NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Friday, October 6th
(All times eastern)
New Jersey Devils (0-0-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (0-0-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils open their 2006-07 season this
evening when they take on the defending Stanley Cup-champion Carolina
Hurricanes at RBC Center.
The Hurricanes were the last team New Jersey faced before preparing for the
offseason, as Carolina sent the Devils packing in five games in the Eastern
Devils new head coach Claude Julien will make his debut behind the bench
tonight after taking over for president and general manager Lou Lamoriello,
who assumed the coaching reins on December 19, 2005 following the resignation
of Larry Robinson. Robinson stepped down due to health and family reasons.
New Jersey re-signed a few key players in the offseason in its quest for the
Stanley Cup, including Scott Gomez, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brian Gionta and
Patrik Elias, who was named the seventh team captain in franchise history on
Tuesday. Gionta finished with a team-record 48 goals and posted 89 points last
season, while Gomez recorded a Devils-best 51 assists.
Future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur is ready for another season
after coming off the fifth 40-win campaign of his career last year. Brodeur,
who went 43-23-7 with a 2.57 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in
2005-06, will get tested early inside the home of the defending champs.
The Devils are 17-7-7 in season openers and 6-7-2 when opening a campaign on
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes opened defense of their title on Wednesday with a
3-2 shootout loss against the Buffalo Sabres. Sabres wing Daniel Briere scored
the only goal in the shootout at RBC Center and goaltender Ryan Miller stopped
32 shots and three Carolina players in the shootout.
Erik Cole and Eric Staal scored goals and Ray Whitney added two assists for
the Hurricanes, who fell to a miserable 6-16-5 in season openers. Conn Smythe
winner Cam Ward made 30 saves and also had an assist in the loss.
Carolina had a tough time against the Sabres after eliminating them in seven
games during last years Eastern Conference finals. Not even the raising of
their Stanley Cup banner could spark the Hurricanes to victory.
Carolina and New Jersey split the four regular-season matchups last season,
with the Devils winning the last two. New Jersey has won four of the last six
meetings and seven of 10 against Carolina.
10/06 10:23:17 ET