New York Hockey: Adam Henrique

DeBoer: Devils 'rock solid' against Rangers

February, 5, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. -- There was an eerie symmetry to the way Tuesday's game between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers began in the first rematch of the two teams since Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals last spring.

The Rangers' old nemesis Adam Henrique, who scored the series-winning overtime goal that ended New York’s playoff run back in May, opened up scoring for the Devils with a top-shelf marker that paved the way for New Jersey to knock off their Atlantic Division rivals, 3-1, in the same building where the two clubs last crossed paths.

[+] EnlargeMartin Brodeur
Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsMartin Brodeur had 24 saves against the Rangers.
Entering Tuesday's game as losers in four of their past five, the Devils set the tone early. New Jersey put the Rangers on their heels, establishing an aggressive forecheck and building off the momentum of their penalty-killing and stellar goaltending from 40-year-old Martin Brodeur.

David Clarkson also delivered, tallying twice to prove that last season’s success was no aberration, while veteran forward Patrik Elias assisted on all three Devils goals.

"It was a huge game for us. We knew we needed to come out hard and I thought we did a lot of good things as a team tonight," Clarkson said. "Marty played unbelievable, that save he made in the first and throughout the rest of the game, and I thought our penalty kill was fantastic tonight."

After an outstanding 30 goals last season, Clarkson is picking up where he left off, going to the high-traffic areas and scoring the dirty goals that made him one of the Devils' most productive forwards last season. With a three-point game Tuesday, Clarkson leads the Devils in scoring with 12 points (seven goals, five assists).

"The big test for him was to prove he wasn’t a 'flash in the pan' 30-goal guy, that he could do that on a consistent basis," New Jersey coach Pete DeBoer said, "and I think he’s proven that."

The gritty 28-year-old winger, who is set to become and unrestricted free agent this summer, is making a strong case for himself as a proven scoring threat. He may not be the most skilled or possess the most finesse, but his hard work and nose for the net has translated into the type of "puck luck" he often credits for his success.

"He creates his own luck," DeBoer said. "He's a guy that the puck follows him around. He has that innate ability that he’s in the right place at the right time. When you do it over and over again, it’s not an accident."

It wasn’t the goal-scorers who got credit from DeBoer following the team's second straight win, though. According to him, the team’s penalty-killers and goaltending were both "rock solid."

The Devils stopped the Rangers on all five power-play opportunities -- four of which came in the first period -- and were buoyed by Brodeur when the Rangers pressed back.

Brodeur turned away 24 shots to earn his fourth win of the season and stymied the Rangers on a couple of stunning saves. He made an acrobatic dive to smother the puck and stop Rangers defenseman Marc Staal in the first period. Brodeur then made a sharp glove save to rob Carl Hagelin driving the net in the third.

"It was fun. We got some big kills and I think that brought the energy level pretty high. It’s fun to play in front of fans like that," Brodeur said. "I wish it could be every single game but I know … when we do play the Rangers, it’s a little different."

Rapid Reaction: Devils 3, Rangers 1

February, 5, 2013
In the two teams' first meeting since the Eastern Conference finals last spring, the New Jersey Devils knocked off the New York Rangers 3-1, thanks to a two-goal performance from David Clarkson and an outstanding 24-save night from 40-year-old goaltender Martin Brodeur.

On pace: Coming off a breakout 30-goal season last season, David Clarkson is doing his best to replicate that success with a strong start to this season. The gritty winger, set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, tallied twice for the Devils on Tuesday. With less than a minute left in the first period, David Clarkson capitalized on the Rangers' failed clearing attempt, picking up his sixth goal of the season for a 2-0 Devils cushion. He then extended the Devils’ lead in the third period, chipping in a rebound for a power-play goal at 2:53. Clarkson, 28 leads the team in scoring with seven goals and five assists.

Helping out: Veteran forward Patrik Elias assisted on all three Devils goals Tuesday. The 36-year-old winger now has 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) in nine games for New Jersey.

Déjà vu: Devils forwards Adam Henrique, who sent the Rangers packing in May with his Game 6 overtime game-winner in the Eastern Conference finals, victimized them again early in the first period Tuesday. The 22-year-old rookie went top shelf on Henrik Lundqvist five minutes into play to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.

Kreider comeback: After missing the past five games with an ankle injury, Chris Kreider registered his first point of the season with his third-period marker to cut the Devils lead, 3-1, at 6:28. Kreider’s goal -- a short-side shot that beat Brodeur high -- was his first regular-season goal. The 21-year-old winger notched five in the playoffs last spring.

Surprise scratch: Top-pair defenseman Dan Girardi was an unexpected scratch Tuesday. The 28-year-old blue-liner, who played in all 82 games for the Rangers last season, sat out Tuesday. The team said he was "banged up." Girardi did not practice Monday, instead taking a "maintenance day," but was on the ice during the team’s morning skate Tuesday. Tortorella kept defensive partners Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto, pairing Anton Stralman with Ryan McDonagh and employing Matt Gilroy and Stu Bickel as the team’s third-pair.

New guy on line: Top prospect J.T. Miller, appearing in his first NHL game and recently-acquired forward Darroll Powe, making his Rangers debut, started the game on a line with Kreider. Miller was one of the most active, energetic forwards for the Rangers, eventually earning some shifts on a line with Kreider and top-line center Brad Richards.

Up next: Rangers vs. Islanders, Thursday at 7 p.m.

DeBoer on rivalry: 'Just great hockey'

February, 5, 2013
It has been almost nine months since the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers squared off in a heated and hostile battle for the Eastern Conference title, but the rivalry between the two teams has not cooled.

In a lockout-shortened season with heavy emphasis on racking up wins in the division, the two teams are expecting a regular-season match that mimics the intensity of last spring.

"Every game was so hard-fought. It was hard not to get caught up in it," said Devils coach Pete DeBoer. "It was just great hockey. We hope to recapture some of that this year."

The Devils knocked off the Rangers in Game 6, 3-2, thanks to rookie Adam Henrique's stunning overtime goal. It was a play that earned him a place among the great moments in the rivalry's history he had heard so much about growing up as a kid in Ontario.

"I was only four [years old] in '94, but you already knew growing up there's a rivalry," he said. "Last year, it really heated things up."

Henrique, who spent the first few weeks of the season recovering from thumb surgery, is back just in time. The 22-year-old center, a 2012 Calder Trophy finalist, returned to the lineup last Thursday and expects a tough test against the Blueshirts Tuesday.

"These are fun games to play in," he said. "They're going to bring their best. We're going to bring our best."

W2W4: Devils vs. Capitals

January, 25, 2013
At a glance: The Devils knocked off a winless Flyers squad Tuesday to preserve their unblemished record, and will face yet another desperate team in the 0-3-0 Capitals on Friday. Coming off a wretched 4-1 loss to the Canadiens on Thursday, the Caps are aiming to secure their first win of the season against the reigning Eastern Conference champions.

Familiar foe: The Devils will face former assistant coach Adam Oates when the two teams square off. Oates -- who was also inducted into the Hall of Fame, in addition to being named head coach of the Capitals -- spent the past two seasons behind the bench as an assistant in New Jersey. Devils coach Pete DeBoer said the Caps have a “helluva coach” and that he warned the Devils that the Capitals are a “dangerous team.”

Back to Brodeur: The Devils will have Martin Brodeur back in net after the 40-year-old posted wins in his first two starts. The future first-ballot Hall of Famer has surrendered only one goal on 43 shots faced through the first two games of the season.

Goaltending woes: While the Devils boast one of the all-time greats in goal, the Capitals are still trying to sort out their issues in net. After a terrific playoff performance last spring, 23-year-old Braden Holtby surrendered an unsightly 10 goals in his first two starts, prompting Oates to give Michal Neuvirth the nod on Thursday. Oates will turn Neuvirth again Friday, hoping he can stop the bleeding and turn things around.

Ovi MIA: Superstar Alex Ovechkin is off to a lackluster start for the Capitals. The 27-year-old forward, who spent the lockout playing in his native Russia, has been limited to only one point in the first three games of the season.

Henrique nearing return: 2012 Calder Trophy finalist Adam Henrique is getting closer to his return from a hand injury. The 22-year-old center, one of the team’s clutch performers in last year's playoffs, skated with the team Friday morning for the first time since undergoing surgery on his thumb. DeBoer said Henrique is still 7-to-10 days from making his season debut.

Krys-tal clear: According to the Devils' lines in Friday morning’s skate, veteran forward Krys Barch will play his first game of the season Friday. The 32-year-old winger, who signed with New Jersey as a free agent this summer, spent the bulk of last season with the Panthers, where he racked up 92 penalty minutes.

Henrique nearing return

January, 25, 2013
In his first full practice with the team since returning from hand surgery, 22-year-old Adam Henrique was on the ice for the Devils' morning skate Friday.

The 2012 Calder Trophy finalist, who had five goals and eight assists in the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring, has begun taking shots and is working on regaining strength in his injured left hand.

Coach Pete DeBoer said he expects Henrique to be back in approximately seven to 10 days.

"It's great to see him back," DeBoer said. "He's a big part of our team and our lineup and he just allows you, obviously, assuming you stay healthy, by slotting him in it allows you to put guys in better positions for them to have success and for us to have success."

Henrique sustained the injury to his left thumb in November while playing for the team's AHL affiliate in Albany during the lockout. Henrique said he's feeling better and that the doctors have been happy with his progress, but that he still needs more time before he's ready to play in his first game of the season.

"A couple months off, it's not full strength yet," Henrique said. "It's going to take a little bit of time."

Henrique is not expected to accompany the team on its upcoming road trip to Montreal and Boston, but he was excited to be back on the ice with his teammates before Friday's game.

"It's awesome," Henrique said. "It's just a big morale boost for me, just to be around the guys."

Matteau makes team; Henrique to Albany

January, 18, 2013
Forward Stefan Matteau, the New Jersey Devils' 2012 first-round pick and the son of iconic Ranger Stephane Matteau, has made the team's opening-day 23-man roster.

"He doesn't look out of place," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said after the team's intra-squad scrimmage on Wednesday.

Matteau, 18, will wear No. 15, according to the Devils. Per the rules for the lockout-shortened 48-game season, Matteau will have six games to prove he belongs before the Devils have to make a decision on whether to keep him with the big club or send him back to his junior team.

The Devils open the season on the road against the Islanders on Saturday at Nassau Coliseum.

In order to make space on the roster, injured center Adam Henrique (hand) was assigned to Albany (AHL).

Devils assign 24 to Albany

September, 15, 2012
The Devils have assigned 24 players to their AHL affiliate in Albany in advance of what appears to be an imminent lockout set to begin Sunday at 12:01 a.m.

Among the notables? Calder Trophy candidate Adam Henrique, 2011 first-round pick Adam Larsson and promising young center Jacob Josefson.

Below is the complete list of AHL-bound players:

Matt Anderson, Jean-Sebastian Berube, Brandon Burlon, Bobby Butler, Maxime Clermont, Jeff Frazee, Eric Gelinas, Adam Henrique, Mike Hoeffel, Jacob Josefson, Dan Kelly, Keith Kinkaid, Adam Larsson, Jay Leach, Harri Pesonen, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Mattias Tedenby, Alexander Urbom, Scott Wedgewood, Chad Wiseman, David Wohlberg, Harry Young, Steve Zalewski.

The Devils also sent three players back to their junior teams:

Stefan Matteau (Blainville, QMJHL), Reece Scarlett (Swift Current, WHL), and Damon Severson (Kelowna, WHL).

Notebook: Parise says ankle 'fine'

June, 7, 2012
NEWARK, N.J. -- Zach Parise says his left ankle is “fine.”

