Friday, October 10, 2008


The New Jersey Devils opened the 2008-2009 season with a 2-1 victory tonight against the New York Islanders at "The Rock". Patrick Elias scored the game winner at 29-seconds of the 2nd period while crashing and into the Isles goalie Joey McDonald off a Brian Gionta shot from the right circle.

The Devils controlled the play for most of the first period pinning the Isles in their zone and using an aggressive forecheck that was consistent by all four lines. The Isles were the first to get onto the scoreboard, despite the Devils efforts. Just seconds into a power-play, a Doug Weight centering pass deflected off Paul Martin and through Brodeur. Brodeur and the Devils would not allow anything else the entire night as they did a great job at limiting the Isles offensively. Most evident was on the penalty kill, where the Devils forward pairs of Madden-Pandolfo and Elias-Rolston controlled the play and never let the Isles set-up after the first power-play as they finished the night 1 for 5 on the power-play.

The Devils responded three-minutes later with a power-play goal of their own. A Paul Martin shot from the left point deflected off Clarkson and right to Parise who dumped the puck into an open net. The Devils power-play who last season was almost pathetic showed good signs from both units, Brian Rolston stood out at the point shooting every opportunity he could get. Rookie "D" Ansi Salmela started his first NHL game and played the point along with Rolston on the power-play.

Last season the Devils earned a mere 10pts. out of a possible 32 against their two NY rivals.A wind tonight along with a 3-0-1 pre-season record against the Rangers and Isles maybe is the start of the Devils reclaiming hockey dominance in the NY Metro area.

The Devils fly to Pittsburgh where they will play the Penguins and a much more high powered offense than what they saw tonight. (Game 7pm; MSG-Plus2)

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