Devils Face Struggling Flames
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(AP) — Coming off its best win of the season, New Jersey now gets to face a struggling Calgary team as it tries to post back-to-back victories for the first time.
Given the way the Flames have played on the road, there’s a good chance the Devils can accomplish that feat.
New Jersey looks to hand Calgary its fifth straight loss away from home when the teams face off Wednesday night.
It has been a tough first season for the Devils under coach John MacLean, as they own the second-fewest points in the Eastern Conference with 14. New Jersey, though, enters this meeting after a 5-0 home victory Monday night over Washington, which is tied for the NHL lead with 30 points.
Johan Hedberg stopped 30 shots, Jason Arnott scored twice and Mattias Tedenby and Patrik Elias each had a goal and an assist as the Devils snapped a three-game losing streak.
“It felt very good,” said Hedberg, who got the start as Martin Brodeur is expected to miss one to two weeks with a bruised elbow. “We needed the win badly. The way we played tonight, we deserved it. We got the crucial first goal and from there on, we played really solid.”
New Jersey (6-13-2) is tied with the New York Islanders, who own the fewest points in the league with 12, for the fewest goals in the NHL with 41. The three goals in the first period Monday matched the Devils’ output from their previous three games.
“We got some bounces tonight that went our way that hadn’t been going our way,” Arnott told the Devils’ official website. “… The forwards were coming back and that creates turnovers. It creates opportunities for us to go on the offense. When we don’t do that and we sit back, teams take it to us, and then we don’t get any offense.”
Calgary (8-11-1) struggled offensively Monday night in the second game of a season-high five-game trip. The Flames had a season-best seven goals in beating Chicago at home Friday night and scored four times in an overtime loss to Detroit to open the trip Sunday before meeting the New York Rangers.
Jarome Iginla scored his sixth goal in three games – and the 450th of his career – to tie the game at 1-all in the second period, but New York scored just over seven minutes later and held on for a 2-1 win despite being outshot 15-8 in the third.
“We had our chances – many chances – in the third period to tie it, and unfortunately we didn’t get it done,” Iginla said. “We’re a very desperate hockey club.
“If it was 2-1 the other way, it would’ve been a fun game to be a part of.”
The Flames’ four-game road losing streak matches their longest from all of last season. They haven’t dropped five consecutive road games since a seven-game slide from Jan. 26-Feb. 22, 2007.
Calgary is 2-8-1 overall after opening with six wins in nine games.
“Right now, honestly, it truly is about winning games,” Iginla said. “We’ve got to get ourselves back first to .500 and then move forward.”
This will be Flames coach Brent Sutter’s first game at New Jersey since he stepped down as Devils coach after two seasons June 9, 2009, citing family reasons. Two weeks later, he agreed to coach the Flames, close to his hometown of Red Deer, Alberta.
Updated November 24, 2010
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