Scott Gomez is officially a Devil once again.
Gomez, who joined New Jersey during the preseason and has been practicing with the team ever since, agreed to a contract on Monday “because of the center situation,” per GM Lou Lamoriello.
The situation, you ask? Injuries to Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique, both of whom will miss the club’s upcoming road trip to Pittsburgh and Toronto. Forwards Martin Havlat and Ryane Clowe are also shelved with ailments, which has resulted in the Devils icing a makeshift lineup of:
Patrik Elias-Scott Gomez-Jaromir Jagr
Damien Brunner-Mike Cammalleri-Michael Ryder
Tuomo Ruutu-Jacob Josefson-Steve Bernier
Jordin Tootoo-Stephen Gionta-Dainius Zubrus
As alluded to in the headline, Gomez ain’t making the Devils any younger. New Jersey came into this season with the NHL’s oldest team — an average age of 31.0 — and the 34-year-old Gomez will bump that up a bit.
Gomez, who won two Cups during his eight-year (1999-2007) stint in New Jersey, also becomes the seventh Devils player born in the 70s, joining Jagr, Elias, Zubrus, Bryce Salvador, Marek Zidlicky and Scott Clemmensen.
Updated: Contract details, per Sportsnet…
Vladimir Tarasenko netted his ninth of the season extending his scoring streak to four games as the St. Louis Blues edged the New Jersey Devils 4-3 Thursday night.
With the win, the Blues extended their win streak to a league-best seven games.
Alexander Steen, David Backes and Jaden Schwartz also scored for St. Louis while Jake Allen made 24 saves.
Schwartz and Tarasenko each had a goal and an assist in the win.
Tarasenko now has eight goals and three assists in his last six games.
Allen, who shutout the Devils 1-0 Tuesday night, had his shutout streak snapped at 184:01 when Michael Ryder got New Jersey on the board in the third period. Ryder scored twice in loss.
Marek Zidlicky had the other Devils goal. Cory Schneider, who made his 13th consecutive start, made 19 saves in the loss. He was replaced by Keith Kinkaid in the third period. Post-game Pete DeBoer confirmed Schneider would made his 14th straight start Friday when the Devils visit Detroit.
DeBoer had no update on forward Ryane Clowe, who left the game in the second period.
Per the New Jersey Devils PR team, Jaromir Jagr’s assist on Ryder’s second goal of the night, was his 1,057th career assist – he is now six shy of Steve Yzerman for seventh all-time. The 42-year-old’s next game will be the 1,487th of his NHL career, tying Wayne Gretzky for 17th all-time.
Patrick Elias has scored plenty of goals over his lengthy career — 394, to be specific — but he’s currently in the midst of one of his worst slumps, having failed to find the back of the net in 11 straight games.
“It’s frustrating. For me, it is,” Elias said, per NorthJersey.com. “I’m getting chances. I can get a goal probably every game that I looked at it and that’s the way it goes. I don’t know. We’ve just got to keep going, creating chances. Hopefully, it will turn around.”
Since scoring in a season-opening win over Philadelphia, little has gone right for Elias offensively. He has just three points in his last nine games and has struggled to put pucks on net, recording just eight shots on goal over his last six games.
Despite this, head coach Peter DeBoer saw signs for optimism during Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to St. Louis. Elias, playing on a line with Adam Henrique and Michael Ryder, “played great” according to DeBoer — and to be fair, the line would’ve likely been on the scoresheet last night if not for this outstanding save by Jake Allen:
“If he keeps playing like he did tonight,” DeBoer said of Elias, “then he doesn’t have anything to worry about.”
The New Jersey Devils finally won in a shootout Thursday night snapping an 0-for-18 in slump in the breakaway competition.
Jacob Josefson scored the shootout winner as the Devils upended the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 – their first shootout win since March 10, 2013, which also came against the Jets.
Michael Ryder scored in regulation for the Devils while Blake Wheeler had the lone Jets goal.
Cory Schneider made 24 saves for the win and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 26 shots in the loss.
Winnipeg center Evander Kane made his return to the lineup after suffering a knee injury in the season opener Oct. 9.
Kane had three shots on goal, a hit and two penalty minutes in 17:07 of time on ice.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
The Toronto Maple Leafs placed last among the 122 North American professional sports franchises in ESPN’s Ultimate Standings. They considered a variety of factors, including the team, its ownership, affordability, and fan relations. On a more positive note, the Anaheim Ducks were rated as the second best North American franchise, behind the San Antonio Spurs. (ESPN)
Ilya Kovalchuk scored just 16 goals in his first KHL season, but he already has 11 in seven games in 2014-15. That puts him on pace to break Russia’s all-time single-season record. (Slava Malamud)
Michael Ryder thinks he can bounce back after recording just 34 points last season. (Star-Ledger)
Remembering the California/Oakland Seals. (SB Nation)
Pittsburgh’s top two defensive pairing might end up being Kris Letang and Olli Maatta along with Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have made a pretty cool billboard. How good is it? Well, it’s creative enough to get people talking about a billboard. (Puck Daddy)