NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, October 15th
(All times eastern)
Colorado Avalanche (2-1-0) at New Jersey Devils (1-2-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Coming off their first victory of the season, the New
Jersey Devils will try to keep heading in the right direction when they host
the Colorado Avalanche tonight at Prudential Center.
The Devils started the year with an 0-2-1 mark, but were finally able to
record a win Wednesday night in Buffalo. New Jersey will now try to earn its
first home win of the year tonight. The Devils are 0-1-1 so far in Newark
after going 27-10-4 at the Rock last year.
Ilya Kovalchuk, who signed a 15-year, $100 million deal with the Devils this
offseason, scored his first goal of the season 53 seconds into overtime to
lift New Jersey over the Sabres, 1-0.
Kovalchuk tallied 41 goals in 76 combined games with Atlanta and New Jersey
last season and has 339 markers in eight-plus NHL seasons.
Jamie Langenbrunner controlled the puck at center ice and slid a pass to the
right circle for Matt Taormina. Kovalchuk trailed the play and was set up
perfect for a one-timer that gave rookie head coach John MacLean and the
Devils their first win of the year.
"It's always good to get the first one out of the way," MacLean said. "I'm
more excited how they played tonight. It's short-lived in the regular season
so you have to enjoy it right now, but get ready for the next one."
Martin Brodeur, the NHL's all-time leader in wins and shutouts, made 24 saves
to record the 603rd victory and 111th shutout of his career.
The Devils have battled injuries early on this year and the club recently
received some bad news concerning forward Brian Rolston. The veteran winger
underwent sports hernia surgery and has been placed on injured reserve.
Rolston, who had 20 goals for New Jersey last year, is expected to miss 4-to-6
weeks of action.
New Jersey defenseman Anton Volchenkov is also expected to miss tonight's game
with a broken nose suffered Saturday in Washington. The Devils have recalled
forwards Jacob Josefson and Tim Sestito and defenseman Matt Corrente from
their AHL affiliate in Albany and the trio is expected to skate for the big
The Avalanche are 2-1-0 on the year and are coming off a road win over the
Detroit Red Wings. Colorado earned a 5-4 victory Tuesday in Motown to bounce
back from the previous night's 4-2 setback in Philadelphia. The Avs are
playing the third test of a five-game road trip tonight and will complete the
swing with games against the Islanders and Rangers.
Brandon Yip scored the only goal of the shootout to lift Colorado past the Red
Wings. It took six shootout rounds before Yip finally won it for the Avs.
"We fought back and we played well 5-on-5," said Yip. "Good teams find a way
to win, and we got the job done tonight."
David Jones scored twice, while Ryan O'Reilly and Daniel Winnik also tallied
in the victory. Peter Budaj filled in for No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson and
earned the win with 24 saves. Anderson is expected to resume his starting role
The Avalanche posted a 3-1 win over the Devils in Denver last season, but New
Jersey is 3-1-1 with a tie in the last six meetings between the clubs.
Colorado has also lost two of its last three games in the Garden State.
10/15 10:55:16 ET