Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Hockey

Devils continue trip with a stop in the desert

The New Jersey Devils aim for back-to-back wins when they game road trip Thursday night against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.

The Devils put to rest a two-game slide with Tuesday's 3-0 blanking of the Los Angeles Kings thanks to 31 saves from Johan Hedberg. Dainius Zubrus had two goals and Patrik Elias added a goal and an assist for New Jersey, which is 4-2-1 on the season and will also visit Dallas on the road swing.

"We believe [the Kings] are one of the better teams and have a lot of skill plays and good players on their team," Zubrus said. "First game of the road trip and to win the way we did it's a good confidence boost and we've got to keep building."

Hedberg now has 18 career shutouts and has continued to play well in place of Devils future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur. Brodeur is unlikely to return until next week because of an injured shoulder. Petr Sykora had a pair of assists in the recent win for the Devils, who are 1-1-0 on the trek and claimed center Ryan Carter off of waivers from Florida on Wednesday.

Tonight's contest is the second of four straight outside the Atlantic Division for New Jersey. Ilya Kovalchuk needs seven points to reach the 100-point mark with the team and David Clarkson has played in 109 straight games. The Devils return home to host Toronto Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Prudential Center.

Phoenix will continue a three-game homestand tonight and opened the residency with a 3-2 loss versus Dallas in a shootout.

Shane Doan and Raffi Torres scored for Phoenix, which got 34 saves from Mike Smith. It was Doan's 300th career goal.

"It was nice to get it," Doan said of his 300th goal that gave the Coyotes a short-lived 2-1 lead. "But we have to be better in a lot of different areas."

Doan joined Scott Mellanby as the only NHL players to reach the 300-goal plateau without ever recording a hat trick. Doan is third all-time on the goals list for the Phoenix franchise, trailing Dale Hawerchuk (379) and Keith Tkachuk (323).

The Coyotes will wrap up their homestand Saturday versus Los Angeles. Defenseman Keith Yandle has played in 181 consecutive games, while Doan held the previous streak of 193 games. Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett is four wins shy of 100 with the club and Ray Whitney is two power-play goals short of 100 for his career. Whitney needs six goals for 350.

Tonight's meeting between the Devils and Coyotes is the only one of the season and New Jersey blanked Phoenix, 3-0, in the last encounter on Dec. 15, 2010. The Devils have dropped six of the nine matchups in the desert.