The New Jersey Devils opened their shortened NHL season on Saturday night with a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum. The Devils got goals from Travis Zajac and David Clarkson in the win. Henrik Tallinder, Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrik Elias, and Mattias Tedenby each picked up an assist.
The Devils fought a tough battle with the Islanders with both teams playing well, but the Devils clearly having the advantage with quicker play and better sustained forechecking.
Martin Brodeur stopped 18 shots for New Jersey to net his record 657th career win. The Devils led in shots by a 28-19 advantage. David Clarkson and Ilya Kovalchuk each had 5 shots each to lead the team.
Stefan Matteau, the 28th overall pick in last June's draft made his NHL debut for the Devils. He played on the fourth line alongside Jacob Josefson and Cam Janssen.
Adam Larsson, Peter Harrold, and Krys Barch were the scratches for New Jersey.
The Devils next game will be their home opener at the Prudential Center on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. when the Philadelphia Flyers come to town. The Flyers opened their season with a 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon.