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Rob Ftorek


C - Bobby Holik, Bob Carpenter, Denis Pederson, Petr Sykora, Jason Arnott, Sergei Brylin, Brendan Morrison. LW - Dave Andreychuk, Brian Rolston, Scott Daniels, Jay Pandolfo, Sasha Lakovic. RW - Patrik Elias, Randy McKay, Vadim Sharifijanov, Krzysztof Oliwa. D - Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, Ken Daneyko, Lyle Odelein, Kevin Dean, Sheldon Souray, Brad Bombardir. G - Martin Brodeur, Chris Terreri.


Dave Andreychuk, lw (right knee, day-to-day).


Re-signed Scott Niedermayer, d, to a multi-year contract. Recalled Sasha Lakovic, lw, and Vadim Sharifijanov, rw, from Albany (AHL).


10/28  Los Angeles      L  4-0
10/29  at NY Islanders  W  2-1
10/31  Florida          W  3-1
11/03  NY Rangers       W  3-1
11/07  at Florida       W  4-3
11/08  at Tampa Bay     L  3-1


Atlantic Division   GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA   
  New Jersey        12   7   5   0    14   25   26   
  NY Islanders      14   7   7   0    14   34   35   
  Philadelphia      14   5   5   4    14   34   33   
  Pittsburgh        12   5   3   4    14   32   32   
  NY Rangers        13   3   6   4    10   24   36


by Eric Witzel, New Jersey Correspondent

The Devils have been hot of late, winning four out of their last six games. The streak began with El Diablo getting spanked at home by the Los Angeles Kings, then pulling of four straight wins, only to have their season-high four-game winning streak snapped by the Lightning on Sunday at Tampa Bay.

Head coach Robbie Ftorek had October 28th circled on his calendar ever since he received this year's schedule. This was his first game as a head coach against the Los Angeles Kings - a team he once coached, as well as, played for. Ftorek wanted a win in the worst way, but a W was not in the cards on this night. The Devils looked like a bunch of little boys playing against grown men. A handful of physical and mental errors was all it took for the pounding to begin. Defenseman Sheldon Souray was a minus-3 for the game, and made two key blunders, which directly led to goals.

In the first period, Souray failed to keep a puck in the zone. Kings forward Craig Johnson picked up the loose puck, skated in two-on-one and beat Martin Brodeur for the first goal. Then, in the waning moments of the second period, Souray made a perfect pass to Kings defenseman Rob Blake, sending him in all alone. Blake made no mistake, snapping a shot over Brodeur's shoulder. Souray was benched for all but one shift in the third frame.

The Devils would get back into the winning ways the next night in New York against the Islanders. They won 2-1 in a solid overall effort. Bobby Holik scored in the first period, slapping a rocket past Islander goalie Tommy Salo. Dave Andreychuk netted the game-winner with a "goal scorer's goal." Holik skated down the right side, centered a pass that Salo got his stick on, the puck deflected off Andreychuk's chest and into the net. Take 'em any way you can get 'em.

Chris Terreri made his second start of the season at home against the Florida Panthers and was good enough to pick up his second win of the season, while allowing only one goal on 17 shots. This was a good news/bad news game for the Devils. They won the game, but lost leading scorer Dave Andreychuk to a knee injury after a collision with Panther defenseman Ed Jovanovski.

Defenseman Scott Niedermayer, and his modest new contract, took the ice for the first time this season against the New York Rangers. Ironically, this was the first game that a Devil defenseman scored a goal. Captain Scott Stevens blasted a slap shot past Ranger goalie Mike Richter, which turned out to be the game-winner.

For the second time in a week, the Devils beat the Florida Panthers, extending their winning streak to four games. Scott Niedermayer got his first points of the season, assisting on two goals, including the game-winner to Jay Pandolfo. In the game, Dave Andreychuk continued with his bizarre goal motif - he and Panther goalie Sean Burke had a "jump ball" for a loose puck in the slot. Andreychuk out leaped Burke, placed the puck on the ice, and shoveled it into the empty net.

The four-game winning streak was snapped on Sunday in a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Petr Sykora notched the only goal for the Devils, scoring his fourth goal of the season. Martin Brodeur had his record fall to 5-5-0.

The Devils will try to get back on the winning track on Wednesday at home against the Montreal Canadians.

Devils Re-sign Niedermayer - Finally!

Well, better late than never. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello finally got their best player signed. The two sides agreed on a two-year deal worth a reported $6.5 million. Niedermayer is 25 years old, in his seventh season, and is coming off career highs of 14 goals, 43 assists, and 57 points, and played in 81 games for the second straight season. He led the team with power-play goals (11) and power-play points (29). Niedermayer was the third overall selection in the 1991 Entry Draft and was named to the all-rookie team in the 1992-93 season. This past year, he participated in his first mid-season All-Star game.

Niedermayer looked good in his first game back against the New York Rangers, and really shined in the game against to Panthers, where he picked up his first points of the season - assisting on two goals, including the game-winner. With Niedermayer back in the lineup, that could leave Brad Bombardir as the seventh defenseman, and odd man out.

What a perfect time to get this guy back in the lineup - just when head coach Robbie Ftorek decides that he's going to implement a new "wide-open" system. While they admittedly had problems settling into this new offensive scheme, the Devils are learning it quickly, and are winning games. Early on, Ftorek was trying different line combinations every game. Now that the lines have been set for about two weeks or so, every line looks comfortable with each other. The Devils have gone 5-2-0 since the line juggling has ceased. Scott Niedermayer can become very dangerous in this new offensive system - he has a knack for picking his spots to join the rush, and has all of the tools to be one of the premiere offensive defensemen in the game.

Holik Suspended

Bobby Holik was suspended by the league for a "slew footing" incident on Saturday against Florida Panther Paul Laus. Holik used his right leg to take out Laus, sending him dangerously into the boards. Holik's 191 consecutive games played streak will come to an end as a result. Holik was quoted as saying, "I had no intention of hurting anyone." He will appear before league officials this Tuesday.

What Have You Done for Me Lately

Long-time Devil John MacLean didn't get the recognition he had hoped for when he returned to the Meadowlands for the first time since he had been traded by the Devils last season. MacLean was one of the original Devils, and was lividly booed every time he touched the puck. He was stoned twice late in the game by ex-mate Martin Brodeur, and the roar of the crowd was so intense, you'd have thought the Devils just won another Cup.

Why the animosity? Sure, the guy requested to be traded - that was because of a diminishing team role, and a contract dispute. How quickly we forget what this guy has done for the organization. I guess it's no big deal that he leads the team in almost every offensive category - games played (934), goals (347), assists (354), points (701), hat tricks (6), and game-winning goals (55). Not convinced? How about the fact that this was the man that the entire Devils organization was built around - the fact that he was the key component to the Devils winning their first (and only) Stanley Cup. Give the guy a break.

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