Archives for November 2007

MONTREAL AT NEW JERSEY LIVE-CAP

DIG IT!9:21 PM ET: And the game…is…OVER! The numbers: Marty’s 94th shutout. Parise’s 1st career hat trick. Devils’ sixth consecutive win. Devils’ 9th consecutive win against the Canadians. The stars of the game, as well they should be: Parise, Brodeur, Gionta. It’s nice when everything clicks, isn’t it? Goodnight everyone from your friends at 2 Man Advantage!

9:20 PM ET: Devils are still making Price work. Clarkson with a huge blast and Elias with a quick snapshot, both gobbled but by the Habs goalie.

9:17 PM ET: Three-ish minutes remain, score remains 4-0 Devils.

9:12 PM ET: Langs is out of the box it appears. I kind of lost track of the game for a few minutes due to the whole sickness thing. I’m back in action though, I swear!

9:06 PM ET: Langenbrunner to the box for the second time tonight, Canadians back to the PP.

9:02 PM ET: Canadians back to full-strength now.

8:59 PM ET: And Gio now! 4-0 Devils. Devils remain on a power play, this time of the traditional variety, the second half of Latendresse’s high sticking. Parise assists Gio’s goal, four points on the night for him.

Hat trick of Parise is Awesome pictures!8:57 PM ET: Time remains on the 5-on-3 as well. One of the minors gets taken down.

8:55 PM ET: ZACH PARISE A THIRD TIME! HAT TRICK! Need I say Zach Parise is so awesome? I needn’t, but I will. ZACH PARISE IS SO AWESOME.

8:54 PM ET: Madden bleeds too! That’s double-double minor penalties! Four minute five-on-three!

8:52 PM ET: Oooooo, Mike Mottau’s a team player and bleeds a little bit! Double minor for Latendresse.

8:51 PM ET: Officials miss a high-stick on Madden but see one on Mottau, so the Devils head to the PP nonetheless.

8:47 PM ET: Shot by Markov wide left. Guess you could say he was off the Mark-ov! Hilarious, really.

8:45 PM ET: And the third period is back on. Thanks for the well-wishes, feeling a bit better for now.

8:27 PM ET: Second period over, 2-0 Devils. I’m gonna catch some couch and drink some tea. See everyone in a few.

8:26 PM ET: Game’s slowed back down some. My illness bug has also re-asserted itself, which is why I’ve been quiet over the last few minutes. My apologies. Re-posted because it is the truth.

8:20 PM ET: That’s Parise’s 11th point in the last 5 1/2 games. Because Parise is awesome.

8:16 PM ET: ZACH PARISE AGAIN! 2-0 Devils as Parise stuffs home a rebound of a Gionta shot on the powerplay. Sweeeeet.

8:15 PM ET: Koivu interferes with Brodeur and gets two minutes of his own. Short 4-on-4, then the Devs hit the PP.

8:13 PM ET: 18 shots on goal for the Canadians, 12 of which on the powerplay. We should probably stop taking penalties, kids.

8:10 PM ET: Jamie Langenbrunner with a pretty obvious trip right in the center ice face-off circle. Montreal back to the power play.

8:08 PM ET: Carey Price likes to roam and twice now tonight that has nearly led to a Devils goal. Roam if you want to, Carey Price. Roam around the world. (With apologies to the B-52s).

8:05 PM ET: Not a whole helluvalot going on right now. Couple shots, couple saves, nothing doing on either end.

8:02 PM ET: The theme of the second period so far is defense. While the first period was free-wheelin’ fun hockey, this one so far is serious, studious hockey.

7:59 PM ET: Mottau with a BLAST that nearly re-arranges Gio’s face. That would have hurt just a bit if Gio were a few inches to the right.

7:57 PM ET: Game back on.

7:40 PM ET: 1-0 Devils after one. Considering the shot totals were a ridiculous 16-9, I’d say 1-0 is a good result. See y’all in 17.

That's good enough for me!7:38 PM ET: ZACH PARISE! Breakaway, damn he’s fast. Five-hole shot, 1-0 Devils, less than a minute to go in the first.

7:35 PM ET: Sigh. Our powerplay didn’t look quite a nice as Montreal’s. Penalty over.

7:30 PM ET: Very strong shift for Zubrus/Zajac/Langenbrunner. Zubrus with a rocket of a shot off the leg of a Canadian, that had to suck. Pelley gets taken out on the next shift and the Devils go to the PP. Hamrlik to the box for tripping.

