Devils host Hurricanes in Columbus Day matinee
Monday, 10.10.2011 / 9:10 AM
NHL.comHURRICANES (0-1-1) at DEVILS (0-1-0)
First of four meetings. The Devils took 3 of 4 matchups last season.
It's a battle between two teams in search of a victory after missing the playoffs last year. Both teams decided against making big moves in the free-agent market this offseason, a sign that both feel the team they have assembled is good enough to get back to the postseason.
On the flip side, there wasn’t much to like in New Jersey's 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Coach Peter DeBoer said goaltender Martin Brodeur
was the team's best player, but everything around him was in shambles. The Devils could only muster 20 shots on Ilya Bryzgalov, few of which were dangerous, and they had a hard time getting out of their own zone.
"It's obviously not the way we drew it up," said DeBoer. "We have to take a step. It looked to me that we were at practice speed and they were at NHL game speed. Our reaction time never caught up to what theirs was tonight."
Hurricanes: They did well on Saturday in Washington to rally to force overtime in the Capitals' home opener, but eventually lost in overtime 4-3. Jussi Jokinen tied the score with 1:19 left in regulation, the second time the Hurricanes rallied to tie in the third period. Mike Green would win it in overtime for the Caps, but it was a well-earned point for the 'Canes.
"We played an absolutely gritty, fantastic game," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "We played a man's game. We played a hard game. Everybody was involved. Our best players were our best players. I'm proud of the effort we got tonight."
Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal are off to great starts. Skinner has a goal and 3 assists while Staal has 2 goals and 1 assists. … The Devils are coming off a shutout where Brodeur allowed three goals, so no one is hot. Heck, no one is room temperature now. Four Devils had three shots in the loss to the Flyers.
Carolina is living an injury-free life right now, and the Devils will only miss Travis Zajac
due to an Achilles' injury he suffered during the summer.
The Hurricanes are off to a brutal start shorthanded, allowing a League-high 4 goals in 11 chances. … Saturday's loss to the Flyers marked the third straight season opener the Devils have lost. The Devils have also lost the second game of the season the past two years.
"The first game everybody was a little nervous and tried to do a little too much. We were running out of position all of the time, so we've got to relax a little bit. We were practicing one thing and then we come into the game and we don't do it." -- Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk