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Penguins Take On Devils In Opener

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

GAME INFO


Pittsburgh Penguins (1-1-0-2) vs. New Jersey Devils (1-0-0-2)
Where: Mellon Arena
When: Saturday, October 11, 7:38 p.m.
Radio: WXDX Radio, FM 105.9
TV: FSN Pittsburgh, the game will be broadcast in HD, available on Armstrong 179, Atlantic Broadband 782, Citizen 737, Comcast 226/774, DISH 428 and DirecTV 659.

PENGUINS PROJECTED LINES

Forwards:
Fedotenko-Crosby-Satan
Staal-Malkin-Kennedy
Dupuis-Talbot-Cooke
Bissonnette-Zigomanis-Godard

Defensemen:
Orpik-Letang
Gill-Scuderi
Eaton-Goligoski

Goaltender:
Fleury

KEYS TO VICTORY


Beating Brodeur: New Jersey has relied on their Hall of Fame goalkeeper for the last 14 years. He’s always been stingy in net and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.

Break the Trap: The Devils have utilized the trap for nearly two decades. The Penguins will have to make crisp breakout passes to break the trap, and not allow the Devils to frustrate them.

Power play: Pittsburgh’s power play went 1 for 14 in the season-opening series. But with the Devils suffocating scheme, scoring opportunities will be limited and the Penguins will need to capitalize on their power play opportunities.


LOWDOWN ON THE DEVILS

Head coach Brent Sutter enters his second season leading the Devils. Sutter steered the club to a 46-29-7 record, finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference with 99 points and earning a playoff berth. The team struggle early last season with injuries, going 8-10-2. General Manager Lou Lamoriello brought back two former Devils, Bobby Holik and Brian Rolston, to help bolster the roster. New Jersey recorded its first win of the season Friday night, a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders.

OFFENSE

The Devils are known more for their defensive prowess than their offense. The team averaged 2.42 goals a game, ranking 27th in the NHL. Left winger Zach Parise led the team in scoring last year with 65 points (32+33) and no other player topped 60. Rolston's addition should help add some fire power. He registered 30 goals in each of the last three years in Minnesota

DEFENSE

Colin White returns for his seventh season with New Jersey. Veteran Bryce Salvador, a late season acquisition last year, returns after signing with the team in the offseason. Paul Martin and John Oduya provide some offensive punch from the blue line. Martin finished with 32 points (5+27) last season while Oduya recorded a team-high plus-27 rating.

GOALTENDING


Even at the age of 36, Brodeur is still the NHL’s premiere goaltender. Last season he won his fourth Vezina Trophy in five years after posting a 44-27-6 record with a 2.17 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. By the end of the season, Brodeur will own a few more goaltending records, including wins, games played and shutouts.

NEW (OLD) FACES

The Devils added two retread players in Rolston and Holik. Rolston (1994-00) returns following stops in Colorado, Boston and Minnesota. Holik (1992-02) played for the Rangers and Thrashers in the previous five season.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

Bobby Holik: Holik has been a thorn in the Penguins side for over a decade. He’s always matched against Pittsburgh’s top line and excelled at frustrating them, though at 37-years old his production has declined.

THEY SAID IT

“The one thing we know with (New) Jersey is that they always play well defensively. It’s never easy to play a team like the Devils. You have to be patient and they force you to make mistakes. It’s going to be a good test for us.”
- Michel Therrien

HIDDEN STAT

14: The number of wins Brodeur needs to surpass Patrick Roy for No. 1 all-time in NHL history. The record currently stands at 551.

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