7:24 PM ET: Marty is very obviously on fire tonight. Rachunek is out of the box and the Devs even manage a shot on goal!

7:21 PM ET: Rachunek to the box again for tripping Latendresse. I get it, it’s the Devils nefarious plan to lower everyone else’s power play percentage! Very wiley, Mr. Sutter.

Oh, I get it.  It's very clever.7:16 PM ET: Penalty’s over but you wouldn’t know it by the way Montreal’s kept it in the Devs’ zone. Ice is so tilted right now that I can’t even tell you who’s in net for Montreal, because his name has yet to be mentioned. Edit: Okay, it’s Carey Price. But I know that now only ’cause I looked it up.

7:12 PM ET: So the Canadians have the best power play in the league at a shade over 27% efficiency. So the Devils plan to contain Les Habs? Take penalties, of course! Zubrus to the bin for holding the stick.

7:10 PM ET: Lotsa shots getting through but Marty’s up to the task. Six shots on goal so far for Montreal. DAMN that was quick. Penalty time over.

7:09 PM ET: Twenty-two seconds in, Karel Rachunek off for a hooking call. Montreal PP.

7:08 PM ET: Game on!

Poor Pando.6:59 PM ET: So the big news of the evening is of course Mr. Jay Pandolfo not being in the Devils lineup. Thus ends his ironman streak of 307 consecutive games. Greene and Oduya are back in (good and not-as-good) and Brookbank takes a seat in the press lounge (also good). No word on who’ll replace Pando on the checking line but Sarge or Pelley seem logical choices.

6:45 PM ET: Live-cap coming up. Bear with me tonight, I’m ridiculously sick. So, if I happen to suck tonight, blame it on the bug. Yeah. It’s nice to have something to blame in the event I’m not entertaining…

Post-game fun: A win over Dallas is a good win for me!

UPDATE 12:13 AM ET: According to published reports, winger Jay Pandolfo suffered a groin injury in tonight’s win over Dallas and will be re-evaluated tomorrow to determine the extent of his injury. Pando was injured after slamming into the end boards while attempting an off-balance shot on Stars’ netminder Marty Turco in the third period of the contest. Hopefully it’s not too serious, but groins can be pretty concerning sometimes. We’ll surely be on top of this story as it unfolds!

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We seem to have a costume theme going here lately.Let’s get this party started!

Too dorky?

Apologies.

Anyway, our fearless red and black clad clan have successfully beaten the Dallas Stars 4-2 tonight, sparking a now-legitimately awesome five game winning streak. Oh, even more impressive, Black ‘n Red snapped a six-game streak for Dallas, who had earned points in their previous eight contests before tonight. Take that, Texas!

So, what happened tonight?

Let’s recap! New Jersey started off in craptastic fashion, with Mr. Vezina giving up two soft serve ice cream goals about three minutes apart to a couple of jokers named Stu Barnes and Jussi Jokinen. Worse yet, the first softie was also a shortie! Not good.

Surely, many fans were calling for the head of poor Mr. Vezina. He clearly had a bad start. However, Marty simply was in no mood for decapitation, as he turned his game around and made some sparkling saves to help lead his team back into the contest.

It's okay, he redeemed himself.Atta boy, Marty Brodeur.

With Marty back in his normal state of awesomeness, it was now time for the rest of the team to right the ship. Fan-favorite Davey Boy Clarkson provided such spark with an EA NHL 2004 trademark wraparound goal that we have all grown to know and love.

So, at this point, it’s 2-1. We have Martin Brodeur on one end doing his thing, and Davey Boy Clarkson on the other end doing his thing. Cue Brian Gionta breakthrough.

Yes, the three-foot-tall forward, who has easily underachieved thus far this season, actually scored a goal. Better yet, he scored said goal off of a prettyful feed from the immune system-challenged forward Patrik Elias, who has been equally disappointing this season.

It’s nice to see familiar faces do what they should be doing, isn’t it?

And we’re tied at two.

Great, but damnit, it’s not enough!

Achievement is good.Who better to score the would-be game winner than a third underachieving player in the seven-foot-tall Ruskie that goes by the name of Dainius Zubrus?

It’s like it was in the stars!

Zubbie made it a beauty, too, gobbling up a free gimme from Mike Modano and skating down the ice on a mini-breakaway with Jamie Langenbrunner to face a surely nervous Marty Turco in net. Zubrus would then make good on his attempt, connecting on an awesome pass by the Captain-worthy Langenbrunner to give the Devils their first lead of the night.

