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Opening Night always a thrill

Saturday, 10.3.2009 / 12:13 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Opening Night always a thrill
Brodeur still gets excited for the opener. 
The excitement of Opening Night never gets old.

"It's fun," Martin Brodeur said. "It's the start of something new. I think everybody starts at zero, and now you're building up toward the playoffs by trying to have a great season. Here we go, you know? That's the great thing about home openers, they're always exciting because of that. It's still a hockey game, but you know that day, it's all starting."

Brodeur, who last year surpassed Patrick Roy as the winningest goalie in League history, will hit two milestones in the first game. With his 15th consecutive opening night start, he'll eclipse Roy and Terry Sawchuk for the most all-time. He'll also join Roy as the only netminders with 1,000 appearances.

Brodeur's ranks the Devils' 1996 home opener as his all-time favorite. That night, the team raised the banner commemorating their 1995 Stanley Cup title.

"Those are the most fun opening nights," he said. "Whenever you finish a season, start a new one and there's a banner, it's like, 'Wow, that's pretty cool.' We've done that three times and they're pretty special."

Jacques Lemaire coached the Devils to that first Cup and now finds himself back in New Jersey to deliver an encore. Eager "to get in and get the ball rolling," Lemaire wished the first few games were already out of the way.

"I wish it was the fifth game," he said.

After the Devils' successful exhibition season, Mike Mottau says the team is well-prepared to play the games that finally count.

"It's good to finally have that feeling of excitement coming into a game," he said. "After all the hard work in the preseason, it starts tonight." 

Jersey's Team set a franchise record with its 51-win campaign of a year ago. Their 2009 postseason fell short of expectations, but there's a long road ahead before the playoffs come back into view.

"It sounds cliché, but you have to take it one game at a time to start off," Mottau said. "You work on the new system that's been implemented, and work on executing with the options that we have. The wins will take care of themselves. We have a good group guys in here and we can't be worrying about trying to match certain numbers. Things will take care of themselves as we go throughout the season."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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