Danis gets nod for second half vs. Tampa
Martin Brodeur had gotten the start, allowing three goals on seven shots. The Devils will have 29:12 to rebound from a 3-0 deficit.
"I think it's more that Marty has been playing a lot," head coach Jacques Lemaire said Sunday. "It's not three games in three nights, but it's the focus that takes energy, and this is a lot. He had good work last night. He was quite busy, so we have to do it."
Brodeur made 29 saves in Saturday's 2-1 overtime win at Montreal. Zach Parise's breakaway goal at 2:38 of the extra session clinched the Devils' third straight victory. Travis Zajac also scored in regulation.
Danis is 3-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in four appearances this season. It will be the second straight relief appearance for Danis, who came in for Brodeur at Atlanta on Dec. 19 and recorded a victory.
Lemaire said Brodeur, who has started 22 straight games, could use the time off.
"It's only because they were leading 3-0, we were playing Montreal after and we'd give him the rest," said Lemaire. "We're trying to find him rest at different times, and that was an opportunity."
The coach said a quick strike tonight would be key.
"You would like to get a goal early if you can," he said. "You get a goal early, you're still two back but you still have time. You want to play the way we've been playing, getting some chances and play hard."
He admitted the circumstances are a little strange.
"It is, but we take it like a game," he said. "I think it will be strange when we go there and we see the clock at (9:12) and we know we have a period and a half to play. Right now you prepare like it's a game."
Jamie Langenbrunner thinks conventional strategy needs to be thrown out the window.
"We're going to have to be on the attack and try to create something," the captain said. "We can't just play a normal game. It'll definitely be a little bit of a change for us and the philosophy that we take into playing games. There is still almost 30 minutes left, and I think we can score three goals in 30 minutes."
Langenbrunner said the pressure to finish strong rests on Tampa Bay.
"For them, it's kind of chalked up as a win," he explained. "For us, it's kind of the opposite: we really have nothing to lose and we have to kind of go with that mindset."
The Devils dominated much of the play on Friday, and had outshot the Lightning, 20-7, when the game was interrupted.
"At that point we were controlling a lot of the game anyway and doing a lot of good things anyway," Langenbrunner said. "We actually felt pretty good about the way we were playing. We had a couple of bad breaks that wound up in our net, but we were playing well and we have to continue to do that. Hopefully we'll get a few bounces here. Their goalie (Mike Smith) had two days to sit on a shutout, and I don't know if that's a good thing or not. It's a situation that I'm pretty sure none of the 40 guys involved have ever been in."