Final SO

Series (Game 1 of 1)

New Jersey leads 1-0

Game 1: Saturday, October 15th

Devils 3

(3-1-0, 6 pts)

Predators 2

(2-1-1, 5 pts)

8:00 PM ET, October 15, 2011

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 SO T
NJ 0 0 2 13
NSH 2 0 0 02

I. Kovalchuk (Devils - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

C. Wilson (Predators - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

J. Hedberg (Devils - G): Saves: 29, Save Pct.: .935

Devils-Predators Preview


The New Jersey Devils have done a nice job so far of moving past all the defeats that piled up last season.

The club, though, hopes it isn't facing its first significant loss of 2011-12.

Backup goaltender Johan Hedberg could replace the injured Martin Brodeur on Saturday night when the Devils open their road schedule against a Nashville Predators team looking to get back on track following a rough home opener.

Since a 3-0 season-opening loss to Philadelphia last Saturday, New Jersey (2-1-0) has put itself in position to post its first three-game winning streak since Jan. 22, part of a lost 2010-11 season in which they finished 38-39-5 and out of the playoffs for the first time since 1996.

"We're not thinking about it or talking about (last year) but it's good to get that start for us, every one of us, the players and coaches," Patrik Elias said after scoring in regulation in Thursday's 2-1 shootout victory over Los Angeles.

Nice starts by Ilya Kovalchuk and first-year captain Zach Parise, who are tied with a team-high three points, are a good sign, but the Devils have to improve their power play (1 for 12).

New Jersey, though, has killed all 14 penalties, with Hedberg and Brodeur playing a major role.

Hedberg, who stopped all 16 shots he faced against the Kings before turning aside two more in the shootout, might make his second start after Brodeur left after 20 minutes in that contest with a tweaked right shoulder.

He turned away 10 of 11 shots in the first period but suffered the injury when he dove across the crease to make a save with his blocker.

"I tweaked my shoulder and lost a little strength in it," said Brodeur, who traveled with the team to Nashville.

If Hedberg gets the nod, it will be his first start against the Predators while with New Jersey.

Brodeur made 17 saves in the only matchup between the clubs in 2010-11, a 3-1 Nashville road win Dec. 17.

Martin Erat, who scored twice in that matchup and tied Sergei Kostitsyn with a team-leading 50 points last season, will miss his second straight game Saturday with an upper-body injury.

Without Erat, the Predators (2-1-0) dropped their home opener Thursday, 5-2 to Phoenix. Center David Legwand continued his brilliant start with two more assists to give him seven points thus far, but both came after the Predators were down 4-0 midway through the second period.

"We kind of dug ourselves into a hole and couldn't really get out of it," defenseman Ryan Suter said after scoring the club's first short-handed goal of the season.

The Predators suffered just one regulation loss in their first 14 home games last season when they finished 24-9-8 at Bridgestone Arena.

"We have to make it harder for other teams to come into our building," captain Shea Weber told the Predators' official website.

Pekka Rinne, who allowed as many goals Thursday (4) as in the first two games combined, is 1-2-0 with a 2.62 goals-against average against the Devils.

Anders Lindback stopped 15 of 16 shots in last season's win in New Jersey.

The Devils lost 16 of their first 20 road games in 2010-11.