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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
With short roster, Devils need to deal

By Mike Hume

Three games into the 2010-11 season and the Devils are skating a full line short of a full team and still searching for their first win.

Monday, the Devils dropped their first game to the Pittsburgh Penguins in over a season, falling 3-1 at home. Patrik Elias supplied the loan marker for New Jersey, off to an 0-2-1 start overall.

With as much talent as they have, the victories will come soon enough for the Devils, who have skated without a full complement of forwards in their contests against the Stars, Capitals and Penguins. But the roster issues will continue to linger until GM Lou Lamoriello can find a more permanent solution to the salary cap crisis that has dogged the team ever since the signing of free agent Ilya Kovalchuk.

Throwing a little salt on the Devils’ wounds, since the first seven minutes of opening night Kovalchuk is pointless with a minus-5 rating. A bad turnover at the Devils’ blueline on Monday led to the Penguins’ first goal.

Until Lamoriello makes a move to create some cap space, the Devils figure to continue to skate with a minimal roster, meaning fatigue and injuries will impact the team far more than other NHL clubs. While we wait for lasting changes here's some reading to get you ready for the Devs’ next game against the Sabres Wednesday in Buffalo.

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“The numbers are nasty. The Devils have allowed 14 goals and scored six in opening 0-2-1. They have been outscored 11-2 after the first period. Worse, they haven't opened winless in three games since 2001-02.”