Devils to honor 2000 champs before hosting Stars
STARS (18-12-11) at DEVILS (29-10-1)
Last 10 --
Dallas 4-4-2; New Jersey 8-2-0
Season series --
The Devils and Stars will be meeting for the second and final time this season. In the earlier meeting at American Airlines Center on Nov. 21 -- a 5-3 Stars victory -- Dallas' Tom Wandell broke a 3-3 tie at 9:07 of the third period after the Devils had rallied from a 3-1 deficit on goals by Brian Rolston
and Travis Zajac
. Brad Richards notched four assists in the game for the Stars and Devils goalie Martin Brodeur
played the final 40 minutes in relief of Yann Danis
, who had allowed three goals on nine shots in the first. At the other end, Marty Turco made 31 saves for Dallas.
Big Story --
The Devils will honor the 2000 team that garnered the franchise's second Stanley Cup prior to the opening faceoff. Forwards Jay Pandolfo
and Patrik Elias
, defenseman Colin White
and Brodeur in goal are the four remaining members of that championship team. New Jersey won the Cup in six games. In Game 6, Jason Arnott
's one-timer in double overtime proved to be the difference in a 2-1 victory.
There's no one hotter than wing Jamie Langenbrunner
, who scored goals in three consecutive games last week and has five goals over that stretch. Langenbrunner, who has 13 goals for the season, was also named to the U.S. Olympic Team on Friday. He connected for his first career hat trick on Saturday in a 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild when he was reunited with old linemates Zach Parise
"I'm starting to get the confidence back," Langenbrunner said. "Rollie (Rolston) was telling me to shoot the puck. I think I got away from shooting it a little bit. When the confidence is down, you start looking to pass instead of shooting and I think I was doing that a little too much. (On Saturday) I took some shots. Some of them probably weren't the best ones, but you get that thought process and it helps."
At the midway point in the season, the Stars are still seeking some level of consistency -- the club has yet to string together a three-game winning streak. Brad Richards, who leads the team with 48 points, knows now is the time for the Stars to buckle down and exhibit even more determination as the team heads out on the road. Dallas, 10th in the Western Conference, plays eight of the next 11 away from home and has gone 1-4-3 in its last eight road games.
"We've been what our record says we are -- up and down," said Richards. "We've had some good spurts, and we've had some bad spurts."
Who's Hot --
Devils wing Elias notched three assists on Saturday and now has eight points (7 assists) in his last eight games and 14 points (5 goals) over his last 13. … Stars wing Loui Eriksson has connected for five goals over his last three games and has points in 11 of his last 12 (8 goals, 17 points).
Injury Report --
For the Devils, right wing David Clarkson
(right leg), center Dainius Zubrus
(broken kneecap) and defensemen Bryce Salvador
(lower body) and Paul Martin
(broken arm) are out.
Stat Pack --
The Devils haven't lost a regular-season home game to the Stars since the 1999-2000 campaign.
Puck Drop --
The Stars have back-to-back road games in New Jersey and New York against the Rangers before returning home to play the Islanders on Friday. The club then travels to Columbus, Philadelphia and Montreal for three games in five days. Coach Marc Crawford would obviously like to see his team get out on the right foot against the Devils.