New Jersey Devils

Quick hits: Habs, Price get a little revenge vs. Rangers

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There are 11 games on the schedule, so to keep you up to date on the action, it seems wise to put the results in one spot.

First, PHT posts on some of the individual results:

Sabres embarrass Sharks 2-1; Marc-Edouard Vlasic isn’t too worried

Bruins bump Jonathan Bernier out, leave Leafs soul-searching following 4-1 loss

Islanders win track meet against the Dallas Stars 7-5

The Blues beat the Blackhawks and left Dan Carcillo limping

Penguins blank Predators

Wild chase Nabokov, blast the Lightning 7-2

OK, that takes care of three of Saturday’s contests, but there are plenty of important ones that we’ll cover here.

Canadiens 3, Rangers 1

Are the Montreal Canadiens the best team in the East? It’s way too early to say, but they got a little revenge against the team that beat them in the 2014 Eastern Conference finals, topping the Rangers thanks in large part to Carey Price’s strong play. /Cues “What if Price didn’t get injured?” talk …

Price is on quite the streak lately, by the way:

The Canadiens are 7-1-0 even though there have been sloppy moments.

(Chris Kreider had a quiet evening, in case you’re wondering.)

Flyers 4, Red Wings 2

The Detroit Red Wings fired 37 shots on goal to Philly’s 17, but Ray Emery stole one for the Flyers. Could Emery find himself stealing some starts from Steve Mason as the season goes along? That’s a discussion for another day.

Flyers head coach Craig Berube admits it wasn’t the greatest performance … but he’ll take it:

Devils 3, Senators 2 (OT)

New Jersey Devils head coach Peter DeBoer illustrates how important this win was:

Naturally, Jaromir Jagr was the one to score the overtime-winner:

Coyotes 2, Panthers 1 (OT)

Roberto Luongo played very well in net, making 39 saves, but Florida was unable to provide him enough goal support. Bobby Lou’s likely hoping that such a common recap blurb from his original tour with the Panthers doesn’t remain a trend this time around; so far, that’s not looking too promising.

Justin Hodgman took quite a journeyman’s path to his first NHL game, yet it only took him that long to score his first career goal:

Oliver Ekman-Larsson ended up winning the game in OT (to Luongo’s chagrin):

Capitals 3, Flames 1

This is probably the type of win the Washington Capitals envisioned when they hired Barry Trotz.

Things didn’t go well for Alex Ovechkin – he didn’t get a point and broke two sticks on opportunities late in the third period alone – yet the Capitals were able to grind out a solid win.

Nicklas Backstrom was fantastic, scoring the insurance goal and nearly collecting another one before being thwarted by a game Karri Ramo.

Fittingly, a player who once played under Trotz with Nashville enjoyed arguably the best night, as Joel Ward scored two of Washington’s three goals.

One more stat that would probably make Trotz smile: the Capitals didn’t allow an even-strength goal tonight. Overall, Braden Holtby made 20 out of 21 saves to build back some confidence, too.

All in all, it’s a win by the Trotz blueprint. Washington hopes to see many more.

Goalie nods: Gustavsson gets his second start

The latest news from the crease…

Gustavsson gets the net for Detroit

Jonas Gustavsson will make his second straight Saturday start of the season after blanking the Toronto Maple Leafs 1-0 last weekend. The Red Wings are in Philadelphia looking for their first win since Game 2 of the 1997 Stanley Cup final. Gustavsson made 30 saves in his only other start of the season.

Ray Emery goes for the Flyers. Emery made 22 saves as the Flyers defeated the Penguins 5-3 on Wednesday night. He carries a 2.84 GAA and a .897 save percentage into his fourth appearance of the season.

Elsewhere…

Sabres at Sharks: Jhonas Enroth vs. Alex Stalock

Stars at Islanders: Anders Lindback vs. Chad Johnson

Devils at Senators: (Update) Cory Schneider vs. Robin Lehner

Rangers at Canadiens: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Carey Price

Bruins at Maple Leafs: Tuukka Rask vs. Jonathan Bernier

Blackhawks at Blues: Antti Raanta vs. Brian Elliott

Penguins at Predators: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Pekka Rinne

Lightning at Wild: Evgeni Nabakov vs. Darcy Kuemper

Panthers at Coyotes: Roberto Luongo vs. Mike Smith

Capitals at Flames: Braden Holtby vs. Karri Ramo

Ruff: ‘Tonight was by far the best game we have played’

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The Dallas Stars were able to overcome a controversial goal call to beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in a shootout Friday night.

The win improved the Stars to 4-1-2 this season.

“What I saw tonight was by far the best game we have played,” coach Lindy Ruff told The Dallas Morning News. “That looked a lot like how we played last year.”

Midway through the third, Devils forward Patrik Elias slid into the net on his stomach and fed a hand pass to Damien Brunner, who tied the game 2-2.

The play was reviewed to see if the net had become dislodged, but the hand pass is not a reviewable.

Center Jason Spezza credited the Stars’ coaching staff for keeping the bench composed.

“The coach sets the tone there, and that’s what Lindy did,” Spezza said. “The whole rink knows they got the call wrong, and I’m sure the refs know they got it wrong once they see it. It’s a little bit silly that they can’t overturn it. But Lindy showing his composure makes us show our composure.”

The Stars overcame the adversity as both Spezza and captain Jamie Benn scored in the shootout for the Dallas win.

“We have faced some adversity, and we’ve been able to keep our composure,” Ruff said. “The Pittsburgh game was a good example, and then tonight was what you want to see as a coach. We just went back to work.”

Dallas concludes its’ two game road trip tonight when they visit the New York Islanders.

Fights: Salvador brawls with Roussel, Gudas and Byfuglien grapple

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There were at least two fights of note on Friday, although the super-heavyweight battle could probably be better described as “grappling.”

First, the more brutal one: New Jersey Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador seemed to get the best of Dallas Stars pest Antoine Roussel (via Hockey Fights):

When you hear “Dustin Byfuglien versus Radko Gudas,” you get images of Godzilla vs. King Kong and other bouts of earth-shattering proportions. The Winnipeg Jets’ enormous rover and Tampa Bay Lightning’s monstrous defenseman didn’t fight for very long, yet it’s still quite the sight (also via Hockey Fights):

Oh, shoot: Devils drop 18th shootout in a row

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Maybe winning a shootout in the preseason didn’t exorcise the New Jersey Devils’ skills competition demons, after all.

The Dallas Stars beat them 3-2 via a shootout on Friday, extending the Devils’ shootout losing streak to a ridiculous 18. Unless my eyes are deceiving me, New Jersey hasn’t won a shootout since a victory against the Winnipeg Jets on March 10, 2013.

They went 2-7 in shootouts during that 2012-13 campaign, yet last season was a true mind-blowing run, as they dropped all 13.

The Devils have understandably shaken off this pattern, for the most part. In the case of tonight’s loss against Dallas, Devils head coach Peter DeBoer seems happy that New Jersey at least secured a standings point, as the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti reports.

Jason Spezza and Jamie Benn scored on their two shootout opportunities while Michael Cammalleri and Jaromir Jagr were shut down by Kari Lehtonen. Both Stars scorers deserve high marks for nifty work, too:

Fun/annoying narratives aside, this is merely the Devils’ first shootout loss of 2014-15. If this continues, the questions will only pile up, though.