Mar 6, 2011, 6:17 PM EDT
The New Jersey Devils keep winning over and over again, as the likelihood of a playoff run is going from “ridiculous” to “deeply frightening to the East’s top seeds.” Every once in a while a team slides into the seventh or eighth seed even though they have top seed talent. If Jacques Lemaire can somehow get them to that level, this would be a great example of such a situation.
New Jersey faced a stern test from their increasingly scrappy Atlantic Division underlings in Long Island, as the Devils eked out a 3-2 shootout win against the New York Islanders. As usual, Ilya Kovalchuk carried the torch, scoring a goal and an assist during regulation and then finding the twine in a matter-of-fact way in the shootout.
Brian Rolston eventually tallied the shootout winner after Al Montoya and Martin Brodeur made big saves in the skills competition. Montoya was solid in a losing effort this afternoon (stopping 27 out of 29 pucks), but Brodeur earned his 17th win of the season during light 20-save game.
The Devils find themselves only seven points behind the eighth Carolina Hurricanes with one game in hand, although they obviously must also contend with other competitive bubble teams (especially the Buffalo Sabres). Even if the team falls a bit short, it will be tough to ignore Lemaire for at least some Jack Adams consideration. Their most recent run is especially impressive, with a 14-1-1 mark in their last 16 games.
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 8
- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 8
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 25
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center 40
- Eric Staal has surgery to repair ‘core muscle injury’ 6
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 16
- Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year, $8.25M deal 12
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 63
- Subban not eager to discuss contract talks 34
- Leafs re-sign Reimer — two years, $4.6 million 22
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain (45)
- New Caps regime plans to keep Ovechkin at RW (for now) (42)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (41)
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal (39)