Fresh off their first home win of the season, the New Jersey Devils can start another first tonight against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. If the Devils can beat the Bruins, it’ll be the first time this season they’ve won two games in a row.
After winning a game this season, the Devils are 0-4-0 and have been outscored, 15-4. Devils goalie Martin Brodeur stressed the importance of getting on a roll and putting together consecutive wins.
“That’s the next step,” Brodeur said to Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record. “It’s important to do that and to try and get the momentum. We’ve gotten three points of the last four points available. That’s a positive thing with what’s going on right now and we have to build off it and get a big win on the road. It would definitely be good to get back-to-back wins.”
“When we’ve had a couple off good wins this year, we haven’t been able to build off it and that’s what we have to do,” defenseman Andy Greene said to Gulitti. “We just have to get that rhythm going where we’re playing good games right after each other and start wracking up Ws.”
The Devils defeated the Edmonton Oilers, 4-3, on Friday night at the Prudential Center for their first home win of the season. New Jersey overcame a two-goal deficit, tying the Oilers in the third period when Mattias Tedenby tipped home a Greene point shot for his first career goal. In overtime, beleaguered left-winger Ilya Kovalchuk took over.
First, Kovalchuk drew a tripping penalty on Dustin Penner, giving the Devils a 4-on-3 power play opportunity. The left-winger, who flubbed a potential game-tying shootout attempt on Wednesday night, blasted a slap shot by Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk for the game-winning goal.
The win marked the second in four games for the Devils, who have played better as of late. In their last four games, the Devils are 2-1-1, earning five out of eight possible points. The team also climbed out of the Atlantic Division cellar, leapfrogging the woeful New York Islanders.
The Devils won’t get any easy scoring opportunities tonight against Boston starter Tim Thomas. On the season, Thomas is 8-1-0 with a minuscule 1.45 goals-against average and a .957 save percentage. Thomas is emulating his Vezina-winning season from two years ago. But he’s compiled pedestrian numbers against the Devils. Thomas is only 5-5-03 with a 2.43 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage against the Devils.
New Jersey will once again be shorthanded tonight. The team will be without captain Jamie Langenbrunner and rookie defenseman Matt Taormina. Langenbrunner, who crashed hard into the boards during last Wednesday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, went for a MRI today. Tonight’s game marks two straight games as an injury scratch. Taormina twisted his ankle in practice yesterday and also went for a MRI. The results were negative.
Despite the injuries, Greene placed importance on beginning a win streak tonight against Boston.
“I think it’s somewhere we can start, but not something we’re happy with,” Greene said. “I think it can be a starting point if we continue to go here. But if we come out with another bad effort or bad performance, it does us no good. We have to build off it and sustain it and keep going.”