Captainbrunner = Hattrickenbrunner

Okay, so I gotta work on the name.  I can’t help it if Hat Trick doesn’t fit in as nicely for Langenbrunner as it does Andy Greene (Greenetrick!) or Niklas Bergfors (Bergtrick!) or Patty Elias (Hatrik, of course).

But yes, Jamie Langenbrunner, fresh off his addition to the roster of Team USA as token old guy, goes home to Minnesota and notches a hat trick in a game the Devils absolutely did not deserve to win, yet still managed to.  The win was entirely because of the Captain.  Well, okay, Jay Pandolfo (seriously!) and Martin Brodeur too.  Everyone else kind of sucked.  Even our beloved Andy Greene (we say it ’cause we love, Andy!).

But despite the majority of the team sucking, the Devils still topped the Wild, 5-3.  All because of Captainbrunner’s first career hat trick.  I’m amazed it’s his first.

So a brief jaunt into the Western Conference ends with an abysmal performance in a Chicago loss and a not-much-better performance in a Minnesota win.  But that’s the nice thing about this year’s team – they can still find a way to win even when they suck.  It wasn’t happening that way the last few years.

Now we can look forward to Tuesday against the Stars.  Why would anyone be looking forward to this game in particular?  Three reasons:  1) Stanley Cup in the house (and money raised by selling pictures with it goes to charity, always something we’re down with at 2MA), 2) Claude Lemieux is scheduled to be there, and 3) I’m gonna be sitting in the rich people seats that night.  Hooray for free food and pretending to be snobby in the Ice Lounge!

Mmmm, Victory

Tastes good, don’t it?

That’s a win, kiddies.  That’s a WIN.  Walk into the building of the defending Stanley Cup champions and deliver a good old crotch-stomping to the tune of a 4-1 victory.  Beautiful.

(Side note:  Does anyone else get the feeling that Marty would be pushing 200 shutouts if Chico wasn’t one of our announcers?)

Anyhoo.  Stellar game.  The Devils are now 5-0 on the road (yet 1-3 at home.  Gotta fix that.).  The Penguins came in riding a SEVEN game win streak, and the win was only their second loss on the year.  The first was to the Coyotes.  True story.

Let’s discuss goal scoring for a moment:  Mark Fraser not only notches his first NHL goal, but also the first goal by a Devils defenseman all year.  Bergfors goes from slumping to a hot stick in two games, potting his second in as many games.  Zajac and Parise hook up for a goal and assist each, clearly trying to prove to Lemaire that BFFs on the same line should never be broken up.

The only downsides to this game:  Both Jay Pandolfo and Paul Martin go down with unspecified injuries.  And some might argue the former may not be much of a downside (sorry Super Jay).

Edit 10:47 PM: Tom Gulitti reports that Paul Martin may have a broken forearm and that Jay Pandolfo’s right shoulder popped from the socket on a hit from behind by Mike Rupp.  Both could potentially be lost for awhile.  That could suck.

So the Devils come home to rest and relax for a few days before taking on the Sabres at The Rock on Wednesday.  A good game to head home to.

This is worse than a hangover.

I sit here in my Windy City apartment, fighting back the urge to kick my vibrating fridge, wondering what the heck happened last night.

We were so close.

How does a team go from glory to undeniable shame and defeat in the span of a minute-thirty? No heart? No drive? No courage?

No killer instinct.

Let’s face it, boys and girls, this team could have easily put this game away last night. There were odd man rushes, two-on-ones, heck, a four minute man advantage and — nothin’. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

I could go on, but it hurts my heart too much.

Oh, who are we kidding? My heart was ripped from its casing last night and severed to millions of tiny bleeding pieces by the sharpened skates of 23 men.

It hurts.

I do not think this team didn’t have the guts to get the job done. The Hurricanes were simply the better team. Aside from flashes of brilliance and a jewel of a Game 5, Cam Ward was the better goaltender.

Our defense is mediocre at best — yeah, Havelid, go hide in a ditch somewhere west of the Delaware. You are not welcome in New Jersey anymore.

While our offense kicked it up seven THOUSAND notches this season, guys like Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik don’t hack it. Thank goodness we weren’t subjected to Holik’s obligatory three stupid penalties last night, and while it’s fantastic that Rolston finally got a goal, I’d really like to give another Brian all the credit for that tally. Thank you, Mr. Gionta. Whether your on-ice awareness succeeded or you merely blindly threw the puck towards the boards and it just happened to bounce right to Rolston’s stick — I don’t care. It was awesome and one of the few things I can actually smile about after last night.

