New Jersey Devils-Los Angeles Kings: Can the Devils Get a Win in the West?
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The New Jersey Devils have had a season to forget so far, as they continue their west coast road trip against the red-hot Los Angeles Kings. The Devils posted a victory against the Anaheim Ducks Friday night, and will try to put together consecutive wins for the first time this season.
New Jersey halted a three game skid as Patrick Elias would provide the game winner late in a 2-1 victory in Anaheim. The Devils bounced back after a horrific 5-2 loss against the San Jose Sharks, and with the win in Anaheim, sports a record of just 3-7-1.
"It's a huge win for us. Hopefully it will get us on the right track," said Devils' Jason Arnott. "Everybody contributed in one way or another."
In another good sign for Devil fans, Jamie Langenbrunner tallied the other goal for New Jersey. Brodeur recorded his first win of the season that was not a shutout, by posting 27 saves. The win put the Devils at 1-2-0 on their current west coast swing, before they face off against the Canucks Monday.
New Jersey is still short on the roster while dealing with some key injuries, including offseason acquisition Anton Volchenkov. The hard-hitting blueliner has been out since the Devils' second game with a neck injury, but figures to provide a boost once he returns to the lineup.
Coach John Maclean has been recently backed by management, despite a lackluster start to the season that saw star winger Ilya Kovalchuk a healthy scratch.
The Kings, on the other hand, have a red-hot start to the season. They are currently leading the West and aiming for their fourth win in five games.
The Kings finished off their recent road trip with a 5-2 victory against the Stars. Wayne Simmonds scored a goal and an assist, but unfortunately suffered a lower-body injury and is questionable in the tilt against the Devils.
The 22-year-old winger Simmonds has three goals and three assists so far this season.
Alexei Ponikarovsky also scored a goal for the Kings in the victory, who will be a free agent steal should he continue to build on his performance.
Jonathan Quick has been a stud--he recorded 30 saves in the victory—while newcomer Willie Mitchell led all skaters in ice time and added a short handed goal to boot.
The Kings have won all three matchups at the Staples Center this season and have a ton of momentum heading into this game.
The Devils need a strong performance to help salvage a season which has seen them stumble out of the blocks during this tough west coast road trip.
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