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Devils turn squeaker into a 6-1 rout

November 28, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments

For over fifty minutes at the Prudential Center, this Devils-Islanders game looked like so many others (including the teams first matchup of the year) tight, tense and spunky as the Devils led only 2-1 despite dominating pretty much??from the middle of the first period on.?? Not one, but several hit posts and crossbars further frustrated New Jersey during the games first two and a half periods.

Then, the dam burst and goals poured through on all sides.?? When??the tide finally receded, the??Devils wound up inflicting a 6-1 beatdown on the Isles that in a sense wasnt as one-sided as the score would indicate but??in another sense it did??show that even a wounded Devils team is still dangerous.??

Starring??in this game was the line of Patrik Elias-Brian Rolston and Jamie Langenbrunner, all of whom were on the ice for a goal or an assist on every score,??with Elias and Rolston scoring two goals apiece.?? That line has pretty much stayed together??for the last week or two and looks to be developing something special.????Just this morning in my recap of the Boston game I alluded to the fact that Rolston has picked up his game since the return of Elias, and after his four-point afternoon the Devils center himself admitted the same thing:

Its chemistry, Rolston said. It makes a huge difference. Patrik is a guy looking for other players all the time. Ive never been a guy who can make a ton of plays like Patrik can, Im more of a guy that can find areas and get the puck on the net. Patrik finds me its huge.

For whatever injuries the Devils have to endure right now, if this Rolston-Elias-Langenbrunner line is for real, with Zach Parise-Travis Zajac and pick your RWer (likely Nicklas Bergfors) as your default top line??that gives the Devils two solid lines with a defense improving daily and Martin Brodeur in net.??

And yes, Brodeur did play this game, his third in less than 72 hours but I suspect if the Devils injury situation hadnt reached critical mass that Yann Danis would have gotten the start.?? Still, it would be nice to be able to play Danis more than one period total in the last three weeks.?? Of course Brodeur came up strong again with 22 saves, only allowing a surprising first-period goal by Richard Park at 11:18 that at first glance looked just to be a clean slapshot from a little inside the blueline off the boards.

Still trailing 1-0, the Devils now missing six starters from the lineup with the news that David Clarkson would be out 4-6 weeks went to work in the second period and Mike Mottau scored a goal at 54 seconds off an assist from Elias, tying the game and giving Mottau his second of the year.?? Although the Devils didnt get much work on the power play they would make their limited opportunities count, starting at 12:32 when Rolston scored his seventh of the season after assists from Elias and Langenbrunner as that line started to weave its magic.??

In a high-shooting second period, the Devils nearly extended their lead two different times, once when players on the ice celebrated one near-miss thinking it was a goal, then when Andy Greene apparently scored late in the period the officials correctly went upstairs and saw that Greenes shot did not go in.?? The real tragedy of the play (besides the fact it was in the final minute) was that??if the whistle hadnt blown the??Devils could have easily put home a rebound after the initial Greene shot.?? Oh well, soon enough it wouldnt matter anyway.

With the score still tied and the Devils shot total rising (they would outshoot the Isles 42-23 in the game, including a whopping 16-4 in the third) they finally broke through on traditional pinata nemesis Martin Biron midway through the third in satisfying fashion.?? Faced with a minute and fifty seconds on a two-man advantage midway through the period, Lemaire took a timeout as he has seemingly before every 5-on-3 almost all of which havent worked -??and for a minute it looked as if this timeout would have the same effect as players were guilty of overthinking and overpassing.

However, Elias finally took matters into??his own hands??pounding a slapshot past??Biron off a Rolston feed??at 10:30, giving Elias his second of the year and (little did I know at the time) ending the game as a contest.?? Only 84 seconds later, Parise would score another one of his typical goals, taking multiple whacks at a loose puck before finally stuffing it past the embattled Biron for his??fifteenth of the season, upping the Devils lead to 4-1.?? Before the PA guy could announce the Parise goal with feeds from Greene and Langenbrunner, just 38 seconds later Rolston scored his second of the game and I laughed when I was momentarily confused as to why they were announcing Parise as the goalscorer after Rolstons goal before realizing that theyd never gotten a chance to give the scorers for the fourth goal!?? We were literally scoring too quickly to keep up.?? Mottau and Bergfors got credited with the assists on Parises goal.

Things were going so well for the Devils, they even outfought the Isles without Clarkson or Andrew Peters dropping the gloves.?? Perhaps Rod Pelley took out some of his anger from being scratched two straight games on Nate Thompson at 11:03 when the Devils centerman showed some surprising pugilistic skill.?? Later in the second period, rugged Matt Corrente engaged in his first NHL fight with Tim Jackman and acquited himself pretty well.?? About the only thing from this afternoons game I didnt like was Langenbrunner putting a puck into the net way after the second period horn had gone off, it was almost as if he was frustrated over the Devils inability to score and the two almost goals.

As it worked out though, the Devils did get to Biron in the third finishing the scoring when Elias slapped one by him on a two-on-one with just 45 seconds left with one more assist going to Rolston, who played his best game as a Devil at least since his return.?? Stat-padding yes, but Elias has now put up three goals in his last two games and Rolstons showing life for the first time since being one of the Devils biggest-ever UFA signings.?? Not to mention the Devils sail into a three-day break in first place with a 17-6-1 record and a gritty three-game winning streak during a holiday that extended the scratch list to a whopping nine sadly I failed to take a picture of this screen (yes I have a gallows humor on this).

BoNY Three Stars:

  1. Brian Rolston (2 goals, 2 assists, +3, 7 SOG in 19:20)
  2. Patrik Elias (2 goals, 2 assists, +3)
  3. Mike Mottau (goal, assist, +2 in 23:02)
readers comments
  1. Hockey » Blog Archive » Devils turn squeaker into rout | The Battle of New York :: A Tri on November 28th, 2009 8:04 pm

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