Apr 3; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) skates with the puck while being defended by New York Islanders right wing Nino Niederreiter (25) during the first period at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Simulating The Devils Part II - Travis Zajac And Ilya Kovalchuk Carry The Load

Until there is actual hockey going on, we here at P&P thought it would be great to follow along with EA Sports’ simulation of the 2012-13 season via NHL 13.  We will give you the gist of what is going on with the New Jersey Devils.  EA simulates theirs by week, with a new week starting on Sunday and ending on Saturday.  Let’s check out the action from Sunday, October 14th through Saturday, October 20th.

On Wednesday the 17th, the Devils took it to their hated rivals, the New York Rangers, by a final score of 4-2 at Prudential Center.  David Clarkson put the Devils out in front 3:51 into the opening period, as Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac added assists.  The Rangers grabbed the next two goals, when Derek Stepan scored midway through the first period and Rich Nash put New York ahead halfway through the second period.  The Devils rallied in the third period for three unanswered goals to win the game.  Three minutes into the final frame, Zajac scored his first goal of the season to tie the game.  Kovalchuk had the lone helper.  It was Zajac again eight minutes later to give New Jersey the lead with another assist from Kovalchuk as well as Andy Greene.  NJ sealed it with just over a minute left when defenseman Henrik Tallinder potted an insurance tally, with Kovalchuk once again being the primary assist.  Adam Larsson assisted on the tally as well.  Zajac finished with a goal and two assists while Kovalchuk had assists on all four New Jersey goals.

They were back in action at home on Friday the 19th, but fell to the Ottawa Senators by a 2-1 mark.  The Sens got a single score in each of the first two periods en route to the triumph.  Erik Karlsson scored 4:42 into the first period while Erik Condra deposited a goal 5:33 into the second period.  Kovalchuk got the Devils on the board 2:16 into the third period, but it was not enough.  Larsson and Zajac recorded the assists.

At the end of the season’s second week, the Devils are 3-1 with six points and are sixth in the Eastern Conference.  They are second in the Atlantic Division, trailing the seven points of the New York Islanders, who have played one more game than the Devils.  Goaltender Martin Brodeur still is among the league leaders in major goalie statistics.  He is third in the NHL with a 1.00 GAA, third in save percentage with a .958 mark and first in shutouts with two.

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