Devils to honor '95 Cup winner before facing Wings
RED WINGS (13-10-4) at DEVILS (18-7-1)
Last 10 --
Detroit 4-5-1; New Jersey 6-3-1
Season series --
The first and only meeting this season will offer the Devils a chance to notch their first victory over the Red Wings since the 2002-03 season. The Red Wings have won the last four meetings, including a 3-1 decision last season.
Big Story --
Fans may want to get to Prudential Center early as the Devils will honor the 1995 Stanley Cup team prior to the game. The list of players from the '95 team scheduled to attend (as provided by the Devils) are Bob Carpenter, Tom Chorske, Ken Daneyko, Bruce Driver, Jim Dowd, Chris McAlpine, Mike Peluso and Valeri Zelepukin. The 1994-95 Devils swept the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final to earn the organization's first championship.
Red Wings --
Defenseman Jakub Kindl
played in his first NHL game on Thursday in a 4-1 loss to Edmonton. The 22-year-old Czech, who was recalled from Detroit's AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids on Thursday, earned 14:18 of ice time, recorded one shot and was a minus-2. The Wings were forced to call-up Kindl after learning they'd be without three regulars along the blue line against the Oilers.
"We like him," General Manager Ken Holland said. "He was the captain of the Czech World Junior team. He was a second-team all-star in the Ontario Hockey League. He's in his third year of professional hockey now. We thought last year was a step forward for him and he's taken another step forward this year. We believe he's going to be an NHL defenseman. He's got two years under his belt and he's gotten a lot better defensively. We think he's part of our future so let's give him a chance."
The Devils are in the midst of an eight-game stretch over the next 15 days, so the fact wing Jay Pandolfo (shoulder) and defenseman Johnny Oduya (lower body) will return to the lineup against the Red Wings is music to the ears of coach Jacques Lemaire. The Devils were 6-0 at home in the month of November but opened December with a 5-2 loss to Vancouver at the Rock before beating Tampa Bay 3-2 on Friday.
Both Pandolfo and Oduya skated at the team's optional practice on Friday but did not play against the Lightning.
"I'm feeling better every day," Pandolfo said. "I think it was a decision between the training and coaching staff to sit out on Friday. No one likes not playing so I'm looking forward to getting back."
Who's Hot --
In addition to posting 14 points (6 goals) in the last 12 games, Red Wings wing Henrik Zetterberg
is currently tied for second in the NHL with 4 game-winners, is fifth in the League with 106 shots and is 21st with 27 points.
Injury Report --
For the Red Wings, defensemen Niklas Kronwall
(sprained left medial collateral ligament) and Andreas Lilja (concussion) and forwards Jason Williams (fractured right fibula), Valtteri Filppula
(broken right wrist) and Johan Franzen
(torn left ACL) are out. Defensemen Brian Rafalski
(back) and Jonathan Ericsson
(left ankle) and right wing Patrick Eaves
(ankle) are day-to-day. … The Devils are without forwards David Clarkson (ankle) and Dainius Zubrus (fractured right kneecap) and defenseman Paul Martin (broken arm).
Stat Pack --
Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom
has gone 23 games without a goal -- he went 48 games without a goal during the 1992-93 campaign. … After converting on their first 5-on-3 situation in a victory over the Islanders last Saturday, the Devils failed on another chance during Wednesday's loss to the Canucks -- the club is now 1-for-9 for the season on the two-man advantage.
Puck Drop --
If Martin Brodeur gets the start, he'll have an opportunity to notch his third career shutout against Detroit while equaling the NHL record of 103 career shutouts by Hockey Hall of Fame goalie and Red Wings legend Terry Sawchuk.