Friday, December 01, 2006
Postgame: Devils 5 - Pittsburgh 2; Game: Devils @ Philadelphia
- The New Jersey Devils responded to a fluke goal by Erik Christensen quickly with a Jamie Langenbrunner slap-shot that was not only on net but also went into it. On the power play.
- Patrik Elias had a HUGE night. One goal, 2 assists, 2 penalty minutes, and a +1. Clearly the first star of the game.
- Brian Gionta only got one goal, a one-timer fed by Elias, but had 7 shots.
- JAY PANDOLFO SCORED A GOAL! Jay Pandolfo is not a goal scorer. When he scores, it's usually a sign that the Devils are doing fine. He, technically, scored the game winning goal.
- The Devils OUTSHOT their opponents 27-25 for a change. The Devils did better on the power play (2/4 versus 0/4) and only lost to the Pens in faceoffs (55% to 45%).
- Most importantly, the Devils scored FIVE goals in a game. After the fourth goal, leading nominee in the All-Star Game vote Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled for Jocelyn Thibault. The Devils scored 4 goals in 9 shots; they scored 4 goals in their last 4 games on 86 shots.
Now, the Devils will now travel to the Wachovia Center to take on the struggling Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
GAMETIME: 7:30 PM EST
Local TV: Fox Sports NY
Local Radio: 660 AM, WFAN
Devils Record vs. Flyers: 1-0-0
Paul Martin did play tonight, I expect him to play tomorrow. Martin Brodeur, in my mind, has earned a break; I think the Devils should start Scott Clemmensen. Whether he'll actually start is another matter. With the momentum and new-found confidence, all NJ needs to do is to repeat their performance from tonight's game - preferably the last 40 minutes of tonight's game and they should win. The Devils will need to look out for Simon Gagne (14 G, 8 A), Peter Forsberg (7 G, 9 A - if he's healthy), Geoff Sanderson (8 G, 9 A), Mike Knuble (9 G, 8 A), Randy Robitaille (5 G, 11 A), and Joni Pitkanen (16 A). The Flyers may only have 8 wins (3-7-3 at home) this season, but they aren't complete doormats. Fortunately for the recently productive Devils offense, the Flyers have given up an average of 3.77 goals per game. Antero Niitymaki (6-11-3, 3.02 GAA, 90 Sv%) and Robert Esche (2-4-0, 5.64 GAA, 82 Sv%) have not performed well this season. NJ should make the most of this opportunity to continue putting shots on net and putting them into the net. Hopefully, the Devils will not be too tired or drained from the big win tonight.
My projected lines for the Flyers game:
Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner (you will see Elias instead of Parise here sometimes)
Clemenssen (first start of the year)
RUTGERS ASIDE: The Scarlet Knights go to Morgantown to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. This will be a big game, 7:45 PM EST on ESPN. If Rutgers wins, they'll win their first ever Big East championship. Heck, even if they lose it would be their best Big East record in a long time (Texas Bowl? Sure, way better than the Insight Bowl). Still, I'm pulling for a Rutgers win and will flip between both the Devils-Flyers game on Rutgers-WV game. Look for Ray Rice to have a monster game, I just have a feeling that he will take over. If he doesn't, well, it was just a feeling, you know. (Heh.) GO KNIGHTS!