New Jersey Devils

Gomez: ‘It seems like it’s been a lifetime’

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Veteran center Scott Gomez continues to wait for a contract from the New Jersey Devils 14 games into the season.

Gomez, 34, was invited to the team’s camp on a professional tryout, but not signed to a contract once the season began. He was asked to hang around New Jersey, practice and wait for an opportunity to arise.

“I think it would be difficult if I was younger. I knew what the deal was,” Gomez told The Star-Ledger. “It seems like it’s been a lifetime, but it’s only been (14) games.

“I’ve never been in this situation, but I’ve talked to other guys who have been in this situation, like (Jay Pandolfo), and the main thing is that you feel part of it. I don’t feel I’m in the way. I knew coming into it I had to have patience. Being around the guys has always been the most fun part. The coaches and everybody have made me feel part of it.”

Despite injuries and a three-game losing skid, Gomez has yet to be called upon by GM Lou Lamoriello. The former Devils first-rounder isn’t putting a time frame on how long he’s willing to wait around.

“When you start thinking that way, that’s when negative stuff comes into your mind,” Gomez said. “I’m not setting a deadline because of the respect I have for the organization and Lou. It’s more coming day to day and getting my work in to be ready.

“I’ve been around the league long enough. Crazy things can happen. We all know what can happen. The most important thing is staying in shape. You can’t let other things get in your head.”

Gomez remains hopeful and has not begun thinking about life after hockey.

“I’ll cross that bridge when it comes,” he said. “It’s been one day at a time. Get my work in, stay fresh, stay hungry.”

Video: Tootoo scores against the Red Wings

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New Jersey Devils forward Jordin Tootoo scored his first goal of the season tonight against his former team in Detroit.

Tootoo, who spent 53 games over two seasons with the Wings, found the back of the net for the first time since April 24, 2013.

Report: Clowe suffered a concussion Thursday night

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New Jersey Devils forward Ryane Clowe appears to have suffered another concussion.

It happened Thursday night during the Devils loss in St. Louis.

Clowe, 32, suffered two concussions last season missing 39 games.

“He got hit with a stick and got his nose stitched. He then got hit with an elbow and got his chin stitched,” Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told the Star-Ledger on Friday. “Then he got hit again on the side of the head, so we held him.

“He was checked after and the doctors recommended he not go back in. He is with us. He flew with us (from St. Louis to Detroit). He can fly. He will not be playing tonight and, because of his past history, we’ll get him re-evaluated when we get home.”

Here is a look at Clowe’s final shift from Thursday night:

Goalie nods: Ward starts fifth straight for surging ‘Canes

All the latest from the blue paint…

Carolina rolling with Ward

Cam Ward will make his fifth straight start on Friday night as the ‘Canes look to win their fourth consecutive contest, and second in a row against Columbus.

After splitting time with Anton Khudobin to start the year, Ward has emerged as Carolina’s No. 1 netminder (for now). His run began with a 4-1 defeat in Vancouver on Oct. 28 — a game in which he allowed three goals on 24 shots — but from there Ward was excellent, posting a 3-0-0 record with a 1.34 GAA and .947 save percentage.

For Columbus, Curtis McElhinney will get the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Oilers at Sabres: Michal Neuvirth for Buffalo, Viktor Fasth likely for Edmonton.

Devils at Red Wings: Cory Schneider vs. Jimmy Howard

Caps at Hawks: Braden Holtby vs. Corey Crawford

Coyotes at Ducks: Mike Smith vs. Frederik Andersen

 

Tarasenko, Allen help Blues extend win streak to seven

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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.