FLAMES (8-11-1) at DEVILS (6-13-2)
TV: TSN (HD), MSG-PLUS 2
Calgary 2-7-1; New Jersey 3-6-1
Season series --
This is the only meeting between the clubs this season.
Big Story --
Calgary coach Brent Sutter is making his first return to the barn he called home for two seasons. Sutter got his start as a head coach in the NHL with the Devils in 2007 and led them for two successful regular seasons. He was the Devils coach when Prudential Center opened, but he abruptly resigned on June 9, 2009 citing the need to spend more time with his family in Alberta. He was hired by his brother Darryl to coach the Flames two weeks later.
Captain Jarome Iginla
is rolling, but the rest of the team hasn't jumped on board. Iginla has 6 goals in the last 3 games and the Flames are just 1-1-1 in those games. They are 2-8-1 since winning three straight from Oct. 22-26. The Flames have been burning themselves recently with bad penalties. They had 10 minors, including five in the third period, in a 5-4 overtime loss at Detroit on Sunday. The Red Wings scored two power-play goals in the third to help them come back from deficits of 3-1 and 4-2. Monday at Madison Square Garden a high-sticking penalty by Curtis Glencross
led to Dan Girardi's goal 12:41 into the second period. It was the difference in a 2-1 Rangers' victory.
"With the schedule we have this week, it's not the best schedule, but we can't afford to give up games," Flames forward Rene Bourque
told NHL.com. "We played a good game (Monday) night, but we beat ourselves again. A lot of games we haven't been able to keep the lead and we have to change that. We still have (62) games left but it's going by fast and we can't play catch-up all year."
They put together their most complete performance of the season Monday and rolled to a 5-0 win over Washington. The Devils have gotten a spark from rookie Mattias Tedenby
, their first-round draft pick in 2008. He has 3 goals and 2 assists in his first six NHL games. Tedenby assisted on Patrik Elias
' goal 5:49 into Monday's game and scored on a penalty shot with 1:46 left in the first period. He's given life to Elias and Arnott, who also had two goals in Monday's game.
"He's getting better each game," Arnott said. "As long as we talk to him constantly throughout the game and help him out, he's getting better as the games go on and he's getting more confidence. To have confidence makes the game that much easier."
Who's Hot --
Iginla is on fire with his 6 goals in 3 games after scoring only 3 goals in the first 17 games. … Arnott had a pair in Monday's win and Tedenby has 5 points through his first six games. Devils goalie Johan Hedberg
made 30 saves for the shutout against Washington.
Injury Report --
The Devils will be without goalie Martin Brodeur
, who still out with a bruised elbow. Jamie Langenbrunner has missed the last five games with an upper body injury. … Sutter said Tuesday he's not sure of Matt Stajan
's availability for Wednesday's game. Stajan was leveled by Rangers defenseman Marc Staal late in Monday's game.
Stat Pack --
Sutter won 97 games in two seasons behind the Devils bench, including 51 games in 2008-09. Since taking over the Flames, he's won 48 games while the Devils have won 54 without him, including 48 with Jacques Lemaire as coach last season.
Puck Drop --
Devils coach John MacLean was asked after Monday's win if that emphatic of a win can turn around a season:
"Let's hope it is," he said. "We played a good game I thought in St. Louis (on Saturday) and we didn't get the two points, but (Monday) night we started strong again and continued with the game for 60 minutes. Hopefully we can build on that. We were solid defensively and we were able to get offensive chances off of that."