Now we’re talkin’!

The only thing that would be the black ‘n red colored frosting on this devil’s food cake, in my eyes, would be an empty net goal. You see, I like empty net goals. Especially when they are scored by the Devils. They certainly please me.

So what happened?

My dreams came true for once!

The achieving (no over, no under, juuust perfect) Zach Parise would net his ninth goal of the season with a lovely empty netter, officially giving New Jersey a very awesome 4-2 win for the night.

We don't even need an excuse to use this. He's that awesome.While things are looking pretty fantastic for Black ‘n Red right now, there is concern over the injured Jay Pandolfo, who slammed into the end boards after tripping awkwardly attempting an off-balance shot on Turco in the third period. We are surely hoping that the worst to happen to Pando is a bruised ego, as the former Selke nominee unfortunately hit the goal post with his attempt. Ouch.

NOTES: Martin Brodeur was honored before the game by the Devils for achieving his 500th win earlier this season. Brodeur reached the milestone against the Philadelphia Flyers on November 17th, helping the Devils to a 6-2 victory. After a shaky start tonight against Dallas, Brodeur finished with 19 saves on the night…Andy Greene and Johnny Oduya were both healthy scratches as defender Karel Rachunek returned to the lineup. Patrik Elias also returned for the Devils, registering an assist and one shot on goal for the night…Dainius Zubrus was named the game’s first star, tallying a goal and an assist while skating at a plus-two.

You know we have to do it

This will be a 2MA staple for this season.
EDIT: Holy smokes! AN EMPTY NET GOAL! We never score those! I’m in shock. Great team work gets Parise a freebie, 4-2 Devils. Good times. Devils win. Big win. Yays. Keep with 2MA for some awesomely awesome post game coverage, including an update on Jay Pandolfo.

Come on, you know we love you.

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3-2 New Jersey, courtesy of Mr. Zubrus. Stay tuned, we still gots a good nine minutes left in this contest.

Stars Pay Rare Visit to New Jersey

A very well-rested Devils team will get a chance to gain some ground in the Atlantic Division when they host the red-hot Dallas Stars tonight. It will be the Stars first ever visit to Prudential Center, and their first trip to New Jersey since 2003. The Stars and Devils faced off last season in Dallas, with the Stars emerging 3-1 winners. Travis Zajac’s first NHL goal was the Devils lone marker.

But seriously, no pressure.

Totally.Both teams have been consistent powerhouses in their respective conferences over the last decade or so, but both of them were off to some pretty rocky starts this season. The Stars went the pink-slip route and canned their GM; they’ve since gone 6-0-1. The Devils decided to, well, just get their asses in gear and stop playing like crap! Novel idea, eh? It seems all is well in their respective locker rooms, just in time for some to provide us with some (hopefully) entertaining hockey!

The Stars have done the Devils a few favors already on their current six game trip, defeating the New York Rangers 3-2 in regulation time and limiting the Islanders to only one point in the standings, thanks to Mike Modano’s OT winner a mere 35 seconds into the extra frame. The Devils will be looking to take advantage of the Stars victories, but it won’t be easy.

Those jerseys are awful.Dallas has been on fire lately and up-and-coming goaltender Mike Smith is on the cusp of taking the #1 job from Marty Turco. Smith figures to be the man between the pipes when Dallas takes the ice tonight, while Martin Brodeur, to the surprise of no one, will be getting the nod for the Devils.

Some roster moves to mention for New Jersey tonight — Patrik Elias has recovered from his flu-bug and will be in the line up tonight. Karel Rachunek will also make his return, prompting Brent Sutter to scratch a d-man as the Devils will not need to dress seven defenders. If Sutter has any brains at all, Sheldon Brookbank will get the reservation in the press box.

Both teams will be coming into tonight’s meeting protecting their respective winning streaks — six games for the Stars, four for the Devils. As mentioned above, it’s a wondrous opportunity for the Devils to climb in the Atlantic Division, given Dallas’ victories over both the Rangers and Islanders.

Don’t mess this one up, guys!