What do we do? Fire Sutter? Plead for Brodeur’s retirement? Take the entire defense outside and send them into the depths of Newark, just hoping they won’t return safely?

I’m not sure.

All I know right now is that I’m sitting in an apartment with an annoyingly loud vibrating fridge, overlooking the glowing red of the Sears Tower as Chicagoans rejoice, for their team has made it to the second round and mine hasn’t.

Life just doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Devils @ Canadians LIVECAP!

9:45 PM: I’m going to call it a night, boys and girls.  A great evening all around.  Thanks for checking us out tonight, goodnight!

9:43 PM: Patrik Elias with a goal and an assist ties John MacLean for the career lead in points as a Devil.  Jamie Langenbrunner ties his career high for goals in a season.  Brian Rolston earns his 300th career goal.  Martin Brodeur notches career win #551.  What.  A.  Night.

9:41 PM: Three stars – Elias, Patrice Briesbois (who played in his 1,000th career game tonight and skated over to congratulate Brodeur while out as the second star), and, of course, Marty.

9:40 PM: The Canadians fans are standing for Marty – they went from booing their team to cheering Marty as the clock ran out.  Beautiful.  Beautiful.

9:39 PM: GAME!  Martin Brodeur has tied Patrick Roy for the all-time wins record!

9:37 PM: Last minute of the game…if you live in New Jersey and don’t have them yet, I’d advise picking up your tickets to the game on Tuesday night right about now while there’s still some good deals out there!

9:36 PM: Two minutes…Halak still in net for the Canadians.  Devils aren’t even giving them a chance to pull him if they wanted to.

9:35 PM: FORTY-FIVE shots on goal for the Devils so far tonight, versus 22 for the Habs.

9:34 PM: Fans are booing the Canadians now…so much for the possibility of their cheering Marty, at least so far.  To be fair, the Canadians have looked really bad for the last ten minutes or so.  Three minutes left.

9:33 PM: Four minutes to go…

9:28 PM: Bobby Holik doing what Bobby Holiks do best – no, not taking bad penalties, but getting physical with the goaltender.  Which, I guess could constitute a penalty, but not in this case.

9:25 PM: CAPTAINBRUNNER!  Beautiful wrist shot after backing away from the slot and it’s 3-1 Devils.  Langenbrunner ties his career high for goals, and all but one of the big milestones I mentioned at the beginning of this LiveCap have come to fruition, and the fourth one is about six minutes from being a reality as well.

9:24 PM: BIG HIT by Mike Rupp!  Pacioretty, with his head down, is knocked loopy by Rupp between the circles.

9:23 PM: I’d really, really like this game to be over.  My tummy hurts.

9:20 PM: Ten to go in the period.  It’s been kinda slow since the first, eh?

9:17 PM: Clarkaround!  Of course it doesn’t go, and a quick whistle puts an end to any rebound chance.

9:12 PM: DAMN!  Two-on-one for Zajac/Parise but a beautiful defensive play by Briesbois puts an end to that before Zajac can shoot or pass.  Nice play by Patrice.

9:11 PM: 34 shots on goal for the Devils so far, and it’s still only 2-1.  Halak’s been pretty damn good.  Dammit.

9:08 PM: Man oh man, if Marty does tie the record tonight, he will have definitely earned it.  Good couple of chances for Les Habs on the power play, all stood up by Senor Brodeur.

9:07 PM: One minute down in the Canadians PP.

9:04 PM: Ooooo, more chippy-ness following a Bryce Salvador over-the-glass delay of game penalty.  Nothing more comes of it and Salvador is the only one to sit in the box.  Canadians to a PP.

9:01 PM: Third period on!

8:44 PM: Aaaand that’s the end of two.  Score remains 2-1 and I will see you, if you’re still out there, in the third.

8:43 PM: Ouch.  Zajac gets smushed behind the Canadians net.  He’s okay though.  Crazy sustained pressure by the Devils in the Canadians zone.

8:39 PM: Ah, Josh Gorges held someone, that was the Canadians penalty.  As for our power play – some chances, no goals.  Halak’s pretty good about his rebound control.  Power play is over, three minutes to go in the second.

8:38 PM: Huh.  We come back from commercial to be on a power play, but I wasn’t really paying attention so I don’t know why.  I’ll take it, though!

