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Devils, Oilers looking for sparks from power play

by Mike G. Morreale

OILERS (14-30-9) at DEVILS (21-23-9)


NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils hope to keep open the small window of opportunity that remains to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they play the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center on Monday.

The Devils, who are 8-3-2 in the past 13 games and 5-1-1 in the past seven, have 29 games remaining and trail the Boston Bruins by 12 points for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot. The odds aren't good, particularly when the Devils give away points as they did in a 6-2 loss against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

After facing the Oilers, No. 29 in the NHL standings, the Devils will travel to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday and Nashville Predators on Saturday, then start a six-game homestand that concludes against the Bruins on Feb. 27.

One area of concern for the Devils is the power play, which has gone 0-for-5 with one shot on goal in the past three games (2-1-0).

"We're still running our 1-3-1 power play and the problem I think has been our entries a little bit, but that's how it goes on every power play," Devils defenseman Andy Greene said. "If you're not getting it in clean than you're not getting in to set up. You're just wasting time chasing pucks and wasting energy. And a couple of times that's been the problem."

Forward Mike Cammalleri, who leads the Devils with seven power-play goals, said he wasn't concerned about the recent failures with the man advantage.

"We have a structure we try and enter the zone with and have options off that," Cammalleri said. "It might be speed carrying it in or a dump-in. That's dictated not only by us, but the killers and what kind of angles they're taking. At the end of the day we have five and they have four so someone should be open. We need to find that person."

The Oilers, who have lost two straight and have been outscored 7-1 during that stretch, will be playing the second of a six-game road trip.

"I think when you talk about jump starting an offense, you always look to the power play," Oilers forward Jordan Eberle said. "You have to get touches and you have to get shots."

The Oilers are 0-for-12 with the man advantage in the past six games (2-4-0).

"We need to find a way to draw more penalties and create offense," Eberle said. "You always find that when things aren't going well offensively your power play needs to be the catalyst."

Here are the projected lineups:


Teddy Purcell - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Matt Fraser - Derek Roy - Nail Yakupov

Luke Gazdic - Anton Lander - Iiro Pakarinen

Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Rob Klinkhammer

Jeff Petry - Andrew Ference

Oscar Klefbom - Justin Schultz

Martin Marincin - Mark Fayne

Ben Scrivens

Viktor Fasth

Scratched: Keith Aulie

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (lacerated spleen), Taylor Hall (left ankle), Benoit Pouliot (foot), Nikita Nikitin (shoulder)


Dainius Zubrus - Mike Cammalleri - Jaromir Jagr

Patrik Elias - Travis Zajac - Martin Havlat

Adam Henrique - Scott Gomez - Steve Bernier

Tuomo Ruutu - Jacob Josefson - Jordin Tootoo

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

Jon Merrill - Marek Zidlicky

Mark Fraser - Peter Harrold

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Eric Gelinas, Michael Ryder

Injured: Stephen Gionta (fractured hand), Damon Severson (fractured left ankle), Bryce Salvador (back), Ryane Clowe (concussion)

Status report: Scrivens will make his first start in four games. … Hall returned to Edmonton on Sunday to get a bone bruise on his ankle re-examined. Oilers coach Todd Nelson provided no update after the morning skate Monday and said only after the MRI results will an update be made. … Pouliot, who has missed the past two games with a foot injury, did skate but will not be in the lineup. Nelson said, "He's still some time away." … There's a chance Gelinas could draw back into the Devils lineup after missing five games as a healthy scratch. Lamoriello said he would make that decision after the pregame warm-up.

Who's hot: Eberle has three goals and four points in the past four games. … Jagr has two goals and four points in the past four games.


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