The Devils are back at home taking on current Eastern 8th seed Boston, who are nursing a one-point lead over the idle Rangers. They return to action tomorrow night with faceoff at 7:30, hosting seventh seeded Montreal. While that promises to be a big game, the Blueshirts also get the Blues Thursday and those struggling Bruins later this week.
Perhaps the B's should just forfeit the remaining 40 minutes. They're already down 3-zip. David Clarkson's tallied twice and Zach Parise just finished off a Mike Mottau point shot off a faceoff. Not surprisingly, all three have come at even strength as the Devil power play continues to operate as well as PSE & G. How good was the opening 20 for the Newark hosts? Martin Brodeur got the lone assist on Clarkson's eighth. Apparently, the other goal is now credited to Rob Niedermayer, who must've gotten a piece of David's shot. Martin Skoula picked up his first point on the opening tally. Clarkson and Parise struck 45 seconds apart late in the stanza which they controlled despite a 12-11 shot margin.
A great response by Jacques Lemaire's club following a stinker on the Island. If they win, it would be the fourth straight win on home ice and move them within two of first Pittsburgh with the final game of the season series Wednesday. Also of note, Parise's goal was his club-leading 32nd. Improving fourth center Rod Pelley also fought Mark Stuart, defending captain Jamie Langenbrunner who earlier went after Dennis Seidenberg for a questionable hit on Zach Attack.Noteworthy because these Devils stick up for each other. Something that bodes well moving forward.
As for Claude Julien's club, they came in losers of 3 of 4 (1-2-1). They've been unpredictable all season. Minus Marc Savard, goals are going to be tough to come by. In other words, a brutal period that they can't afford now. Will they be able to bounce back?