8:36 PM: I dislike Halak.  He’s playing pretty well tonight, which disappoints me greatly.  Didn’t he get the memo that it’s Marty’s night?  Jackass.

8:34 PM: Things getting chippy.  Clarkson in the middle, of course.  Before that was Rupp getting cranky with some Canadians.  Also of course.

8:31 PM: Habs with some serious pressure on Marty and in the Devil end for the first time tonight.

8:29 PM: Canadians fans cheer wildly for the most mundane of bringing-the-puck-up-the-ice plays.

8:23 PM: Wow, the replays of those two stops showed they were even more awesome than they originally appeared.  He kicks one out with a leg behind his body, then blocks the other with his shoulder while falling down.  Hot diggity!

8:20 PM: Marty with a couple of big stops!  Wait, they’re actually going to make him WORK to tie the record?  I thought this was an arranged marriage type situation?!

8:18 PM: This Shanahan-Zubrus-Clarkson line – I like the cut of it’s jib.  Another thing I like?  That little WRAT promo angling for disenfranchised former K-Rock listeners.  Shame most K-Rock listeners can’t pick up The Rat.

8:16 PM: That was funky.  Somehow Parise wound up in the Canadians net, wiping out Halak in the process.  No penalty on young Zachary, however, much to the chagrin of the Canadians faithful.

8:13 PM: This power play, not so great.  PP time is up and the teams skate five aside.  Also, I kinda like these retro Canadians jerseys.  At least they’re not the barbershop jersey from earlier this season/way early in the Canadian’s existence.

8:12 PM: Oh yeaaaah, we’re still on a power play!  Usually that “oh yeaaaah” realization only happens when we’re killing a penalty to start a period.

8:12 PM: We back, yo.

7:53 PM: ‘nother Canadians penalty, another delay of game penalty, this one on Markov.  Period ends with the Devils on the PP – 1:47 of PP time to start the second when we get back.  14-7 Devils by way of shots on goal, 2-1 Devils by way of score, and I will see you in seventeen minutes.

7:52 PM: Clarkson wants to wraparound so badly.  He’s been thinking it at least twice tonight, only to be stopped before he even really got started.

7:48 PM: Oh jeez, Marty gets bodychecked by Alex Tanguay.  It was definitely a penalty, but Marty sure made it look good, too.  Hah.  Devils again to the PP – fourth time already tonight.  Two minutes to go in the period.

7:47 PM: Patrick Roy’s in the building.  Hooray, I guess.

7:44 PM: I can’t believe I didn’t notice this immediately – Patty Elias gets the assist on the Rolston goal, tying him with Johnny Mac for the all-time lead in points as a Devil!  ‘grats PATTY too!

7:40 PM: The ice-level microphones are working quite well tonight.  You could hear Kostopoulos’…uhm…”complaints” about his last penalty loud and clear, same with the ref yelling “NO HIGH STICK NO!” when Patrik Elias tipped the puck into the zone just then.  This amuses me.

7:37 PM: Dang.  Tomas Plekanec with a goal.  2-1 Devils now, and the shutout counter ain’t gonna change tonight.  Sad.

7:35 PM: WHOA!  Rolston with a dump-in, blocked down by the defender right back to Rolston, who blasts it by Halak!  That’ll be Rolston’s 300th of his career (‘grats Rollie!) and it’s 2-0 New Jersey.

7:33 PM: ‘nother Canadians penalty – silly Tom Kostopoulos, you don’t have to hold Mike Mottau to slow him down!

7:31 PM: Madden shorthanded breakaway – misses wide.  Okay, maybe his hand WAS amputated, without the aid of hospital-grade painkillers.

7:30 PM: Komisarek outtathabox for Montreal, one minute of penalty-kill time.  Also, Mad Dog’s back out, so I guess his hand didn’t have to be amputated.  Or it did and he’s hepped up on Pecosets.

7:26 PM: Aw dang.  Gionta with a holding-the-stick penalty.  Four-on-four for a minute, then Canadians to the PP.

7:24 PM: GOAL!  Patrik Elias with a BLAST and the Devils with a 2 MAN ADVANTAGE goal!  1-0 Devils, Elias with his 700th point as a Devil, one shy of Johnny Mac’s record, and we’re still on a power play for 1:45ish.

