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Kovalchuk Cashes in to lead New Jersey to its First Victory, 1-0 over Buffalo

New York, NY - It was a classic goaltending dual between Martin Brodeur and Ryan Miller, but the New Jersey Devils (1-2-1) prevailed with a 1-0 victory over the Sabres (1-2-1) in overtime as Illya Kovalchuk hit a wicked slap shot for the first Devils victory of the season. Both teams were wanting to win but it was the Devils who were able to prevail as Matt Taormina and Jamie Langenbrunner was able to get the puck on Kovalchuk’s stick. The winger was able to put the puck into the net to release the weight of the losing streak off of the Devils back. Both teams were able to grind and work, but it was the defensive play of the Devils along with the goalkeeping of Martin Brodeur who m...

Shorthanded Devils Remain Winless on Season

0 wins, 2 regulation losses, and 1 overtime loss. Not quite the way things were drawn up for the Devils this season, but that’s exactly where they sit after today’s 3-1 loss to Sid the Kid and his Penguins. Flashes of brilliance have been there for this team, but they’ve been exactly that – flashes. They've had a harder time sustaining pressure this season than I've ever seen from them before. In the loss today, there was a considerable amount of time spent on the penalty kill. Going down a man isn’t always a smart thing to do when your team is forced to dress only 15 skaters, which is exactly what the Devils were forced to do today. The well-publicized cap issues of the Devils ...

Devils Can’t Capitalize in 7-2 loss to Washington

New York – All the headaches of the offseason have not lead to a good start so far for the New Jersey Devils (0-1-1) were defeated by the Washington Capitals (1-1-0) by the score of 7-2. Led by Alex Ovechkin who finished with two goals in what was a rough Saturday night for Devils keeper Martin Brodeur. Ovechkin who completed the Washington four-goal second period by beating Brodeur on a penalty shot in one of the many Capitals ways in which they were able to score. The others included an even strength goal, a short-handed goal and the above mentioned penalty shot. Also getting on the score sheet was John Calrson who had a goal and two assist for Washington which won its ninth straig...

Devils Drop First Game of Season at Home

A boisterous sellout crowd of 17,625 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey witnessed an exciting first game, with plenty of end-to-end action, but would not go home happy on Friday night. Dejected fans filed out of the arena after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Mike Modano-less Dallas Stars, to kick off the 2010-2011 season. Loui Eriksson had 2 goals, including the overtime game-winner, in a game that will be known for the debut of the Parise-Zajac-Kovalchuk line, affectionally dubbed the “ZIP line” by Devils fans. (Z – for Zajac, I – for Ilya, and P – for Parise.) The line was absolutely brilliant to kick off the game, scoring twice in under ten minutes. It looked like the...

Devils Shorten Bench; Slide Under Cap

It was no secret that the New Jersey Devils have been scrambling to get under the cap the past few days. Sitting at roughly $3.5M over the limit, Lou Lamoriello has to do something before the deadline of 3 PM on Wednesday afternoon. There was a lot of speculation and excitement over a possible major waiver move (i.e Brian Rolston, or Dainius Zubrus) or a trade of a big-name top six forward to free up some space, but as the deadline passed, there was no word of a major move. Other teams in the league knew that the Devils had their back against the wall, and no GM was willing to take on any contract to help their cause. But before 3 PM on Wednesday even had a chance to pass, the Devils made...

Avery’s Antics Are His Undoing

Something bad is going to happen to Sean Avery. It might not be the next time the New Jersey Devils play the New York Rangers, it might not be later in the season. Heck, it might not even happen this season. But one day, something bad is going to happen to Sean Avery. This is not groundbreaking; I think every hockey fan with knowledge about Sean Avery can see it coming. Last night's game just reinforced to me that Avery will eventually have something bad done to him. His game is simple: Antagonize opponents and get them to take stupid penalties. He plays his ‘game’ well. He was in mid-season form last night in the final pre-season meeting between the Devils and Rangers. In case yo...

Kovalchuk Snipes, Wipes Out; Devils Fall In Overtime

It’s often debated how star players should be used in the pre-season, if at all. It can be devastating to lose a star player due to injury, but it’s even more devastating if that injury occurs during a (somewhat) meaningless exhibition game. When New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk fell into the boards late in the third period of Thursday night’s pre-season loss to the Rangers, Devils fans were left collectively holding their breath. Then he got up. And we could breathe again. But of course the debate rages on. Should we even use star players during the pre-season? If a player already knows he is on the team, what does he have to prove by playing in the pre-season? Can you get into “gam...

New Jersey Devils get Iced in Philly

New York, NY - Philly fans know the good news about the Flyers 4-3 shootout win over the Devils in the preseason opener on Tuesday, but what about the Devils fans? Well, I will break down the good, the bad and the ugly in last night's tight loss. The Good: New Jersey bounced back from a 2-0 Flyer lead thanks to goals from Dainius Zubrus and Jamie Langenbrunner. It puts general manager Lou Lamoriello in a difficult situation as each were mentioned in the rumor winds to be on their way out should the Devils backs be put against the wall in order to become cap compliant. More good news: The play of defenseman Henrik Tallinder, who was a +1 and a team-high 24:03 of ice time, showed signs o...

Devils Feeling the Cap Crunch (Again)

The closer we get to the opening of the regular season, the tougher the decisions become for all 30 NHL general managers. It’s never a fun time when the GMs have to make cuts to their roster. At any level of hockey, it’s always sad to see the faces of players who are told they won’t be playing hockey for the club they were trying out for. Some of the rookies may use it as motivation to improve during the year, and hopefully make a stronger impression at next year’s camp. But for some of the veterans at camp, getting cut means the end of the line. Players that already have contracts aren’t even excluded; such is the case for New Jersey’s Brian Rolston. As it stands right now,...

Devils Putting All Their Eggs in One Basket

Ah yes, training camp time. It’s a time for giddiness, excitement, but more importantly, it’s a time for speculation. There was plenty of that as the New Jersey Devils opened camp this week, especially after the offseason debacle that was the Ilya Kovalchuk contract situation. That’s all in the past now (to the delight of every single hockey fan in the world), so the attention now turns to the important stuff. You know, the actual on-ice stuff. Rookie head coach John Maclean has already made a few headlines in the first day of camp by moving Kovalchuk from his natural left wing position to right wing, in order to fit him on a line with Zach Parise and Travis Zajac. That’s righ...