Devils look to rebound against Rangers
Monday, 10.05.2009 / 7:00 PM
RANGERS (1-1-0) at DEVILS (0-1-0)
Season series: Last season, the Devils and Rangers split their six games. The Rangers grabbed the first two games of the season, lost the next three, then won the finale 3-0 at Madison Square Garden.
Big Story: On what should have been a glorious night for Devils goalie Martin Brodeur on Saturday in his 1,000th game and NHL record 15th consecutive opening-night start, the Flyers came into Prudential Center and demoralized the fans and the home team in a 5-2 shellacking. The Rangers are looking to build on the momentum of their 5-2 home-opening victory against the Senators, which featured a great game by the line of Marian Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky and Vaclav Prospal.
Rangers: Gaborik is off to a fast start with 2 goals in his first two games, and Henrik Lundqvist has been sharp to start the season. Dubinsky is also looking like he could have a breakout season.
"We seem to understand each other well out there," Gaborik said. "It's just a matter of communication and making sure we know where we stand out there. ... If we can be a little better defensively we can create a lot of 2-on-1's, 3-on-2's."
Devils: Despite the disheartening loss to the Flyers on Saturday, the Devils coaching staff had to be encouraged by the play of rookies Niclas Bergfors and Matt Halischuk. Bergfors, who skated alongside center Dainius Zubrus and Brian Rolston, totaled 16:25 of ice time on 22 shifts and notched 1 assist and 2 hits. Halischuk, who was switched on a line with David Clarkson and Rob Niedermayer in the second, earned 16 shifts (16:25).
"The Flyers game is over; it's one game and we'll learn what didn't work and what we need to tweak," Brodeur said. "You can't dwell on past performance. We must move on with the Rangers coming to town."
Who's Hot: Dubinsky and Gaborik have combined for 7 points in the first two games. Lundqvist is starting the season right by stopping 65 of 70 shots (.923 save percentage) in his team's first two games. All eyes will be on Brodeur, who is a miserable 1-6-3 in his past 10 regular-season starts against the Rangers. The Devils' top line of Zach Parise-Travis Zajac-Jamie Langenbrunner needs to get untracked, particularly when the team goes on the power play.
Injury Report: For the Rangers, Sean Avery (knee) is expected to sit, but is hoping to be back for Thursday's game against the Capitals. Devils wing Patrik Elias remains sidelined another six weeks after undergoing hip and groin surgery in June.
Stat Pack: In three games at New Jersey last season, Lundqvist allowed 13 goals. In three games at Madison Square Garden, he allowed just 5 goals. Devils coach Jacques Lemaire needs one victory to reach 200 as Devils coach. He guided New Jersey to a 199-122-57 from 1993-94 through '97-98
Puck Drop: Expect the Devils to come out firing following an embarrassing setback in front of a sellout crowd on Saturday. They haven't started a season 0-2 since 2001-02, when they started 0-3-0-1. Devils enforcer David Clarkson, who is also expected to pick up some of the offensive load this season, was relatively quiet against the Flyers so expect the third-season forward to become more involved against the Rangers.
-- Dave Lozo and Mike Morreale, NHL.com