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NEWS

Opening Night always a thrill

Saturday, 10.03.2009 / 12:13 PM / 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 MTL 64 41 18 5 172 142 87
2 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
3 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
11 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
M. Cammalleri 52 24 10 5 34
A. Henrique 57 12 20 -2 32
P. Elias 54 10 17 -12 27
S. Gomez 40 5 19 -10 24
T. Zajac 56 10 10 -3 20
S. Bernier 49 10 9 0 19
A. Larsson 46 3 16 5 19
M. Ryder 44 6 12 -2 18
A. Greene 64 2 13 7 15
E. Gelinas 44 5 9 -2 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 24 23 6 .928 2.17
K. Kinkaid 3 4 3 .915 2.59