Lineup Changes: Elias Out Of The Lineup Due To Illness, Zajac Moves To 2nd Line

Patrik Elias will not be in the lineup tonight for the Devils as they play their match of the season against the New York Rangers at the Prudential Center. Elias did not practice today or yesterday due to the illness. Travis Zajac will be centering the 2nd line in place of Elias. Carter will move up to the 3rd line to take Zajac’s spot.

Read: ESPN Power Rankings Week 12

ESPN posted their weekly power rankings. Last week the Devils were ranked 23rd after a bad stretch of games but the Devils have really bounced back winning 6 of 7 games. The most important thing is that the top line of Parise-Henrique-Kovalchuk have been generating a lot of goals. Finally. Give it a read.

Final: Devils 5 Canadiens 3

Scoring Summary:
First Period- Sykora (8)
Second Period- Subban (2) and Elias (12) and Campoli (1) and Eller (3) and Clarkson (11)
Third Period- Elias (13) and Zubrus (10)

Next Game: 12/20 vs New York Rangers 7:00 pm.

Patrik Elias Postgame:
“It just feels nice. It just feels that you’re doing something right and it keeps me going. “

Petr Sykora Postgame:
On Elias’ franchise record breaking goal “The whole play and the whole meaning of that goal, for me personally I’m very happy that I’m part of it to help him.”

Team Notes:
Devils outdrew the Canadiens 23-22
Devils outshot the Canadiens 35-26
Devils went 2 for 5 on the power play.
Devils outhit the Canadiens 24-22

Player Stats:

Final: Devils 6 Stars 3

Before tonight’s match against the Dallas Stars the Devils honored one of the few players to have played on all three Devils Stanley Cup champion teams. Scott Niedermayer’s number 27 joins Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko in the rafters of the Prudential Center. It was a very classy ceremony for a classy player. Out of all the players that played in the NHL, Scott Niedermayer is the only player to ever win all 6 major hockey championships. The guy is a winner and congratulations Scott Niedermayer.

The 1st period started off very physical for captain Zach Parise. “I personally put myself in a vulnerable position when Ott hit me. So, I take that responsibility. That was my fault,” Parise said. But the physical Stars still could not stop the top line of Parise-Henrique-Kovalchuk. Everyone on that line would contribute at least a goal.

Parise would end up with 4 points which is the 7th 4 point night of his NHL career. “Four points are always nice. It always feels good to be able to contribute and to be able to help the team win. It’s always a good feeling,” Parise said. It seems that the top line has finally found the chemistry they were missing in the beginning of the season.

“He’s getting to the right places as the puck is getting there, which is what he’s good at, where as two weeks ago he was there a second early or a second late. I can’t explain it but I know speaking to him he feels he’s back to where he should be. And it couldn’t come at a better time for us,” Coach Pete DeBoer said of Parise.

The night also saw the return of Travis Zajac who was recovering from an Achilles injury he had over the offseason. “I think that’s going to be the hardest thing to get back. Even on faceoffs. Physically I felt 100 percent. My legs felt great,” Zajac said.

Even though it was a special night for a former Devils captain, it was another special night for the current Devil’s captain. The Devils will travel to Montreal tomorrow to take on the Canadiens. Martin Brodeur is going to be in net for the Devils.

2nd Period Breakdown

Even though the Devils gave up a very bad goal in the beginning of the period, they bounced back to score 3 goals. Offensively the Devils did great with 3 goals but the defense turned the puck over a lot and Moose was constantly bailing them out. This game could easily be 4-4 if it weren’t for Moose. Expect the Devils to tighten up defensively in the 3rd to put this one to bed.

Devils Look To Make It Three In A Row Against The Stars

After a short two game road trip to Florida the Devils look got make it three wins in a row after coming off a very rough week on the road. The did finish strong with a comeback win against the Senators. But one of the positives they took out of that bad week was at the end of it the first line started producing more than they have so far this season.

Parise and Kovalchuk really started to hit their stride in Florida. They need to continue to do that against a very good Stars team. Luckily for the Devils the Stars played last night on Long Island so now is the perfect time for the Devils to pounce on a tired Stars team and keep this momentum up.

Be sure to follow me at ERuffSNYDevils on twitter as the Devils honor the great defenseman Scott Niedermayer. The ceremony starts at 6:45 on MSG plus.

1st Period Breakdown

At the end of the 1st the Devils were able to over come a bad defensive breakdown and respond with a Clarkson goal. The Devils were able to really control the flow of play throughout the period. Zajac had a very strong period setting up a lot of chances on the 3rd line. Hopefully that line can put together a goal in this game.

Be Sure To Check Out The SNY Devils Blog Twitter!

Tonight I will be at the Prudential Center as the Devils raise the number 27 to the rafters to retire the great Scoot Niedermayer’s number. You can follow me at ERuffSNYDevils on twitter for live tweets of the event. The ceremony stars at 6:45 pm.

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Islanders Call Ups
Isles/Dallas Preview
Other local news and notes

Adam Rotter of SNYRangersBlog joins in
Rangers Current Events
Reaction to Dallas loss
Sean Avery and Future Roster Moves

Brian Engblom of NBC Sports Network
Chris, Brian and Adam talk all 3 locals

Dave Harmon, HBO Coordinating Producer of 24/7
Chris and Dave discuss last night’s premiere and go behind the scenes of the show

The Forecast
Craig Button of TSN and NHL Network on World Junior Championships
Chris, Brian and Adam talk Team Canada and Team USA
Craig talks about Christian Thomas and JT Miller

Read: Should The Devils Trade Martin Brodeur?

There is an article on Bleacher Report saying that the Devils must trade Martin Brodeur now. They say that it would be tough for the Devils to resign Brodeur after this season when his contract expires. It has been obviously especially lately that Brodeur has not been up to par.

But really think about it with Brodeur’s play this season do you really think any other team is going to want to trade for an aging goaltender for half a season? I don’t think so. With the injuries that Brodeur has encountered over the last couple seasons you have to figure that this is more than likely going to be his final season especially if there is going to be any work stoppage coming up this summer.

In the article they mention that if Brodeur does return next season it will only prevent the AHL prospects from getting some time in the NHL. If you recall I talked about those AHL prospects the other day. If you don’t remember you can find it here. I still think that Kinkaid and Frazee would be a good young tandem for the Devils next season. Give this a read.