7:23 PM: Devils to the 2 MAN ADVANTAGE!  Someone from Montreal flips the puck over the glass and the Devils get the 2MA for, oh, 7 seconds.

7:22 PM: Good pressure, bad staying-on-feet skills.  Zajac takes a tumble in the offensive zone.

7:20 PM: Langenbrunner to Parise, who’s sliding on his butt directly into the goalpost.  Luckily, sliding on his butt was the result of a Tom Kostopoulos hold, and the Devils to a PP.

7:19 PM: John Madden takes a shot off the hand and heads to the bench.  Man up, Madden.  Man up.

7:17 PM: I’m moderately disappointed that the game’s been on for two minutes and we haven’t scored yet.

7:15 PM: Puck’s on the ice in Montreal!

7:09 PM: Les Habs are continuing their 100th year celebration by wearing another old jersey, one that is primarily white.  Which means the Devils are wearing their home reds.  Works for me, the way they’ve been playing at home lately.

7:02 PM: Need MORE proof that tonight’s gonna be a huge historic event?  Check out who’s roaming in the comments section!  Hiya P!

7:00 PM: Obviously, the big one:  With a Devils victory, Martin Brodeur ties Patrick Roy’s record of 551 career wins.  Other possibilities:  With two points, Patrik Elias can tie John MacLean’s record for career points as a Devil.  With a goal, Jamie Langenbrunner will top his career high for goals in a season.  Also, Brian Rolston’s next goal will give him 300 on his career.  Finally, Kevin Weekes is two chapters shy of finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, completing his quest to finish the series while the rest of the team plays hockey games.

6:47 PM: There’s something historic in the air this evening.  Some kind of record could be tied tonight.  Actually numerous milestones can be attained – I’ll run it down in a bit.  LiveCap coming – let me know you’re out there!

Devils @ Lightning LIVECAP!

7:36 PM: Alright, so I’m gonna go get something to drink, then start my 2MA overtime shift, updating the ZUBBIECOUNTER four times over. See everyone soon!

7:34 PM: Final statline:
Zubrus – four goals
Elias – three asists, eleven points in the last five games
Salmela – two assists
Leach earns his first NHL point with an assist
Rupp notches his first goal of the year
Gionta has scored in four consecutive games

7:32 PM: And that’s the game! 7-3 Devils – save for a harrowing couple of minutes late in the second, a very well played game all-around.

7:30 PM: One minute remaining in this splendid game.

7:28 PM: Lost in the ZubbieMadness is the fact that Elias currently sits with three assists, adding to his insane point totals in the last five games.

7:26 PM: Anssi Salmela with a pretty blatent trip and the ‘Ning head to the power play.

7:35 PM: ZUBBIE AGAIN! Holy ZUBBIECOUNTERMELTDOWN BATMAN! 7-3 Devils, FOUR goals for Zubrus!

7:21 PM: Not much going on right now. Probably a good thing, my heart can only take so much.

7:19 PM: I’ll take Tampa’s use of Ole! by Bouncing Souls as a good sign for us. Because I liked Ole! as our goal song, I don’t care what anyone else says.

7:15 PM: My goodness, this game oughtta be like 10-3 right now. Elias with a wide open net, can’t get much on the shot and Ramo gloves it down.

7:11 PM: ‘nother Clarkaround try, nothing doing. Man the ZUBBIECOUNTER is gonna be back in full force tonight.

7:09 PM: ZUBTRICK! ZUBTRICK! ZUBTRICK!!! Beautiful breakaway backhand and DAINIUS ZUBRUS HAS SCORED A HAT TRICK!!

7:06 PM: Oh jebus. Langenbrunner with a rather wide open net, sends it high.

7:02 PM: We’re not looking good this period. Luckily, however, neither are the ‘Ning.

6:59 PM: Okay, we’re back for the third period. Again, we’re pretending the last seven minutes of the second period were a terrible nightmare and nothing more. Let’s get it on.

6:42 PM: Okay, end of the second period. I’m willing to act like the last seven minutes didn’t happen if the Devils are as well. Let’s just keep in mind that it’s still a two goal lead going into the third period. I’ll be back then.

6:40 PM: I miss Kolzig.

6:37 PM: Another goal would be REAL nice right now. I liked Tampa Bay as a place better when the building was silent.

6:35 PM: …who scores on it. 5-3 Devils. Uhm…this ain’t good.

6:34 PM: Pando! That was not kosher! Pando breaks up the breakaway, but not in the usual Devils manner, and now it’s a penalty shot for Malone.