2MA PROGRAMMING NOTE

I’m quite sure some of you have been disappointed that we have scaled back live-capping lately. I whole heartedly apologize for that, readers of 2MA far and wide. You see, things have been a bit hairy now that we’re only carrying two live-cappers. With that said, though, the 2MA Crew promises to always cap at least one game each week (think of it as the 2MA Cap of the Week, if you will), and we will release a weekly schedule so you guys and gals will know which games will and will not be capped. Now, don’t fret, we will not limit this to merely one game every week, as there will certainly be weeks when we can cap multiple, if not every game for that week, and because we love you all so much, we will try our damn hardest to cap as many games as humanly possible! And for games that cannot be capped, look for period-by-period analysis from one of the 2MA Crew.

Here is the 2MA live-cap schedule for this week’s games:

2MA EXCLUSIVE: AN INTERVIEW WITH JOHN ZDUNKIEWICZ

Who is John Zdunkiewicz, you ask? Believe it or not, Mr. Zdunkiewicz (oh that’s brutal on the typing fingers) plays an integral part in the New Jersey Devils organization. Now, follow me and we’ll take a peak into the life of this up-and-coming goaltender…

OH YEAH!

2 MAN ADVANTAGE: Hey there, John. Let’s get this going. Tell us about yourself. You know, the basics: where you’re from, what you do, how you got into hockey, all that jazz.

JOHN ZDUNKIEWICZ: I am the emergency backup goaltender for the Trenton Devils. I am 25 years old and have been playing hockey since I was three years old. I grew up in Philly and moved out to Levittown when I was nine. Currently, I coach goalies all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey and referee ice hockey games to make a living. I am also engaged to the most beautiful woman I’ve known for about eight years.

2MA: Fantastic! How did you meet your fiancee?

JOHN: I met her at a rink when I coached her team, well, the goalies. That’s right, she plays hockey as well! I proposed to her on the ice on New Years Eve last year in a pick up game I set up with friends and family.

2MA: Cue chorus of “awws!”

2MA: Let’s talk about the T-Devils. How did your stint with the team come about?

So jealous. I'd kill to have my name legitimately on the back of a Devils jersey!JOHN: I get called up on a need basis. I am still a part of the team; however, I am only needed when the T-Devils are down to one goalie. When someone gets hurt and goalies are being moved around, Coach Vince Williams gives me a call and I drop everything and head to the Sovereign Bank Arena.

2MA: Have you gotten any playing time yet?

JOHN: I have been on the ice numerous times, but haven’t been in a game yet. Maybe one day!

2MA: So, how has this experience been so far? What do your family and friends think of the whole thing?

JOHN: My family is thrilled to finally see me part of a pro team. My goalies that I coach come to the games and have me sign stuff for them, they are thrilled as well.

2MA: What does the future of John Zdunkiewicz look like?

JOHN: Hopefully the future is bright! If I continue to play hockey the way I know how to, I will do just fine. I have a foot in the door and sometimes that’s all that’s needed, but I will continue to work my butt off harder than anyone out there in hope to get called up full time.

2MA: That’s the spirit! Clearly, hockey plays a huge role in your life, but what else are you interested in?

How awesome is this?JOHN: There’s not much outside of hockey. My fiancee works for the Ed Snider Youth Foundation, which brings hockey to kids in Philadelphia that cannot afford it. So even her life is all about hockey! Both our fathers play pick up hockey, her sister plays ice hockey for Neumann College as well. Hockey is our lives and I wouldn’t change a thing!

2MA: That’s truly awesome, John. Okay, I know you’ve been probably waiting for this question all night, so let’s finally get it out of the way. The million dollar question: which NHL team do you root for?

JOHN: This is where I get booed…

2MA: Remember, John, we will poke you in the eye if you give the wrong answer!

JOHN: …well, being born and raised in Philly, of course I root for the Flyers!

2MA: Drats.

JOHN: But, I always root for goalies when I’m watching. I love the position so much. Where I’m from, I cannot like the Devils or Rangers, but Marty Brodeur is amazing! His style of play amazes me every time I watch him. If the Devils are playing someone other than the Flyers I’m finding myself more and more into the games now.

Top: Rick Kowalsky Bottom: Vince Williams2MA: Okay, you’ve redeemed yourself John. Good boy. Well, I would like to thank you for taking some time out and chatting with us. The 2MA Crew wishes nothing but the best for you, and you better believe we’ll be rooting our respective asses off for you when you do get into a Trenton Devils game!

Any last words?

JOHN: I would like to thank Rick Kowalsky and Vince Williams for the opportunities they’ve given me and for the ones in the future. I will always work my hardest to prove my best. Thank you Patricia for this interview.

