and a snowstorm)! The puck drops in Prudential Center at 1 P.M.no comments
Tampa Bay Lightning (6-3-0) @ New Jersey Devils (5-1-3)
This is the first meeting between the two teams this season. The Devils took 3 of the 4 meetings between the two teams last season.
The big news of the day is that Zubrus will be a scratch tonight, dealing with what’s being called an “Upper Body” injury and Stephan Matteau will suit up for his 6th game meaning that his entry-level contract will now kick in. It has been widely publicized that this is no way guaranteeing that he will stick around just that we are now using year 1 for him.
The Devils Last Game – Beat the Rangers 3-1 thanks to Marty and Clarkson.
The Last Lighning Game – Lost in Philly and in my opinion Vinny L made a HUGE mistake getting into a fight down a goal with only 8 mins remaining. The Lightning are paying him to be on the ice, not in the box.
Tonight’s Game – This game will tell us a lot about the Lightning. They are on their first losing streak of the season and a win tonight could help prove that they are a top team. Lose tonight and they will most likely start to feel the pressure of a 3 game losing streak. Are these guys for real of just a team that had a better start than last season?
Game plan is easy for NJ if they watched the tape from the TB/Philly game. The reason why Philly won was their intense forecheck, both 5 on 5 and when Tampa was on the PP. Tampa has some dangerous weapons but we have the guys to shut those down.
I would really approach this game the same way we did the Rangers. Forecheck, bang some bodies around and get traffic in front.
Here are the possible line combinations for the Devils:
Stefan Matteau - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk
Patrik Elias - Adam Henrique - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Krys Barch - Jacob Josefson - Bobby Butler
Bryce Salvador - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene - Adam Larsson
That feeling a Devils fan gets when New Jersey beats the New York Rangers can’t be explained – but it sure does feel awesome! I hope we are all feeling that right now because for the 4th straight time (including playoffs), the Devils have proven that they are the better team in the Hudson River Rivalry.
This game had a terrific opening. Maybe I’m saying that because a Devils-Rangers game is always interesting and is always 10000x better than a Devils-Islanders game. But one can probably tell that the opening was pretty exciting. Great saves from Marty early when the Rangers were buzzing. But the Devils responded with some great chances of their own. Henrik Lundqvist was beaten on one of those Devils chances by guess who…Adam Henrique! I thought that the power play New Jersey got right after Henrique’s goal would easily help give the Devils a 2-0 lead. Instead we witnessed the PSEG Power Outage. When the Devils started taking penalties, I started getting worried because I thought they were losing their momentum but after a big kill on the Rangers’ 4 minute power play, the Devils got their momentum back. David Clarkson doubled the lead to 2-0 very late in the period however, props to Stephen Gionta for racing to that puck before a potential icing. That play helped set up Clarkson’s goal. The second period featured the Rangers getting a lot of shots on net, some of which had the potential to beat Marty. But his veteran goaltending kept the Rangers off the score sheet. The Devils did bounce back with a few chances of their own but that second period was pretty status quo, in my opinion. The third period needed to go the Devils’ way if they wanted to win this match because I had a slight feeling that the Rangers were on their way to causing some serious problems. But Clarkson cashed in again on the power play just 3 minutes into the third period. I felt that sealed the deal but Chris Kreider scored a few minutes later for the Rangers. From that point, most of the offense went New York’s way but Marty was terrific. Clarkson had 2 chances to get a hat trick while Lundqvist was on the bench but he couldn’t control the puck on one chance and got tripped up by Michael Del Zotto on the second chance. Regardless, New Jersey held on for a 3-1 win and now has 13 points on the season. Patrik Elias was a huge component in the win, having 3 assists and making clutch plays when needed. They trail the Penguins by 1 point (Pittsburgh beat the Islanders 4-2 earlier). This was a very important game for the Devils and they made every bit out of it. Bring on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday! Puck is set to drop in Newark at 7 P.M. Let’s go Devils!no comments