Monday, January 5, 2009

Devils Power Past Sens

The Devils escaped with a much needed two-points against the down and out Ottawa Senators on Sunday night at the Rock. Down 3-2 late in the 3rd period, Mike Rupp drew a penalty and gave the Devils a power-play with 5:20 remaining in the hockey game.

With only 20-seconds remaining on the power-play Jamie Langenbrunner picked up a loose puck at center ice and came thru the blue-line and blasted a shot over the right pad of the Senators goaltender. Langenbrunner has started the new year off right with two goals in two games and now has seven on the year.

The Devils headed into overtime where again they drew a penalty, as Chris Phillips held up Patrick Elias in the neutral zone. The first wave of the power-play just missed as Parise and Elias both had great opportunities that just went wide. Then with 36-second left on this power-play Travis Zajac got the puck to Rolston at the point and he just lined up and fired it as hard as he could through Auld for the game winning goal. The goal was Rolston's 6th of the year and he as well as Langenbrunner and Gionta have been picking up their scoring as of late.

The line of the night was easily the Zubrus-Elias-Gionta line that accounted for the first two Devils goals. Down 1-0 late in the first Elias saucered a pass at the blue-line to Zubrus who tipped a one-timer to Gionta who blasted a shot off of Auld and Zubrus pounded home an easy rebound. The second goal was just as pretty, as Gionta sent a puck across ice to Elias who centered a pass to Zuburs to circled around the net and tapped the puck into a wide open net.

The Devils have been playing well of late and getting contributions from all four lines. They will need to keep it up as after this week against Carolina and Atlanta the Devils head out on an eight game road trip.

-Some Devils are having great years and have picked up their games from last season, here are a few:
Zubrus: Last Year (13-25A-38pts) This Year (10G-13A-23Pts)
Elias : Last Year (20G-35A-55pts) This Year (17G-26A-43pts)
Zajac: Last Year (14G-20A-34pts) This Year (10G-18A-28pts)
Clarkson: Last Year (9G-13A-22pts) This Year (7G-7A-14pts)
- Some other worthy stat comparisons are the Devils who have better plus/minus ratings this year compared to last:
Langenbrunner: Last Year (-1) This Year +10) - difference +11
Zajac: Last Year (-11) This Year (+12) difference +23
Gionta: Last Year (+1) This Year (+14) difference +13
Mottau: Last Year (-11) This Year (+14) difference +25
White: Last Year (-5) This Year (+10) difference +15

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