What a weekend it was for the New Jersey Devils! Winning two games in regulation against the Pittsburgh Penguins has put the Devils in first place in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Martin Brodeur also played in his 1200th National Hockey League game.
Aside from the two victories and four points earned, this weekend’s games were full of “firsts.” Here are my thoughts:
Stefan Matteau’s First Career NHL Goal
After deciding to play Stefan Matteau in his sixth National Hockey League game and activating his entry level contract, Matteau lit the lamp for the first time in his career on Saturday in his seventh career game. Andy Greene, on one of two beautiful assists on Saturday, sent a pass across to Matteau after faking a slap shot. Matteau had a lot to shoot at, and although he didn’t get all of the puck, he netted his first career goal.
Bobby Butler’s First Point and First Goal as a New Jersey Devil
It looks like the Devils have found a player to stay in Bobby Butler. Seeing some first line and power play action, Butler scored his first goal of the season in the third period of Saturday’s game after collecting his first point with the Devils assisting on an Adam Henrique goal 2:12 earlier in the period.
Adam Larsson’s First Point of the Season
In his sixth game of the season, Adam Larsson collected his first assist and first point of the season. After playing in 65 games last year and amassing 18 points, Larsson sat out the first five games this season. As Larsson continues to play well, it seems that veteran Henrik Tallinder is the odd defenseman out for the Devils.
The Devils First Blooper of the Season
On a lighter note, the funniest play of the season happened during Saturday’s game at Prudential Center. After losing his stick, Martin Brodeur skated into the corner to retrieve his stick following a clear by the four Devils penalty killers. Alertly, the Penguins shot from center ice at the unoccupied net. The puck rang off the right post as Brodeur “acrobatically” got back into the net, and grazed Brodeur’s skate. Brodeur then covered the puck with more than a few laughs. However, the goal would not have counted anyway, because a Penguins player was offside.
Some other Weekend “Firsts”
-First Win over the Penguins this Year
-First of Two Home and Home Series this Season
-First Time Devils Win on Consecutive Days this Season
-First Back to Back Regular Season Wins by the Same Score Since December 2011
-December 28, 2011 Devils 3 Sabres 1
-December 31, 2011 Devils 3 Penguins 1
Tomorrow will also be the first meeting of three this season between the Devils and Carolina Hurricanes. The Devils will look to extend their winning streak to six games when the puck drops at 7 p.m. at Prudential Center.