Zidlicky and Devils Crush Islanders, Build Confidence to Take on the Flyers

Robert TheodorsonSenior Analyst IMarch 11, 2012

New acquisition Marek Zidlicky finally made his contributions to his new team on both Thursday and Saturday night to push the Devils further into the race for the Atlantic.

It took some time for Zidlicky to get himself established with his new teammates and indoctrinated into coach Peter DeBoer's system, but the Czech defenseman is finally paying dividends.

On Thursday night against the Islanders, Ilya Kovalchuk scored his second hat trick of the season. Zidlicky would go on to record his first two points, both assists, as a Devil. New Jersey would go on to win a 5-1 romp. 

It was Saturday night where Zidlicky really paid off. Fourteen seconds after David Clarkson's tying goal to bring the game to an even 1-1, Zidlicky scored his first in red and black.

Zidlicky fired a big slap shot right past rookie goalie Anders Nilsson after the Devils were put on the power play as a result of Bryce Salvador being boarded.

Clarkson, who seemingly has the quietest 28 goals in the entire league is having a career year. 

The power forward is one of only few skaters who has over 20 goals and over 100 penalty minutes. Thirty goals for Clarkson is a sure bet, having his scoring touch and grit on the bottom six makes for impressive depth going into the playoffs for the Devils.

Sunday night's action will see the Devils face off against the Flyers who are fresh off an Ilya Bryzgalov shutout in which he not only stopped three periods and an overtime worth of shots, but denied every Toronto Maple Leaf skater on the shootout.