The Devils captain went into the boards funny and got his left skate caught during the third period of New Jersey’s 3-1 victory over Los Angeles in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday. He skated gingerly toward the bench, but didn’t miss any time.

“No,” Parise replied Thursday when asked if he was worried that his ankle might affect his game.

But even if you were, would you tell us?

“No,” Parise replied, smiling.

Parise has no points in the Stanley Cup finals so far. Linemate Ilya Kovalchuk has one -- and it came on an empty-net goal.

“We’re playing fine. It’s just pucks aren’t going in,” Parise said. “We’re getting good chances every game. Just unfortunately right now for whatever reason it’s not going in for us. I don’t think that we need to change anything about what we’re doing. We’re working hard. We’ve just gotta score and then we don’t have this conversation.”

Devils coach Peter DeBoer thought it was important for Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias to break though.

“We need guys to start scoring, and just like a win, you hope one goal translates into some confidence,” DeBoer said. “It can’t do anything but help everyone’s mindset.”

Must be the ‘stache.

Adam Henrique elected to shave prior to Game 4, keeping only his mustache.

“I’ve done it before in juniors,” Henrique said. “It’s worked before, so why not try it again.”

It ended up working again.

The 22-year-old rookie center scored his third game-winning goal of the playoffs with 4:29 left.

“It’s in his character and his ability to rise to the occasion, he’s not overwhelmed in situations when the game is on the line,” DeBoer said of Henrique. “He has that special quality. He wants to be on the ice. He wants to make a difference at those points in the game.

“We obviously wouldn’t be here without him.”

The Devils are 0-for-15 on the power play in the series, but DeBoer thought their man-advantage was much better in Game 4.

“I thought we had some really good looks,” DeBoer said, giving credit to Kings netminder Jonathan Quick. “You can’t get discouraged, you just gotta stay with it.”

Los Angeles has found success on the penalty-kill by aggressively pressuring the points .

“They pressure all over,” DeBoer said. “They’re very good with their pressure and the guys they use killing penalties are offensive players and dangerous guys, so I think that helps.”

DeBoer liked what he saw from Petr Sykora and Henrik Tallinder, who were both inserted into the lineup for the first time in the series.

“They gave us a real shot of energy,” DeBoer said.

Devils right winger Dainius Zubrus got his first-ever Stanley Cup finals victory in Game 4. He had been 0-7.

Zubrus said it was brought up in a conversation on the plane-ride home with Sykora, but he downplayed any significance given the 3-1 hole his team currently finds itself in.

After preventing sweep, Devils head home

June, 7, 2012
Thanks to Adam Henrique's skate-to-stick-past-Quick game-winner, the Devils prevented a sweep in LA Wednesday night, spoiling the Kings' party and forcing them to hop a cross-country flight back to New Jersey for Saturday's Game 5.

Trailing the series 3-1 (no team has rallied back from a 3-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup final since the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs), the Devils will host one at home while aiming to plant a seed of doubt in the heads of an absolutely dominant Kings squad.

"Well, you hope so," said coach Pete DeBoer after his team's 3-1 victory. "That's the plan. We've got to take it home and take care of business now and win another one."

This is no road-weary Kings team, however.

LA has posted a staggering 10-0 record away from home this post-season, which ties an NHL record for most road wins in Stanley Cup history. The 2004 Calgary Flames (also coached by Darryl Sutter) and the 2000 and 1995 Devils squads all amassed ten road victories as well.

Building on a three-goal performance (after managing only two goals over the first three games), the Devils look to tarnish the Kings' pristine record and send it back to Staples Center. Their loss to New Jersey Wednesday night dropped the Kings to 5-3 at home.

"We pulled it off, one game," said 40-year-old netminder Martin Brodeur, who was stellar in stopping all but one of the Kings' 22 shots. "We'll take it one game at a time. But I'm sure they're not happy to make that trip. We'll try to make it miserable for them again."

Rapid Reaction: Devils 3, Kings 1

June, 6, 2012

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: They're still alive.