6:31 PM: Oh dear. St. Louis with a goal on the 4-on-4 and now it’s 5-2. Okay guys, that’s enough feeling bad for Tampa now…

6:30 PM: Devils penalty now, Zajac for interference. Sigh. Four-on-four now. for about a minute and twenty.

6:29 PM: Hey, penalty on the Bolts. Good deal! Too many men on the ice.

6:28 PM: Damn. Radim Vrbata taps one in and it’s 5-1 Devils. Oh well.

6:23 PM: We’ve still got over seven minutes to go in the second. Gionta’s goal is his sixth on the year and makes it four straight games that he’s potted a puck.

6:21 PM: 5-0 DEVILS! Beautiful screen by Zubrus and Gionta gets the goal. Kari Ramo is now in net for the ‘Ning, as the red n’ black have chased Olie the Goalie.
6:19 PM: Clemmensen with a couple of good saves. Actually, our D looks real good tonight too. We just look good all around. Weird, huh?

6:17 PM: Salvador goes to the box for hooking. He feels shame.

6:15 PM: Couple of nice stops by Clemmensen. I’m rather impressed with Clemmer’s play since Marty’s injury. But his amazing play almost makes me sad, because I feel terrible for Kevin Weekes. However, I’ll take a non-sucky Clemmer over a sucky Clemmer any day.

6:12 PM: Penalty kill’t.

6:10 PM:Devils PK hits the ice as Colin White (who got an assist on the second Zubbie goal) goes off for tripping.

6:07 PM: Oh. My. God. ZUBBIE AGAIN! Zubrus fights the puck past the pads of Kolzig and it’s 4-0 Devils. ZUBBIECOUNTER is working overtime today.

6:03 PM: Zubbie! ZUBBIE! CRAP I DON’T HAVE THE COUNTER READY! 3-0 Devils and the World-Famous ZUBBIECOUNTER will notch up one more when this game has ended!

6:02 PM: They’re reviewing it, though it’s pretty clearly no goal.

6:01 PM: Oh myyyy some beautiful passing on the PP but Kolzig stones Zajac with his stick. Good looking power play so far.

5:59 PM: Devils remain on the power play to begin this period.

5:58 PM: We’re back y’all. Second period, underway.

5:42 PM: And a very good first period is in the books, Devils lead 2-0. See you in seventeen.

5:39 PM: Devils hit the power play, holding on…a Bolt. Less than a minute left in period #1.

5:38 PM: BIG save by Kolzig on Langenbrunner.

5:36 PM: Whoo! Clemmensen makes a wicked save on a deflection, play comes up to the other end. Clarkson draws a penalty, passes to Salmela who threatens to shoot multiple times but dumps it off to Leach, who passes to Parise coming off the bench. Parise with the blast and it’s 2-0 Devils! A beautiful play from beginning to end.

5:33 PM: I think Clarkson just tried a Clarkaround without even having the puck on his stick…

5:27 PM: Clarkaround try! Missed entirely. You keep trying though Clarkie. Someday…Someday…

5:25 PM: Big blasts from the defense by Martin and Salvador. We almost look like we’re on a power play right now. It’s kind of weird, seeing a team not called the Devils play like we usually do.

5:23 PM: Ten minutes in, and not much interesting going on since Rupp’s goal. A nice chance for Zubrus/Elias, but the pass was not on target, so nothing doing there.

5:21 PM: Bryce Salvador is a defensive BEAST. To think, we got this guy for Cam Janssen. I love-ed Cam Janssen, but…man did we ever win on that trade.

5:19 PM: I would LiveCap a game that MSG+ seems to have issues with broadcasting. Eesh. All is well now though. I think

5:17 PM: Scott Clemmensen’s been wearing 35 this year, but the back of his helmet still says 40. This amuses me for some reason, that he hasn’t bothered to get it re-painted.

5:14 PM: Third jersey rant time: If you’re gonna go with writing out your name, write out YOUR TEAM’S NAME! NOT SOME LAME NICKNAME! I’m looking at you, “Bolts” and “Sens”. Thankfully we’ll never have to see a third jersey that says “Devs” on it.

5:11 PM: Holy crap Mike Rupp scores! Deflects a shot/pass from Anssi Salmela five-hole through Kolzig. Beautiful tip. 1-0 Devils.

