Posted January 26, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Falling just short of hoisting the Stanley Cup last season has provided the motivation for the New Jersey Devils' strong start this year.
The Devils attempt to remain undefeated Sunday night when they try for a ninth consecutive road victory over a Montreal Canadiens team looking for its third straight win.
New Jersey (3-0-0) lost in six games to Los Angeles in last season's Stanley Cup finals, but an otherwise memorable postseason run has fueled the Devils' attempt to take the next step in 2013.
"When we left last year, we were disappointed, but it left us with a great taste in our mouths, the great taste of success," said goaltender Martin Brodeur, who turns 41 in May. "Now we're jumping right back in and it's like we never left. It's a short season and we have to capitalize on our momentum.''
Brodeur made 26 saves and Patrik Elias had a goal with an assist as New Jersey won 3-2 over Washington on Ilya Kovalchuk's overtime winner after blowing a 2-0 lead Friday.
The last time the Devils won their first three games was 2002-03, when they last hoisted the Cup. Though New Jersey's last 4-0 start came when it failed to make the playoffs in 1995-96, this year's team could have the discipline and focus to maintain the quick start.
"There's a trust in that dressing room amongst the guys that if they do their jobs and stick to the system, and if we get the kind of goaltending we've got we have a chance to win every night," Devils coach Peter DeBoer told the NHL's official website.
Brodeur has stopped 68 of 71 shots through three games but has not won his first four since 1995-96. Backed by the future Hall of Fame netminder, the Devils have allowed a league-low three goals and rank among the NHL leaders by killing 16 of 18 penalties.
New Jersey has played stellar defense while outscoring the Canadiens 26-10 during an eight-game winning streak at Montreal that dates to a 4-0 loss March 11, 2008. A Montreal native, Brodeur has posted a 1.25 goals-against average during a personal seven-game road winning streak against his hometown team.
New Jersey's team leader with two goals and two assists, Kovalchuk has three goals and six assists in his last six against the Canadiens.
Though New Jersey has won three straight overall in the series, Montreal (2-1-0) has some momentum after scoring eight times in the last two games since a 2-1 season-opening loss to Toronto. Andrei Markov has scored all of his team-leading three goals in the last two, including one with an assist in Thursday's 4-1 win at Washington.
Healthy after two knee injuries, the 34-year-old Markov is a big reason Montreal is off to a solid start even while talented restricted free agent defenseman P.K. Subban has yet to come to terms with a new contract.
"(Markov) controls the game really well; he's got such an important role for us,'' first-year Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "He competes so hard, he's tough to play against. And he's doing a very good job on the power play.''
Markov has 10 assists but no goals in 31 games versus New Jersey.
Carey Price has a 3.23 GAA during an 0-4-1 home stretch against the Devils.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Arguably the best forward to ever play for the New Jersey Devils, Patrik Elias, has hit the 900-point plateau in his career.
Elias entered tonight's game against Montreal three points shy of the mark, but scored the Devils 1st goal and picked up primary assists on two more to reach the mark.
Elias still plans on playing a few more seasons in the NHL so barring any major...
Ilya Kovalchuk scored 4:39 into overtime, and the New Jersey Devils won their third straight game to start the lockout-shortened season, 3-2 over the winless Washington Capitals on Friday night.
Kovalchuk took a pass from defenseman Marek Zidlicky low in the left circle and beat Michal Neuvirth, who was outstanding in overtime. Neuvirth made seven saves, most on a New Jersey power...
NEWARK, N.J. - After blowing a two-goal lead in the third period by taking a string of five penalties, the New Jersey Devils didn't want to see the solid start to their season come to an end. "We just kept the faith," said veteran Ilya Kovalchuk, whose overtime goal with just 20.5 seconds remaining gave the Devils a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals Friday night...
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
The Hockey News: With the shortened season, there has been an early acclimation period for players, coaches and officials. How have you seen the start of the season playing out?
Brendan Shanahan: From what I’m watching, your’e right, everybody has an adjustment period. Coaches feel it, players, officials. Even players who’ve...
Match-up - New Jersey Devils (3-0-0) @ Montreal Canadiens (2-1-0)
Road/Home records - 1-0-0 -------------- 1-1-0
TV - RDS, MSG Plus
Puck drop - 6:00 PM ET
Season series - Tied 0-0
Last 10: Devils 3-0-0 / Canadiens 2-1-0
Projected starting goalies - Martin Brodeur (NJ) vs. Carey Price (MTL)
Battle of the stats
Goals for/against per game
Montreal - 3 / 1.33
New Jersey - 2.67 / 1...
Washington Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth completely robbed New Jersey Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky on this play. This has to be an early candidate for save of the year. Zidlicky had 2/3 of the net open and Neuvirth just snagged it. The Devils fans thought it was in and you can see almost an entire section behind the net start to celebrate and then become instantly disappointed...
Match-up - Washington Capitals (0-3-0) @ New Jersey Devils (2-0-0)
Road/Home records - 0-1-0 -------------- 1-0-0
TV - CSN-DC, MSG
Puck drop - 7:00 PM ET
Season series - Tied 0-0
Last 10: Capitals 0-3-0 / Devils 2-0-0
Projected starting goalies - Braden Holtby (WSH) vs. Martin Brodeur (NJ)
Battle of the stats
Goals for/against per game
Washington - 2 / 4.67
The New Jersey Devils picked up an overtime win over the Washington Capitals Friday night and are now 3-0-0 to start the season for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign.
The Devils jumped out to a 1-0 lead a little over halfway through the 1st period. Jacob Josefson dangled his way past two defenders before the puck ended up on Gionta's stick where he snapped one home...
The last few days I have been looking at the percentage of a teams ice time for a given situation that a particular player is on the ice for. So for instance, what percentage of the Leafs 5v5 even strength ice time was Joffrey Lupul on the ice in games in which Joffrey Lupul played. When I write a new
Washington Capitals (0-3-0) @ New Jersey Devils (2-0-0)
This is the second home game of the season for the Devils and the first time we will be meeting the Washington Capitals at the rock this season. Adam Oates, former Devils assistant coach took the head coaching job vacated by Dale Hunter last summer.
The Last Devils Game: The other night, the Devils took...
BY JIM HAGUE NEWARK, N.J. -- Ilya Kovalchuk scored his second goal of the season with just 20.5 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 victory over the struggling Washington Capitals Friday night at the Prudential Center. It was the 14th overtime career goal for Kovalchuk, who spent most of the NHL lockout playing in the KHL in his native Russia...
Martin Brodeur is a big reason why the New Jersey Devils are on the brink of their best start in over 10 years, but coach Pete DeBoer may still tweak the lineup.
Coach Adam Oates isn't ready to push the panic button even with his Washington Capitals off to their worst start in nearly two decades.
Brodeur isn't expected to be one of DeBoer's moves as he tries to build...