Adam Henrique, who has a knack for scoring big goals, notched his fourth of the playoffs with 4:29 left in the third period to snap a 1-all tie, and the Devils staved off elimination, beating the Kings 3-1 on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

New Jersey has never been swept in 43 playoff series -- the longest active streak in the NHL and second-longest streak in league history.

Henrique, 22, also tallied series-clinching overtime winners against Florida and the Rangers.

MAR-TY-VELOUS: Martin Brodeur was absolutely stellar. The 40-year-old netminder made 21 saves to pick up his first victory of the series. His best stop of the evening came in the second period when he robbed Simon Gagne with his left pad. Brodeur also stoned Dustin Penner with 3:45 left in the third.

It didn't hurt that Brodeur was the recipient of some good fortune when Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar hit the post in the first.

FINALLY: Patrik Elias gave the Devils their first lead of the series with 12:04 left in the third period, finishing off a rebound in front. It was his fifth goal of the playoffs and first of the series.

WEAKSAUCE: Just 62 seconds after Elias tallied, the Kings tied the game. David Clarkson was sent to the penalty box on a questionable boarding call, and six seconds into the ensuing power play, Drew Doughty scored from the point to tie the game at 1.

ABOUT TIME: Ilya Kovalchuk recorded an empty-net goal for his first point of the series. Kovalchuk had missed a golden opportunity to give the Devils the lead two minutes into the second period when he could not corral a puck on the doorstep.

POWERLESS: The Devils went 0-for-3 on the power play in Game 4 and are 0-for-15 on the man advantage in the series.

UP NEXT: Game 5, Saturday night at Prudential Center

Henrique up for Calder Trophy

April, 20, 2012
Devils rookie Adam Henrique is among three finalists for the Calder Trophy, the league announced Friday morning. Henrique joins Colorado's Gaboriel Landeskog and Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as candidates for the award, which honors the NHL's top rookie.

Henrique, who spent much of the year centering the Devils' top line with captain Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk, led all rookies with 35 assists and finished third in regular-season scoring with 51 points. Henrique also has one assist in four playoff games for the Devils this postseason.

Landeskog led rookies with 22 goals and finished tied with Nugent-Hopkins in scoring with 52 points.

The award is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

Henrique elevates game, lifts Devils in OT

November, 5, 2011

What a rookie season it's been for Adam Henrique.

The 21-year-old rookie center made the Devils' roster out of training camp, but was sent down two games later.

It didn't take long for him to get called up again.

Jacob Josefson's injury led to Henrique coming back. Then line juggling led to him playing between Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. And the way he’s playing right now, he might just be here to stay.

A game after notching his first NHL goal, Henrique had two -- including the game-winner on a breakaway with 3:32 left in overtime -- lifting the Devils to a 3-2 victory over the Jets on Saturday night at Prudential Center.

"I just try to take advantage of this situation as much as I can," Henrique said. "You don't get second chances like this everyday."

You sure don't.

"Two goals on Hockey Night in Canada, that's pretty fun," Parise said. "He elevated his game."

Sure did. Especially considering Kovalchuk was out with a lower body injury.

"You never wanna get sent down," Henrique said. "But once you get the chance to get back up, I'm just trying to work hard and improve my game everyday, and I think I've been able to do that."

Coach Peter DeBoer said the Devils were hard on Henrique when they demoted him, wanting him to get better at playing away from the puck, and he has responded.

"Great three games in four nights for him," DeBoer said. "He had fresh legs out there. He had a real burst."

Henrique gave the Devils a 2-0 lead with 7:01 left in the second period, roofing a backhander on a partial one-on-one after receiving a pass from Parise. Then he gave them two points when he took another Parise pass, moved in all alone and wristed one into the net 1:28 into the extra session, sending his elated teammates out onto the ice to congratulate him against the boards.

"Anytime you get a few games like that, it's a confidence boost, but you try not to let it go to your head," Henrique said.

Martin Brodeur said his shoulder felt fine after making 21 saves to earn his first victory since April 6 last season against Toronto.

"It definitely weighs on you when you haven't got any points for the team," Brodeur said.