NEWS

Rolston gets look on line with Kovy, Zajac

Tuesday, 03.23.2010 / 2:40 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Rolston gets look on line with Kovy, Zajac
Rolston looking to come through on offense for Devils.
The Devils have scored once in their last two games, and have gone six outings without connecting on the power play. Jacques Lemaire is hoping to change his team’s fortunes on offense, and was set to try Brian Rolston on the right side of Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac against Columbus on Tuesday.

Lemaire coached Rolston in Minnesota, where he posted three straight seasons with 30-or-more goals. Besides getting the team’s offense flowing once again, Lemaire would also like to get Rolston reignited over the final 11 games of the regular season.

“There’s all kinds of messages in that move,” Lemaire said. “That’s where he should play, so we give him a chance to play there and then we’ll see. It’s up to him to take advantage of it and do the best he can.”

Rolston has 18 goals and 14 assists this season, but has been held off the scoresheet in his last five appearances.

“I don’t really have a ton of say about it,” Rolston said about the move. “I thought our line was playing well together, and I think (Lemaire's) just trying to find ways of getting some offense. We haven’t been scoring much lately, maybe he’s just switching things around a little bit. Maybe that’ll make that other line click, and maybe this line will click as well. I think that’s what’s important.”

Rolston skated the right side with Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias at center in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to St. Louis. He recorded four shots in the game and didn't feel the change was about helping his confidence. He had previously been on a trio with Rob Niedermayer and David Clarkson.

“I felt our line was playing well with Nieder and Clarky, so it’s not a matter of getting a confidence boost from that,” he said. “I just want to play consistent and start producing a little more.”

Rolston is second to Zach Parise (301) with 210 shots on the season. His big slapshot combined with Kovalchuk’s playmaking could prove to be a lethal combo. Kovalchuk has 248 shots this season, including 69 in 16 games with New Jersey.

“Kovy sees everybody on the ice,” said Lemaire. “When you don’t expect the puck, he’s going to send it to you because you’re open. You could be close, you could be far, but he sees you.”

Zajac agreed.

“He’s a great passer,” Zajac said. “I didn’t know that until he came here, actually. Just watching him in practice, watching him in games, he can find seams through guys' sticks and skates. He makes plays that I wouldn’t, and you have to expect the puck from him because sometimes it’s a tough pass, but he somehow finds ways to make it.”

Zajac’s role at center will be setting up two of the most feared shooters in the Devils’ lineup.

“They’re both players that are good with the puck, have great vision,” he said. “I think it’s my job on the line to try and get them the puck and make sure they get some quality opportunities.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 69 16 24 -3 40
M. Cammalleri 62 25 13 3 38
P. Elias 63 11 21 -16 32
S. Gomez 52 7 24 -7 31
S. Bernier 61 13 14 3 27
T. Zajac 68 11 12 -4 23
A. Larsson 58 3 19 3 22
A. Greene 76 3 18 3 21
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 56 6 11 -3 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 28 8 .928 2.19
K. Kinkaid 5 5 3 .918 2.47