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Devils in Seven: The Week Ahead 4/2-4/8

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

  Jay Pandolfo and the Devils are one victory away from tying a franchise-record 48 wins.

4.3.07: OTT at NJD, 7:30 p.m. (FSN NY2, 92.3 Free FM)
4.5.07: NJD at PHI, 7 p.m. (FSN NY, WFAN 660 AM)
4.8.07: NYI at NJD, 3:30 p.m. (FSN NY, 92.3 Free FM)
End of Regular Season – On a day that the Devils welcomed back one of their top offensive players, it was their Unsung Hero that led the charge.

Jay Pandolfo, the four-time winner of the player-voted Hugh Delano Unsung Hero award, scored twice against Boston in New Jersey’s 3-1 win on Sunday.

Brian Gionta appeared in his first game since March 6, and potted the game winner with a power play goal at 11:29 of the second period. It was Gionta’s 25th of the season, and 11th with the man advantage, tying him with Jamie Langenbrunner for the team lead.

Martin Brodeur posted wins 45 and 46 in back-to-back games at the Meadowlands, allowing just two goals. Brodeur is one win shy of tying Bernie Parent for the single-season record, while the Devils are poised to tie the franchise’s 48-win season record.
New Jersey (47-24-8, 102 pts.) has won back-to-back contests for the first time since February, and currently leads Pittsburgh by one point in the race for the division’s top spot.

The Devils can maintain that lead on Tuesday when they host Ottawa at 7:30 p.m. The Senators last played on Saturday, notching a 5-2 win over the Islanders.

Led by Dany Heatley’s 48 goals and 100 points, and by Ray Emery’s 32 victories, the Sens have won five of their last six, and eight of 10. Coach Bryan Murray’s group hasn’t lost consecutive games in regulation since December.

Brodeur is 2-1-0 against Ottawa this season, but came out of an Oct. 21 contest after allowing six goals on 26 shots. Since then, New Jersey has twice beaten Ottawa, 3-2, most recently on Jan. 6 at Scotiabank Place.

Zach Parise leads all Devils with two goals and three assists in three meetings with Ottawa, and will be looking to extend his current six-game scoring streak (3g, 4a).

Thursday brings the Devils’ final meeting with the Flyers this season with a 7 p.m. puck drop at Wachovia Center. New Jersey can finish its road schedule with a seventh straight win over Philadelphia. The Devils defeated the Flyers, 3-1, on March 30 to snap a five-game home winless streak.

With a victory, the Devils would finish the season schedule unbeaten by the Flyers for the first time since 1997-98, and for just the third time in team history (1987-88).

New Jersey concludes the regular season schedule on Sun., April 8 with a matinee match-up against the New York Islanders at 3:30 p.m. Brodeur has three of his 12 shutouts against the Isles this season, more than any other team.

The Devils are 6-1-0 this season versus their Tri-State Area rivals, with six straight wins since a 5-2 loss on Nov. 2. New Jersey last beat the Isles, 3-2, at Nassau Coliseum on March 27.

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