NEWS

Lemaire hopes for quick clinch

Thursday, 03.25.2010 / 3:41 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Lemaire hopes for quick clinch
A Devils win against the Rangers on Thursday coupled with an Atlanta loss of any kind to Toronto would clinch New Jersey’s 13th straight appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Jacques Lemaire says the sooner, the better.

“It’s always better because every team that clinches a playoff spot, they get a weight off their back,” said the head coach. “Then they can start to focus on getting ready for the playoffs. It’s always a weight that you carry when you’re in the race.”

When asked about the obstacles the Devils have overcome this season, Lemaire downplayed the impact of injuries. Patrik Elias, David Clarkson, Paul Martin and Dainius Zubrus each missed significant time this year, and the Devils didn’t have a fully healthy lineup until Martin’s return on March 17.

To Lemaire, though, the Devils haven’t faced any more adversity than anyone else.

“Maybe at the start of the season we got some breaks because we were working hard. That got us points,” he said. “The rest, every team gets it. They get a bad period, it’s the first period, it’s the second period. The power play’s not going, the power play is going. The penalty kill’s not good at a certain time; good after that. It’s every team.”

For now, Lemaire plans to see what develops from his lines with Elias between Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner, and Travis Zajac centering Ilya Kovalchuk and Brian Rolston.

“Travis is the guy, he’s going to help a lot to make plays for his wingers,” he said. “He’s going to help a lot to hold on to the puck to make plays for his winger. He’s going to help a lot defensively, he’s going to help a lot offensively. He’s a complete player.”

The Devils have so much talent in their top six forwards that the distinction between the first and second lines has become blurred.

“I think the two lines are good,” Lemaire said. “Our two top lines are good, and (either) could be the top line depending on the night.”

• Jay Pandolfo will be back in the lineup against the Rangers. 

• The Devils had nine skaters and goaltender Yann Danis on the ice for Thursday’s optional morning skate: David Clarkson, Rod Pelley, Vladimir Zharkov, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Andrew Peters, and defensemen Andy Greene, Mark Fraser, Anssi Salmela and Martin Skoula. 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59