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Devils look to regroup before stretch run

Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 3:46 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Devils look to regroup before stretch run



 
The Devils are headed into the All-Star break eager to recharge and reload for a playoff push.

Tuesday's 2-1 shootout loss to Buffalo extended the Devils' skid to three games, but the point they gained kept them eighth in the East. They now have five days off before returning to practice on Monday, then host the East-leading Rangers on Tuesday.

"You have to take advantage of these breaks because it's a long season," Martin Brodeur said. "For sure, the last few games we played, we lost two big games and lost this one in a shootout, it'll be nice to just get away a little bit.

"We've played a lot of games on the road, so it's just being with our families and just hanging for awhile. You don't have to be anywhere for three or four days, it's going to be good to reenergize ourselves for the last push, here."

The Devils will have their work cut out for them. Thirteen of their remaining 34 games are against opponents currently sitting in the top four of their conference: five against the Rangers; three against the Flyers; and one each against Boston, Detroit, St. Louis, Vancouver and Washington.

"Hopefully, we'll come back ready and fresh again for the push," said leading scorer Patrik Elias. "It's a tough schedule we have remaining, tough games right away from the get-go. We just need to be better."

Shots favored the Devils, 28-14, on Tuesday, but Ryan Miller made 27 saves, including a highlight-reel stop on Ilya Kovalchuk in overtime. New Jersey dropped just its second shootout of the year (8-2) and first since Oct. 21 (vs. S.J.)

"I thought we deserved better, but that's the way it goes," coach Peter DeBoer said. "We've been on the other end of a couple of those this year. It tends to even out."

With one goal in each of their last three contests, including 4-1 defeats to Boston and Philadelphia, the Devils hope to rediscover their scoring touch.

"We did some good things this week, we didn't get rewarded for it," DeBoer said. "You've got to keep moving forward in this League. If you drag that into the next week, it's counterproductive. We have to keep moving forward.

"There's some things we have to get better at, obviously, we scored one goal three games in a row, but we did a lot more to generate offense [Tuesday]. We had a lot more bodies at the net, we created a lot more quality chances. We started to fix some of the things I think will lead to some scoring as we go forward here."

It was announced Wednesday that Adam Henrique (groin) and Adam Larsson (wrist) will miss the All-Star Weekend in Ottawa. The festivities begin with Thursday night's Fantasy Draft.

The Skills Competition is Saturday at 7 p.m., and the All-Star Game is set for Sunday at 4 p.m.

Henrique is second among rookies with 34 points (13g, 21a), while Larsson leads rookie defensemen with 15 points (2g, 13a).

"We've had a tough little stretch here, but for the most part, we've been moving in the right direction," Henrique said. "I think that's important. We're going to be busy coming up after the break. Obviously we're in the hunt for those last few playoff spots."

The Devils expect to welcome back defenseman Andy Greene (toe) and center Travis Zajac (soreness) some time after the break. Greene, sidelined for 22 games so far, has resumed skating on his own.

Zajac played in eight games after returning from offseason Achilles surgery and was shut down on Jan. 11.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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