NJD Preview: Devils vs. Stars
Wednesday, 10.22.2008 / 7:00 PM
New Jersey Devils
newjerseydevils.com – The Devils are back in Newark to host their first Western Conference opponent of the season tonight, when the Dallas Stars visit Prudential Center (7 p.m., MSG Plus, WFAN 660 AM).
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, who was called up this week to replace injured center Bobby Holik, is expected to make his first NHL appearance.
It will be the second rookie debut in as many games for New Jersey, which saw Petr Vrana score his first career goal in Saturday's 4-3 shootout win in Washington.
Holik broke his pinkie Saturday and will be out three to four weeks. He was scheduled for surgery Tuesday. Vrana has filled in for Brian Rolston, who suffered a sprained ankle in Thursday's 1-0 win at Atlanta.
After registering only six goals in their first four games, the Devils (4-1-0) scored a season high against the Capitals to finish 3-1-0 on their trip. Zach Parise and Andy Greene also scored. Parise, who has a team-high five points (3g-2a), scored the lone goal in the shootout.
"It's a good sign we can score goals when we have to," said Patrik Elias, who had two assists, the first – his 365th – moving him past Scott Niedermayer for first on the team's all-time list.
If Martin Brodeur continues at this pace - a 1.56 GAA in five starts - the Stars could have a hard time scoring. Brodeur had 24 saves against the Capitals, adding stops against Michael Nylander, Alexander Semin and Alexander Ovechkin in the shootout.
"The guys that are playing just have to do the job for you," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "You go through it at different points in the year; every team does. The teams that handle it the right way and deal with it the right way are always the ones that seem to get through it the best."
New Jersey is 5-2-0 against Dallas since defeating the Stars in six games in the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals.
Dallas will be looking to build off Mike Modano's game-winning goal at Madison Square Garden. Modano's 87th career game-winner led the Stars to a 2-1 victory over the Rangers on Monday and snapped the club's two-game losing streak.
Modano has three goals and three assists this season to tie Brad Richards for the team lead in scoring. Brenden Morrow had a power-play goal Monday for the Stars (2-3-1), giving him a point in five of the first six games.
Marty Turco made 28 saves and blanked the Rangers after Markus Naslund scored 58 seconds into the game. Turco had a 4.70 goals-against average during Dallas' 1-3-1 start.
with wire services
Tonight is Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night at Prudential Center. Fans are encourage to join the fight with special Hockey Fights Cancer gear at shop.nhl.com.