NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 15th (All times eastern)
New Jersey Devils (2-1-0) at Nashville Predators (2-1-0), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After posting a winning record on their season-opening homestand, the New Jersey Devils hit the road for the first time this campaign as they battle the Nashville Predators.
The Devils began their season with a 3-0 loss to the division-rival Flyers, but responded with victories over Carolina and Los Angeles to complete their three-game residency. New Jersey needed extra time to knock off the Kings, but did so with a 2-1 shootout win despite losing goaltender Martin Brodeur early on.
Patrik Elias had the Devils' goal in regulation before both Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise scored in the deciding session. Johan Hedberg, who came into the game at the start of the second period, stopped both skaters he faced in the shootout after making 16 saves in regulation and overtime.
"I know the results are important, absolutely I'm happy with a 2-1 start," Devils head coach Peter DeBoer said. "More happy with how we're starting to grasp how we want to play, and the identity of the team. I think you saw more of that tonight than in any of the games we played yet. That's a good thing."
Brodeur made 10 saves on 11 shots, but was forced to exit the game after injuring his right shoulder in the opening frame. Though his status for this game is unknown, the future Hall of Famer did travel to Nashville.
"I tweaked my shoulder when I dove down for that shot and I lost a little strength in it," Brodeur said. "I didn't feel comfortable to continue (after the period)."
The Devils will play five of their next six on the road and will try to avoid being the Predators' first victim on home ice. Nashville began the season with road wins at Columbus and St. Louis, but was humbled by Phoenix in its home opener on Thursday by a 5-2 margin.
Ryan Suter and Colin Wilson scored for Nashville and Pekka Rinne allowed four goals on 30 shots.
"Sometimes you need to get beat up a little bit to bring you back to reality," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz. "I don't think we deserved those two road wins at all and we got caught up in bad play tonight."
David Legwand assisted on both goals and now has five helpers and seven points through the first three games.
Nashville skated without Martin Erat due to a shoulder injury that landed him on injured reserve. He joins Mike Fisher (shoulder surgery) on the sidelines, while Patric Hornqvist could miss a second game in a row because of a lower- body injury.
The Predators won their only meeting with the Devils last season, 3-1, in New Jersey, but have lost six of the eight all-time matchups in Nashville.
10/15 10:34:10 ET