Two teams in search of their first victory will square off when the New Jersey Devils host the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night. It will mark the home opener for New Jersey, which dropped its season opener in overtime at Florida before squandering an early two-goal lead in a 3-2 setback at Tampa Bay on Saturday.
“It’s not good enough to get only one point this trip when we felt we could have got three or four,” Devils goalie Cory Schneider said. “But going on the road against two of the best teams in our conference, we have to just maintain our confidence and know that we can play with the best.” Anaheim has lost three in a row on its season-opening five-game road trip after falling in overtime at the New York Islanders on Sunday. The Ducks stumbled to a 1-7-2 start in October a year ago before regrouping to win their fourth straight Pacific Division title. “We’re talking about an 82-game season. We’re three games in, and the doom and gloom starts already when you start 0-2,” Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf said.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Anaheim), MSG (New Jersey)
ABOUT THE DUCKS (0-2-1): Getzlak is coming off a 13-goal campaign — the second-lowest total of his career — and leads the team with four points and 17 shots, including 10 in the season opener. “We always implore him to shoot more,” said Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle, in his second stint with the team. “No backhand passes. Those are the two things that are going to be consistent. If he does, he’s going to hear about it. But we’re stressing it. For sure.” Defenseman Cam Fowler is off to a fast start with goals in each of his last two games.
ABOUT THE DEVILS (0-1-1): Former Duck forward Kyle Palmieri lamented the inefficiency of the power play in the season opener — “We have to do a better job of getting in and getting set. I don’t even think we had a shot” — but New Jersey also failed on all three chances with the man advantage versus Tampa Bay. Rectifying the issues was one of the objects during Monday’s practice, although eight of the 34 shots Saturday came with the extra skater. Forward P.A. Parenteau, claimed on waivers just before the season, is the only player with two points.
1. Schneider is 4-3-1 with a 2.49 ERA and a pair of shutouts versus Anaheim.
2. The Ducks are 1-for-12 with the man advantage after failing on all four chances versus the Islanders.
3. Devils F Travis Zajac scored his 142nd goal Saturday to move into a tie for 13th place on the franchise’s all-time list.
PREDICTION: Ducks 3, Devils 2