Series (Game 1 of 1)

New Jersey leads 1-0

Game 1: Tuesday, March 2nd

Devils 4

(38-21-3, 79 pts)

Sharks 3

(40-14-9, 89 pts)

10:30 PM ET, March 2, 2010

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
NJ 0 3 14
SJ 0 0 33

I. Kovalchuk (Devils - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Z. Parise (Devils - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

D. Setoguchi (Sharks - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Devils-Sharks Preview


The San Jose Sharks and New Jersey Devils had plenty of players who took home medals from the Olympics. There certainly may be more hardware in their future.

Following the two-week Olympic break, the Sharks host the Devils on Tuesday night in a matchup of two of the league's top teams.

San Jose (40-13-9) and New Jersey (37-21-3), who could potentially meet in the Stanley Cup finals, had a combined 13 players make the trip to Vancouver.

Sharks standouts Dan Boyle, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton, along with the Devils' Martin Brodeur, helped Canada win a gold medal, beating the United States in dramatic fashion. Canada prevailed 3-2 in overtime after New Jersey's Zach Parise scored with 24.4 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 2.

New Jersey's Jamie Langenbrunner teamed up with Parise while Patrik Elias (Czech Republic) and Johnny Oduya (Sweden) also participated in Vancouver.

Joe Pavelski was the Sharks' U.S. representative, while Douglas Murray (Sweden), Thomas Greiss (Germany) and Evgeni Nabokov (Russia) also made the trip.

Their success at the Olympics shouldn't be surprising. San Jose is in first place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Chicago, and New Jersey is in second place in the East.

Both teams will have to adjust as the Olympians filter back in for practices. After 10 days away from the rink, Sharks coach Todd McLellan has called this past week a "mini training camp."

"There's only so much you can do with 10 players," he said. "The on-ice part of it is important. But the meetings we have prior to it as well as the review of a lot of video stuff is crucial right now for the players that are here."

It was an especially helpful time for newly acquired defenseman Niclas Wallin, who played four road games with San Jose after being acquired in a trade with Carolina. Wallin had never even been to the Sharks' practice facility before Wednesday.

"They use a different kind of hockey language here," he said. "They use different phrases. That's the biggest adjustment to get used to. I'm so excited to be here. I'm like a kid in a candy store."

Wallin and the Sharks are eager to play again after losing 3-1 to Buffalo on Feb. 13 in their last game before the break.

The Devils got a chance to rest and clear their heads after stumbling into the break, going 5-10-2 despite acquiring Ilya Kovalchuk in a trade with Atlanta on Feb. 4.

"I think it was us just being tired," center Travis Zajac said. "It was a lot of hockey. Mentally we were not as sharp as we usually were and you can see it on the ice when things were not going right we weren't skating and moving the puck as well as we usually do."

Brodeur's demotion to Canada's backup goaltender provided some unexpected rest. He's having yet another outstanding season, posting a 34-20-3 record and a 2.32 goals-against average.

Brodeur, though, was showing signs of tiring, going 3-4-1 with a 3.20 GAA in his last eight games. He wasn't in net for New Jersey's last matchup with San Jose, a 6-5 Devils win Feb. 15, 2009.

New Jersey has won six of the last seven meetings.