The philosophy does not change.
That has been the Kings message since arriving in Newark following Thursday night's entertaining 5-4 win over the Capitals.
Whereas the Capitals are one of the NHL's premier offensive teams, they are fifth in the league in goals scored, with 173. Detroit's 182 goals scored leads the league, the Devils are, well, the Devils
. New Jersey is fifth in the league in goals against, having yielded 129 in 52 games. That comes out to a GAA of 2.48.
So, yes, it is safe to assume that tonight's game wont be quite as wide open.
"I don't think so," said defenseman Sean O'Donnell when asked if the Kings will have to make specific adjustments to their game plan for the Devils. "I think the sign of a good team is if they play their game. Certain teams have different styles. Whether it is Washington's style or New Jersey's style, whoever plays their style better that night is going to win the game. I think we've proved a couple nights ago in Ottawa that we can win a 1-0 game and we have also proved that we can win a 5-4 game. I think we can adapt to either style, but for the most part we like to play a good forechecking tight style; smart and try to stay out of the penalty box; limit the other teams chances and get some timely goals.
"Certain teams it is easier to do it against, and certain teams, it is more of a defensive battle."
What makes the 2008-09 Devils different from previous editions is that this year's team possesses firepower not seen in these parts since The Sopranos
. New Jersey is ninth in the league in goals scored with 160. All-Star Zach Parise leads the Devils with 30 goals and 61 points.
"They're a pretty good team right now. They're playing really good hockey. They're a patient team," said captain Dustin Brown
. "We have to stick to our system and be patient ourselves because they don't make many mistakes. We have to be ready when they do.
"They're a tighter team than most, but coming from the West, we have to play our game and the rest will take care of itself."BROWN AND PARISE PART TWO
During the All-Star Game, Brown and Parise jokingly talked about hitting each other. Being that it was the All-Star Game, where there is no checking, it did not come to pass. This evening, however, if Brown has a chance to hit his long-time friend, he said he would.
"Obviously, this game is a lot more intense," Brown said. "I know Zach pretty well (but) if it comes down to finishing my checks, I'm going to." QUICK TO START AND CLEMMENSEN IN
Expect Jonathan Quick
to start in net tonight. Quick has played in 15 of the last 20 games. Following last night's 5-1 thumping of the Thrashers, Devils coach Brent Sutter announced that Scott Clemmensen will start against the Kings. Clemmensen has been a revelation for the Devils. In the season-long absence of future Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur, Clemmensen has become the Devils No. 1 goaltender, posting a 22-10-1 record with 2.34 GAA and .918 save percentage.
The Devils will be without defenseman Colin White, who injured his left hand against the Thrashers last night. According to reports, a first period shot from Atlanta defenseman Mathieu Schneider hit White on the hand. White, a physical presence on the Devils blueline, played another five shifts in the first but sat out the last two periods.
The Kings all-time record against the Devils is 48-27-11-1. Since the 2005-06 season, the Kings are 1-2-0 against the Devils, with their lone win coming in the 2006-07 season, a 3-2 shootout victory. The last time these two teams met, New Jersey won 5-1. Four Devils had multiple points in that game, led by third year center Travis Zajac, who finished with a goal and two assists.
Compiled by Denis Gorman | Special to LAKings.com