Edmonton (6-6-1) at New Jersey (7-4-2), 7:30 pm EDT
NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) — Goaltender Kevin Weekes and the
New Jersey Devils continue to cope with the absence of four-time
Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur when they host the Edmonton
Oilers on Sunday.
Starting his third straight game in the wake of Brodeur’s elbow
injury, Weekes turned aside 28 shots in the Devils’ 3-1 loss to
the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings on
Saturday. Despite his efforts, they failed to notch their first
win in Detroit since posting a 2-0 victory on November 6, 1996,
and dropped their eighth straight visit to Joe Louis Arena.
Brodeur’s brilliance has been missed, but it has been the
offense that has plagued the Devils of late. They have dropped
five of their last seven games after winning five of their first
After being shut out by the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, New Jersey
barely got past the Tampa Bay Lightning two days later, posting
a 4-3 victory in a shootout.
Zach Parise has been the only consistent force on offense for
the Devils, and it showed against the Wings as he scored their
lone goal against Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood. Parise’s
10th goal of the season snapped a three-game goalless streak and
forged a tie before Marian Hossa struck for the second time to
secure the victory.
Not only did the Devils lose another contest, they also may have
lost another key contributor to injury. Right wing Brian Gionta
crashed into the boards in the right corner after sustaining a
hard hit from Red Wings defenseman Derek Meech midway through
the second period and did not return. His status for this game
New Jersey also has been without Brian Rolston (high right ankle
sprain), Bobby Holik (broken right pinky), Pierre-Luc
Letourneau-Leblond (cracked orbital bone), defensemen Andy
Greene (broken right hand) and Paul Martin (upper body
Edmonton’s defense has negated its strong offensive showing of
late. The Oilers have dropped two straight and seven of nine.
The Oilers have averaged four goals per game in their last four,
but have surrendered just a shade under that mark. Consecutive
5-4 losses to the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins
on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, haven’t helped their
cause on the defensive end.
Prior to those shortcomings, they edged the Philadelphia Flyers,
5-4, and defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-1, in back-to-back
games last weekend.
Oilers right wing Ales Hemsky has points in seven consecutive
games on the road, recording four goals and five assists in that
span. The 25-year-old has scored in three straight contests