5:09 PM: Puck meets ice and we’re underway. Olaf Kolzig’s in net for the ‘Ning.

5:07 PM: Oh, and Jay Leach is up to replace Mottau. Yippie.

5:02 PM: To get us all up to date: Mottau’s suspended for tonight’s game as well as Wednesday’s. Madden remains out with a sore foot. Clemmensen’s in net after Weekes posted the win Friday. The Lightning’s third jersey is muy ugly. We good? We good.

4:43 PM: Devils take on the ‘Ning, 5 PM eastern. Stick with us!

Devils @ Atlanta LIVECAP

9:44 PM: Brent Sutter: “Ankle sprain. He’ll be fine.” Uhhhhhh…yeah. Kay. Thanks, Brent, you’ve been quite informative.

9:41 PM: Alright, so no word on Rolston yet. If they say anything that actually means anything, I’ll post it up here. I’m expecting “lower body injury” (or possibly “head cold”) with no actual idea as to how long he’ll be out. If it’s different, I’ll let you know. If not, goodnight all!

9:24 PM: And, like the game itself, the first LiveCap of the season is in the books, it wasn’t pretty, but it happened. I’ll stick around a bit longer to see if we get an update on Rolston’s condition, but I’m not holding my breath…

9:22 PM: GAME! 1-0 Devils. It wasn’t pretty, the offensive production still sucks, the power play still sucks, but it’s a win nonetheless. Marty’s now 10 wins from tying Patrick Roy for most all-time by a goalie (11 from breaking the record), and six shutouts away from tying Terry Sawchuk for most shutouts of all-time., seven from breaking the record.

9:22 PM: BEAUTIFUL defensive play by Martin to prevent a shot on goal on the rush. Twenty seconds to go.

9:21 PM: Empty Thrasher net.

9:17 PM: Ice is tilting Atlanta’s way with two minutes to go. Meep.

9:15 PM: ANOTHER two-on-one featuring Jay Pandolfo, another non-shot-on-goal. At least no one crashed in a heap into the boards this time, though, so, y’know, take what we can get, yes?

9:13 PM: No updates on Rolston (what, you expected the Devils would reveal anything ever at any time?), but the replay reminds me a little Sidney Crosby’s crash into the boards last year that resulted in his high ankle sprain. Let’s hope that’s not the case here…

9:12 PM: Still 1-0, seven minutes to go in the game. Zubrus is now centering Elias and Gionta, so I guess the great line shake-up of the second period has ended. The 32 fans in attendance are chanting! It sounds impressive for 32 people.

9:09 PM: Rolston hit the boards after losing an edge, Chico says he needed help getting into the locker room because he couldn’t put much weight on his foot. Me no likey.

9:07 PM:Elias and Rolston two-on-one gets broken up, and after the play, Rolston is down and looks to be hurting…crap. Just…crap.

9:05 PM: Shorthanded two-on-one for Madden and Pando, Madden passes, and Pando fires it directly into Lehtonen’s pads. Another two-on-one, Elias and Pando, again nothing doing. But it’s chances, at least! …right?

9:04 PM: Atlanta’s on a power play and I have no idea why. Either I wasn’t paying attention or MSG didn’t think it was important to tell me. Neither would be surprising. Atlanta hits the pipe on the power play.

9:01 PM:Penalty kill’t. Big save by Marty (and then again possibly by Salvador’s backside) at the end of the Thrasher power play. Our power play may be awful, but at least the penalty kill’s holding up it’s end of the bargain…

8:58 PM: Paul Martin going off for a holding-the-stick penalty, Thrashers to the PP again.

8:55 PM: Marty with a save on Bogosian. Come to think of it, has Bogo scored yet in his pro career? Marty seems to like giving up first career goals…

8:52 PM: Third period’s on, goal credited to Rolston after all. Zubrus and Gionta on the assists.

8:35 PM: And that’s the end of period #2, 1-0 Devils. 20 shots on goal (I still refuse to believe that). Third period coming up soonish.

8:33 PM: The official announcement at the arena is giving the goal to Langenbrunner from Rolston and Zubrus. Lehtonen with a huge glove save on Elias keeps it a one-goal game.

8:31 PM: FINALLY! Rolston, let off the point at the power play, forces his way in front of the net and jams home his own rebound. Devils lead 1-0, Rolston notches his first of his second Devils go-round, and the Devils power play finally picks up another goal. Alllll right.