2MA: Thank YOU John!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE ED SNIDER YOUTH HOCKEY FOUNDATION, PLEASE CHECK OUT WWW.ESYHF.COM

COMMENTARY: Welcome (Back) To Hell

Clearly, the Devils were headed for doom.Flashback: November 16th, 2007: The Devils have just been shut out by the New York Islanders on their own ice, their fifth blanking of the young season. From my seats I had a Jersey Devil’s-eye-view of Brent Sutter holding his hands on his eyes, with good reason. His team had fallen to 7-10-2 and was in danger of being buried and forgotten about in that musty Atlantic Division basement.

Judging by the many similar performances of this years New Jersey Devils squad, one wouldn’t exactly be jazzed to see the Devils board a plane with a four-game road trip as their destination. In an even more humbling realization, that four-game trip pit New Jersey against teams that boasted such names as Briere, Crosby, Malkin, Kovalchuk, Hossa, Lecavalier, and St. Louis, just to name a few. Despite word that Colin White would rejoin the team on that trip, no, I was none too excited about the upcoming string of Devils hockey. Boy, were Devils fans across the nation in for a surprise.

The Devils surprised many in the hockey world by sweeping that feared road trip — a perfect 4-0, all in regulation time. It seemed as if something changed in that Devils core when they boarded that plane to Philadelphia, their first stop on the swing. They emerged landslide winners, 6-2 in their first contest. The snowball effect was set.

After pasting the Flyers, the Devils would go on to take down Pittsburgh (2-1), Atlanta (3-0), and Tampa Bay (3-2). A perfect road trip, if I do say so myself.

Obviously.I don’t know exactly what caused the Devils to play like men possessed. Maybe the chemistry finally clicked, maybe it’s the new goatee I’ve been sporting. I bet that’s probably it. But, you have to look at the game within the game to really appreciate the performance the Devils put forth.

To begin with, Special Teams have been a nightmare for Black ‘n Red before the trip, as they allowed at least one PPG in 16 of their previous 17 games. During the trip, the Devils killed 15 of 16 shorthanded situations. Jason Ward’s goal in the third period at Tampa marks the only tally. The Devils power play was equally effective. The boys also displayed that they are, in fact, actually capable of clearing the zone when the urgency presents itself.

I spy...Martin Brodeur put forth his best performance of the season at Atlanta, a game in which it would have taken a monstrous effort to put anything by him. It was in that same game that he would go on to record his first shutout of the season. Should he have anymore games like that one, there will be many more goose eggs to follow for the Devils opposition.

With the road trip over, and the Devils record jumping to 11-10-2, I’m dancing the happy dance before and after (and sometimes during) every shift I work. We are finally witnessing the Devils team that everyone (well, most of us) expected to see at the season’s open. The effort is there, the bounces are going their way, and the results are reflecting all the things they are doing right.

The Rangers and Islanders may be 3-0 against the Devs thus far, but something happened on that trip, and I’m not just talking about the eight points they earned.

The Devils are back, and the rest of the division should take notice.

How you like ‘dem apples?

2MA CONTEST EXTENDED!

Well, folks, we’ve decided to extend the 2MA contest until December 2!

Why, you ask?

We’re still getting lots of sticker requests! It’s quite flattering, really. Remember though, ladies and gents, you need to e-mail those submissions to us in order to win the grand prize. There have been some awesome entries so far, but we want to get as many as possible! By doing this, you’re not only giving yourself a great chance at winning some clearly amazing prizes, but you’re also getting the word out about this clearly amazing site to those poor souls who don’t yet know of our existence! We must spread the word!

2 MAN ADVANTAGE NEEDS YOUR HELP IN RULING THE WORLD!!!

Okay…so…world domination aside, let’s get back to the nitty gritty here.

THE NEW 2MA CONTEST DEADLINE IS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2ND AT MIDNIGHT. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRIES!!!

What can I win, you ask?

How about all this amazing stuff?STUFF!

FIRST PLACE: 2MA PRIZE PACK!!!

Winner receives a 2MA shirt (choose between three styles: t-shirt, golf shirt, baseball shirt) 2MA hoodie, and 10 2MA stickers.
SECOND PLACE: 2MA T-SHIRT or 2MA HAT!!!

Show your 2MA love with a lovely 2MA t-shirt or 2MA baseball hat. Choose between regular t-shirt or baseball shirt. They both kick serious butt. The hat rocks, too. You also get 5 2MA stickers.

