Game 3: New Jersey Devils at Edmonton Oilers
Your New Jersey Devils (0-1-1) and Edmonton Oilers (0-2-0) will both be looking for their first win of the season Monday night when they drop the puck in Edmonton. This will be the first time the Devils and Oilers have played each other since January 11, 2012 (NJD 2- 1 EDM, OT). The game will be the first of five in a Canadian road trip for the Devils, where they’ll take on the Oilers, Canucks, Flames, Jets, and Senators all within 10 days.
New Jersey Devils
After a disappointing 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh to open the season, the Devils offense looked much better in the home opener against the New York Islanders. While the Devils fell 4-3 in a shootout, Damien Brunner connected for two goals, with Michael Ryder putting up a goal as well. Ryane Clowe garnered an assist as well, as the three looked very comfortable in their New Jersey debut. While Brodeur (0-0-1, .885 Sv%, 2.77 GAA) looked a little shaky at times, he made some crucial stops when called upon and even brought back some of his vintage Marty saves throughout the night.
Edmonton has had a rough start to their season, falling 5-4 to the Winnipeg Jets in their season-opener, then getting routed by the Canucks by a final of 6-2. The Oilers held a 4-2 lead through over 30 minutes of play against the Jets, before Winnipeg put up 3 unanswered goals to seal the game. The Oilers gave up 5 goals to Vancouver just before the 3/4 mark of the game, giving up the sixth on a short-handed, empty netter. Devan Dubnyk (0-2-0, .831 Sv%, 6.52 GAA) started both games for the Oilers.
What to Watch For
Martin Brodeur will get the start in Edmonton, starting his second consecutive game following Friday’s shootout loss. On the other side of the rink, the Oilers will be looking towards their back-up, Jason LaBarbera, to generate some more steady play in between the pipes. LaBarbera filled in for Dubnyk after the 5th goal against Vancouver, and stopped all 12 shots he faced.
Offensively, Damien Brunner has had the hot hands for the Devils. He has 2 of the 3 goals scored by New Jersey so far, and has taken 12 of the Devils 55 shots (21.8%). Damien has shown on multiple occasions that he has a “shoot-first” mentality, and will take a shot over a pass when given the opportunity. This will definitely please fans who have seen the Devils pass away numerous scoring opportunities in the past few years. For the Oilers, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is expected to make his season debut after missing the first two games with a shoulder injury.
The Oilers have proven their offense is capable of scoring goals, but their goaltending from LaBarbera will most likely dictate the outcome of this game. The Devils offense will look to generate as many (if not more) quality chances as they did against the Islanders on Friday night, trying to exploit the young goalie. Marty will look to fine-tune his game from Friday and will be leaned on heavily if LaBarbera can put together a better game than his Edmonton partner.
Posted on October 7, 2013, in Devils Army, Devils Army Generals, Game Preview, New Jersey Devils, New Jersey Devils Fans, NHL and tagged Damien Brunner, Edmonton Oilers, game preview, Martin Brodeur, Michael Ryder, New Jersey Devils, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryane Clowe. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.