njdtv MyDevils Account
DEVILS TV

Gathering storm?

Playoff hopes could hinge on three upcoming games with Carolina

Monday, 02.07.2011 / 3:28 PM / News
By Eric Marin
X
Share with your Friends


Gathering storm?
Brodeur is 8-1-1 in his last 10 starts, but could miss Tuesday's meeting with the Hurricanes after injuring his knee Sunday in Montreal. He has been a driving force behind the Devils playoff push.
share
email
The Devils have stuck to a game-at-a-time approach during their second-half march toward the playoff bubble.

They have taken small steps, first climbing out of last overall, then putting the Islanders (more points) and Senators (more wins) in their rearview.

Currently 13th in the East, the Devils' 9-1-2 mark in the last 12 games has gotten them within 16 points of Carolina for the final playoff spot.

Over 12 days, they face the Hurricanes twice at home and once on the road, a stretch that could determine whether the postseason is a possibility or a pipe dream.

The Devils (19-30-4) were 10-29-2 before this stretch, which began with a 6-3 win over Southeast-leading Tampa Bay on Jan. 9. Since then, they have collected 20 of a possible 24 points. They have outscored opponents 41-24, tallying four or more goals five times, and limiting opponents to two goals or less eight times.

Impressive numbers that have added up to a lot of newfound optimism.

“Definitely,” Sestito said. “We still have a lot of work cut out for us, and I don’t think anyone’s looking too far ahead, but that said, [that’s] a team that’s got the eight spot right now. We’re playing them a bunch of times. There’s a lot of teams we have to jump, but as long as we’re getting the points and not giving them to anybody else, that’s good. We just have to make sure we’re getting two points, not just one.”

Johan Hedberg was valiant in relief of Martin Brodeur on Sunday, making 14 saves including 10 in the third period of a 4-1 win in Montreal.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in here doubting that we have a chance,” said Hedberg. “I know I’m not. As hopeless as it maybe felt for a bit is as hopeful as it feels right now. It’s going to take a mammoth effort, but it’s a positive challenge.”

Hedberg said Devils' postseason quest is "a positive challenge."
The schedule brings three games in four nights this week and next. For now, it’s uncertain how much of that will be played without Brodeur, who suffered a knee bruise Sunday. He stopped the 11 shots he faced, but didn't return for the second period.

Brodeur also didn't skate in Monday’s optional practice and Jacques Lemaire doesn’t think he'll be available when the Hurricanes visit Prudential Center on Tuesday.

“I don’t think we’ll have him,” Lemaire said. “And I’ve got no news on how long.”

No Brodeur means Hedberg will need to be ready again. He made 25 saves in Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Florida, then stopped 14 of 15 shots in relief of Brodeur on Sunday.

“I have no idea what’s going to happen with him, so I’m just going to play to whatever they tell me to do and not look too far ahead of that,” Hedberg said. “Whatever the situation is, I’ll deal with it.”

A win over the Hurricanes could get the Devils within 14 points of eighth place with 28 games to go. Carolina and Atlanta were tied in points entering Monday’s action, with the Thrashers set to visit Toronto.

It's a big opportunity. But with so much ground to gain, most of the Devils' remaining 29 figure to be crucial.

“Bigger game than Montreal? It’s still two points,” Lemaire said. “You lose in Montreal, you beat [Carolina], you’re still in the same spot. We’ve got to play. We’ve got to play good. We’ve got to try to play as good as we can, that’s the thing.”

This will be the Devils' second meeting with Carolina. They lost 6-3 in Raleigh on New Year's Day.

Lemaire mum on future
Lemaire was asked Monday about comments he made in Montreal suggesting he hasn’t ruled out coming back to coach next season.

“I said that I’ll talk about next year after this year,” Lemaire clarified.

“It means that I’m going to finish the season and then I’ll decide what I do after,” he said. “I’ll tell you exactly what I do after. Let me finish the season and we’re going to sit down and I’ll tell you.”

Is that a change from his previous position?

“Doesn’t mean anything. It just means that instead of talking now, I’ll talk after the season,” he said. “This is a good game. It’s a fun game. So is golf. It’s exciting to win games. It’s fun. And when I play under 80, it’s fun.”

Power play looking for a charge
The power play generated six shots in two opportunities Sunday, but has gone scoreless in 12 chances over the past five games.

“We’re getting some shots, we’re moving the puck well,” Lemaire said. “The right guy has to make the right play at the right time.”

Rookie Mark Fayne led the defensemen with 1:33 logged with the man advantage.

“He’s got a good shot, he’s learning, he’s a right hand shot.” Lemaire said.

Twelve players took part in Monday's optional:
Forwards: David Clarkson, Mattias Tedenby, Rod Pelley, Nick Palmieri, Vladimir Zharkov, Adam Mair, Tim Sestito
Defensemen: Mark Fayne, Anton Volchenkov, Mark Fraser, Anssi Salmela
Goaltender: Johan Hedberg

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51

CONNECT WITH US

          
(c) New Jersey Devils 2014 - All Rights Reserved
newjerseydevils.com is the official web site of the New Jersey Devils, a member team of the National Hockey League ("NHL"). NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 New Jersey Devils and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Advertise With Us | Contact Us | Terms of UseEmploymentNHL.com Terms of Use |  Site Map