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NEWS

Sutter focuses on Devils' special teams

Tuesday, 10.14.2008 / 2:20 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Sutter focuses on Devils\' special teams
newjerseydevils.com – The Devils have picked up two wins in their first three games, despite a power play that's not yet firing on all cylinders.

New Jersey has started the year 1-for-11 with the man advantage (9.1%), and has gone nine straight opportunities without a goal. Head coach Brent Sutter said after Monday's 4-1 loss to the Rangers that special teams proved to be the difference.

To that end, Sutter devoted some of Tuesday's practice to special teams, and hoped the extra work would jumpstart his club's offense.

"Working on your power play means you're working on your PK, too," Sutter said following the Devils' skate at AmeriHealth Pavilion. "We want to be better on both."

Scoring was a concern last season for the Devils, who finished 27th in total offense with 198 goals. In the early going of the new campaign, they are tied for last in the East, 11 goals behind the league-leading Rangers. The power play, said Sutter, is the key to a turnaround.

"We scored five goals in three games, and I'm not even saying that's a bad thing because we're 2-1," Sutter added. "But the fact is that if our power play is able to get two or three goals in those three games then maybe it's eight goals, and that's not bad. That's the difference."

The Devils were 0-for-3 on the power play in Monday's 4-1 loss to the Rangers. That followed an 0-for-4 night in Saturday's 2-1 win at Pittsburgh.

New Jersey's penalty kill has allowed four goals on 14 chances (71.4%), including two power play tallies to New York's Aaron Voros on Monday.

"Our PK has been good," Sutter commented. "Last night, we just got on the wrong side of guys we were supposed to be [covering]. I know Pittsburgh scored on it, and the Islanders scored one skating in front of the net. We've just got to work on [the power play and the penalty kill] and make them better."

Sutter did express some satisfaction in how his team has fared at even strength.

"We've done a reasonably good job on 5-on-5 play," he said. "Last night we got away from it for a span where we had too many turnovers. Other than that, our 5-on-5 play has been pretty good."

But the head coach came back to the issue of special teams with the Devils set to wrap up their four-game road trip later this week.

"We've outshot teams, but the power play has to produce for you. It has to score goals. A power play can change the momentum of a game pretty quickly," he said.

After three straight match-ups against Atlantic Division opponents, the Devils visit Atlanta Thursday and Washington Saturday. New Jersey returns home to face Dallas on Thursday, Oct. 22, when the team will host Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night. GET TICKETS


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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 48 32 13 3 128 108 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 NYI 49 32 16 1 158 139 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
7 NYR 47 28 15 4 139 112 60
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10 PHI 51 22 22 7 140 151 51
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12 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
13 NJD 50 19 22 9 113 138 47
14 CBJ 48 21 24 3 120 151 45
15 CAR 49 17 26 6 105 129 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 43 10 17 -1 27
J. Jagr 46 10 16 -12 26
M. Cammalleri 38 16 7 -2 23
P. Elias 40 6 15 -13 21
M. Zidlicky 50 4 16 -8 20
M. Ryder 42 6 12 -2 18
S. Gomez 26 4 13 -6 17
S. Bernier 35 8 8 3 16
T. Zajac 42 8 8 -6 16
M. Havlat 32 5 8 -9 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Kinkaid 2 3 3 .919 2.34
C. Schneider 17 19 5 .922 2.36