8:30 PM: Exelby takes the roughing penalty for his tackle of Langenbrunner, the ever-dangerous Devil power play takes the ice.

8:27 PM: Now it’s Rolston, Langenbrunner, and Zubrus. And hey, even a little scrummy-ness involving the Cap’n and Garnet Excelby. The most life I’ve seen tonight. The 32 fans in attendance even seemed to wake up.

8:26 PM: Rupp/Zajac/Parise? Really?

8:24 PM: Cangelosi just said the shots for the second are 13-5 Devils. I refuse to believe this. There is no way I’ve seen thirteen Devil shots on the night, let alone this period.

8:19 PM: Clarkson wraparound try! Gasp and shock, it’s not even close.

8:15 PM: Zubrus charging in on a three-on-one, opts to shoot…and misses the net entirely. Blast.

8:13 PM: I wonder how we managed to win two games so far this year considering I can’t recall ever actually scoring any goals…

8:06 PM: Hey hey, something interesting! Brodeur with a stop on the big blast by White (not Colin, Todd), leaves a huge rebound and manages to get in front of the follow-up shot as well. Stellar stop by Marty. The 32 fans in the building agree.

8:04 PM: I think Sutter’s futzing with the lines again. Clarkson was just out there with Holik and Rupp. Zubrus is centering Rolston and Elias at the moment as well.

8:01 PM: God, Lehtonen is leaving some juicy rebounds. However, in shades of last year, the Devils can’t do a damn thing about it. Penalty’s over, though. Devils have killed three of three of ’em tonight now.

8:00 PM: Okay, second period on, Devils still on the PK. A little bit more…something, this period? Anything? Please?

7:42 PM: Aaaaand that be the end of a very boring first period, scoreless after one. See you in seventeen for what can only be a more interesting second. I hope.

7:39 PM: Welp, least they killed that one. Holik gets booed by the 32 Atlanta fans in attendance tonight. Yet another Devils penalty coming up, Zajac for hooking. Less than a minute to go in the period.

7:36 PM: See, this is why I miss Doc. Cangelosi lied to me, it’s actually Atlanta on the power play, not so much the Devils.

7:34 PM: And just as one penalty expires, and new one commences. The Devils get their turn on the power play, again. So in two minutes, the score will still be zero-zero, again.

7:31 PM: And so Colin White goes off for interference. This game is rather boring. Sorry. Last year’s early-season game in Atlanta was all kinds of crazy. I miss that game. A little.

7:26 PM: Even Chico’s mentioning how few fans are in the building. And is also touting the Thrashers “Buy a ticket, eat all you want for free” sections deal. Chico Eats: HOTlanta Edition!

7:23 PM: How they managed to not get it in, I don’t have the slightest. Good pressure again, but once again, nothing doing as far as scoring. Devils PP is now 0-for-2 on the evening, and 1-for-13 on the year. Ouch.

7:22 PM: I say it every time the Devils play Atlanta, but DAMN the Thrashers have ugly jerseys.

7:20 PM: ‘nother penalty on the Thrashers, this one interference on David Clarkson. Don’t the Thrashers know they don’t have to interfere with David Clarkson, that he’s perfectly capable of stopping his own progress? Regardless, Devils PP again.

7:17 PM: You know, as a Devils fan, I should be used to empty arenas…and yet, I keep finding myself strangely drawn to the swaths of empty seats whenever the camera catches the stands. It’s almost hypnotizing.

7:15 PM: A nice chance in front for Pandolfo, who sends a backhander at the Atlanta goal with the speed of a honey-soaked tortoise. Sigh.

7:13 PM: Surprisingly strong on the puck deep in the zone, but Atlanta manages to clear each time. We’re not looking stellar tonight boys.

7:11 PM: Schneider with a puck-over-the-glass deal and the vaunted (ha!) Devils power play hits the ice. Oh boy oh boy.

7:09 PM: Puck’s on the ice in Atlanta. You wouldn’t know it from the crowd though. My goodness, and they say we don’t draw in Jersey. Hot damn.

7:01 PM: Oh dammit. First LiveCap of the year, and Doc’s sick. Sigh. Get well Doc. Other Devils news for tonight: Salmela’s hanging out in the press box tonight, and Andy Greene gets into his first game of the year. He’ll be paired with Johnny Oduya.

6:45 PM: What’s that coming over the hill? It it a LiveCap? It it a LiveCap? Ahhh musical references no one will get…see you in 15!