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Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Rooks impress, Devs drop opener

By Mike Hume

New Jersey rookies Alexander Urbom and Jacob Josefson acquitted themselves well in their first NHL preseason game, as the Devils and Flyers worked a little overtime to start the 2010-11 preseason. With nearly all of its top NHL talent dressed for last night’s game in Philadelphia, the Flyers claimed a 4-3 shootout win after Mike Richards potted the decisive marker in the fourth round.

Box Score

The Flyers leapt out to a two-goal lead before Adam Mair put the Devils on the board late in the first period. In the second, Dainius Zubrus may have helped his case to remain on the roster (or his trade stock …) by drawing the Devils even at 2. Jamie Langenbrunner put the Devils up 3-2 on a goal from Henrik Tallinder and Urbom, marking that pair’s second assists of the night.

Goalie Mike McKenna (20 saves on 21 shots), on in relief of starter Johan Hedberg (11 on 13), couldn’t quite nail down the victory, setting up the shootout.

Buzzy prospect Josefson missed his shootout opportunity to equalize after Richards' goal, and finished the night plus-1 with no shots on goal. Head coach John MacLean was impressed the way the rookie held his own against some physical competition. While the Flyers dressed most of the opening-day roster, the Devils traveled light with only a handful of New Jersey’s players skating in the NHL last season.

More on the game, including impressions on the rookies below.

Morning Links
Because of the uncertainty, the Devils are examining an oversized group of hopefuls. There are nine set forwards, possibly leaving Tim Sestito, Pierre-Luc Leblond, Mattias Tedenby, Jacob Josefson, Rod Pelley, Marcus Nilson, Vladimir Zharkov, and Adam Mair in the mix for five roster slots, or more, depending on who exits.

There are five certain defensemen, perhaps setting up Mark Fraser, Matt Corrente, Rob Davison, Alexander Urbom, Tyler Eckford and Matt Taormina for up to three slots, or more if defensemen leave.