Hurry, get those entries in before it’s too late!!!

NEW JERSEY @ TAMPA BAY LIVE-CAP

ALL THAT AND A BAG OF CHIPS!9:59 PM ET: Game over! Devils win 3-2, and they sweep the road trip! First four game winning streak of the year, allowed only five goals across said four games. The team is also over .500 for the first time since game six on the season. Next up it’s the Dallas Stars at The Rock. Thanks for hanging here at 2 Man Advantage and goodnight!

9:58 PM ET: Lecavalier with one hell of a save on the empty net while stickless, blocking the Devils shot and kicking it away. That was pretty nuts!

9:57 PM ET: Lightning timeout. The shots for the game are 34-21 Lightning. Devils with one shot in this period. Ouch.

9:56 PM ET: Marty being very cool under pressure, as well as the D in general. Loads of pressure by the ‘Ning. This ain’t good for my heart.

9:55 PM ET: Lightning net is empty.

9:49 PM ET: Penalty killed, though WAY too close for comfort. Let’s wrap this game up kiddies, shall we?

9:48 PM ET: NO GOAL! Score remains 3-2 Devils. Lightning fans are PISSED. Heh.

Attaboy!9:46 PM ET: Lightning shot gets stopped by Marty but trickles behind. Mottau dives for it and knocks the net off it’s moorings. Ref calls goal but it’s under review. Replay seems to show no goal!

9:44 PM ET: Lightning buzzing like crazy but Marty with some solid stops. This will be a very important penalty to kill, to state the obvious.

9:43 PM ET: Parise to the box for a hook. Gulp.

9:41 PM ET: Vishnevski with a big thump on Richards. Have I mentioned I REALLY like Vish?

9:37 PM ET: Pando and Clarkson on a two-on-one rush, but this time Clarkson shanks it wide. Dang.

9:35 PM ET: Toooooo much pressure in the defensive zone…

9:33 PM ET: St. Louis totally took a swipe at Zubrus while Zubrus was on the ice after the whistle. Yeah, the Dainius-saur may have tackled him a little, but c’mon now. No call though on either end.

9:29 PM ET: Game’s settled down a touch. Couple of chances for the Lightning but nothing too dangerous.

9:23 PM ET: Jason Ward credited with the Lightning PP goal. Lame.

9:21 PM ET: Sonofa…Ward with a shot that Marty gets a piece of but not enough. Richards may or may not have tapped it in but it doesn’t matter. 3-2 Devils.

9:20 PM ET: We’re back and Clarkson is gone for an interference penalty very early in the period. Boo.

9:03 PM ET: Period over. That was a good’un. 3-1 Devils, second intermission is on.

9:01 PM ET: Penalty was killed but chances galore for the Lightning. Marty is being awesome though, so nothing doing there. I like it when Marty is awesome. It’s…well…awesome.

8:56 PM ET: Clarkson to the box where he will feel shame, y’know. Two minutes, hooking. Devils on the PK.

The results are in...8:53 PM ET: Marty with a beautiful diving shoulder stop on Darche. Hot damn that was a nice stop.

8:51 PM ET: And again! Madden and Clarkson on a 2-on-1, Madden waits just long enough to feed Clarkson, who taps it into the wide open net. 3-1 Devils.

8:49 PM ET: GIO! Zajac with a nice defensive play to give Gionta room to shoot and Brian pings it in off the post. 2-1 New Jersey.

8:48 PM ET: The defenseman formerly known as Rad Brad temporarily forgot he switched teams over the summer and nearly puts one on his own net. Amusing!

8:44 PM ET: Great chance by Langs gobbled up by Holmqvist. Save for the 5-on-3 goal, Johan’s been pretty damn good tonight. Again, this bugs me.

We don't see enough of these.8:36 PM ET: Gionta on the doorstep and he pops home the Parise pass and we’re tied at one, TWO MAN ADVANTAGE STYLE! Sweet. Devs still on the power play due to the Ranger delay of game.

8:35 PM ET: Paul Ranger with a beautiful chip shot on the puck, sending it into the crowd and giving the Devs a two man advantage.

8:33 PM ET: Devils on the powerplay again, Gratton in the box for high-sticking.

8:31 PM ET: And now Vish goes to the box. And a faceoff occurs in which…no Devil participated. They dropped the puck and Madden was hanging out outside the faceoff circle. What in the HELL is going on here now?!

