GAME: Calgary Flames (30-22-5-3) at New Jersey Devils (31-17-11-1).
TIME: Sunday, 1 p.m. EST.
Known primarily as a defense-first team, the New Jersey Devils might finally
have a dominant offensive line to turn to this season.
Led by their new top trio of Patrick Elias, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta,
the Devils begin a three-game homestand against the Calgary Flames.
The Devils are coming off their best offensive performance of the season, a
7-3 rout of the New York Rangers on Saturday. Elias, Gomez and Gionta were
together for the sixth straight game, combining for 11 points in the victory.
Gomez had two goals and added three assists for the second time in three
games, Elias had two goals and two assists, and Gionta had a goal and an assist
as the Devils rebounded from a 3-1 loss at Washington on Thursday.
"It's a matter of confidence," Elias said."We're creating and working
Gomez had his first multigoal game of the season and tied his career high
with five points. He set up three goals Tuesday in a tie with Minnesota and has
nine points in his last three games.
The Devils are 3-1-1 in their last five games and are in sixth place in the
Eastern Conference. New Jersey trails Philadelphia by six points for the
Atlantic Division lead.
The Flames have dropped back-to-back games since a four-game winning streak,
including Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators.
Roman Turek, who missed two games due to the birth of his child, stopped 22
of 24 shots in his return. Turek has lost seven of 11 starts since coming back
from a knee injury that caused him to miss 39 games.
"I have to find a way to win more games in a row," said Turek, who lost
the starting job to Miikka Kiprusoff during his absence. "So far I win one,
then lose one, and it's not working. If I play, I have to find a way to put
more wins together and go from there."
STANDINGS: Flames - 68 points, 3rd place, 10 PB, Northwest Division. Devils
- 74 points, 2nd place, 6 PB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Flames - Jarome Iginla, 30 goals and 54 points; Iginla and
Craig Conroy, 24 assists; Krzysztof Oliwa, 183 PIM. Devils - Elias, 23 goals
and 50 points; Gomez, 32 assists; Colin White, 58 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 20): Flames - Power play: 15.9 percent (42 for
264), 17th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.3 percent (209 for 248), 18th. Devils -
Power play: 15.6 percent (35 for 224), 18th. Penalty killing:85.4 percent (179
for 298), 6th.
GOALTENDERS: Flames - Kiprusoff (14-4-2, 1 SO, 1.53 GAA); Turek (4-9-0, 1
SO, 2.72 GAA); Jamie McLennan (12-9-3, 4, 2.20). Devils - Martin Brodeur
(28-17-10, 10, 2.03); Scott Clemmensen (1-1-0, 1, 1.53).
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Flames, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: March 5; Flames, 5-4 (OT). At Calgary, Martin Gelinas, wearing
a cast on his left hand to protect a broken thumb, scored his second goal of
the game at 1:54 of overtime as the Flames overcame a 2-0 defict.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flames - 14-11-1-2 on the road; Devils - 16-10-4-1 at