8:28 PM ET: Alright hockey gods, that wasn’t funny. Clarkson gets drilled and his glove gets stuck in the photographer’s hole in the plexi. Clarkson being taken out of the play gives Lecavalier a chance the other way and he connects. 1-0 Lightning.

8:27 PM ET: Second period underways. Hopefully exciting things to happen?

8:09 PM ET: Late flurry by Tampa results in no puck meeting twine, so we go to the first intermission in a scoreless tie. You’ve got seventeen minutes, use them wisely.

8:06 PM ET: Sorry for the delay there, gang. I’m still alive. Score is still 0-0 so we can’t have missed much, eh?

BOO.7:56 PM ET: When I said the ‘Ning had more offensive chances, I meant of the not-actually-putting-the-puck-on-net offensive variety, Devils still lead in the shot totals by way of 9-1.

7:53 PM ET: Aaaaand power play time is over. I think the ‘Ning had more offensive chances on the kill than the Devs did on that power play.

7:52 PM ET: Gio isn’t bleeding so it’s a regular two minute minor. Way to be a team player there Gio. Thanks.

7:51 PM ET: High-sticking call on Tampa, refs checking Gio for blood. C’mon Gio, bleed!

7:48 PM ET: Shots are 5-1 Devs and it’s a touch more than five minutes in.

7:44 PM ET: Devils getting some good chances, but Holmqvist is looking stellar. Stop it, Holmqvist. Just stop.

7:40 PM ET: Oh dear. I heard rumors of the power play waking up the last two games, but I’m not seeing it here…penalty time up.

7:39 PM ET: Penalty Tampa, Devils on the PP. That was quick.

7:30 PM ET: Game starting soon. Elias still out with the flu, line-up unchanged from last night’s game in Atlanta. Live-cap madness to ensue!

Devs Shoot For “Re-do” of Season Opener

The Devils are heading back to the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa Bay tonight, the same site they kicked off their season-opening nine game road trip. The Lightning of course bested the Devils in that opening contest by a score of 2-1, as it was Johnny Oduya’s first major blunder of the season (we’d later find out it was the first of many…) that cost the Devils the game. Alas, all was forgiven on Halloween night when the Devils welcomed Tampa for their inaugural visit to The Rock, and handed them a party favor of whoop-ass, humbling Tampa 6-1. The Lightning dropped their most recent game, at Carolina last night, by a score of 4-3 despite holding a 3-1 lead in the third period.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!Tonight’s game will give the Devils a chance to sweep their current four-game road trip, but the St. Pete Times Forum has not been a friendly place to Martin Brodeur in recent history. Since January of 2002 the all-star net-minder has racked up a dismal 2-5-2 record when visiting Tampa, despite posting a very respectable 2.06 GAA over that span. It will be very intriguing to see how his performance will unfold tonight, seeing as he is coming off his first shutout of the season — one that Zigmund Palffy himself wouldn’t have been able to break.

Speaking of Palffy, he may be retired, but as far as Brodeur is concerned, he may as well be reincarnated in the form(s) of Martin St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier. Lecavalier has already scored three goals on Brodeur this season. Both him and St. Louis will carry four-game point scoring streaks against the Devils into tonight’s ho-down.

Below is an excerpt from Tom Gulitti’s Fire & Ice Blog:

Devils coach Brent Sutter said this morning that Patrik Elias will miss his second game in a row tonight because of the flu. Sutter said he will make no lineup changes from Friday’s 3-0 win in Atlanta, meaning he’ll dress seven defensemen again and LW Mike Rupp and D Karel Rachunek will be healthy scratches. Martin Brodeur will start in net.”

I’m starting to grow very curious about Mike Rupp’s situation. It’s become rather blatant that Brent Sutter feels more comfortable without Rupp in the lineup. I reckon only time will tell the rest of that story. I’m not too concerned about Elias missing tonight as well, as the team put together a pretty solid offensive effort without him. I wouldn’t get too comfortable, but it’s not something to start throwing TV remotes at just yet. I am, however, worried about Rachunek missing another game. Karel leads the team in +/- with a +10 and despite a few hiccups, has been very sound in his own end.

C’mon Karel, play hockey, then worry about your family. Priorities man, priorities!!

We apologize for the technical difficulties during last night’s game, and we assure you the live-cap will happen tonight, and it will be juicier than a left-over turkey sandwhich! Josh comin’ at ya shortly!