Colorado Avalanche vs. New Jersey Devils - 1/16/14
New Jersey Devils (20-18-10) at Colorado Avalanche (29-12-5)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Pepsi Center)
The Line: Colorado Avalanche -168 / New Jersey Devils +153 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
Between Jaromir Jagr and Martin Broduer the New Jersey Devils have plenty of feel good stories this season for aging players who continue to defy reality and play excellent hockey. What could be the difference in their season however is the play of some of the unknown guys in the lineup every night and one of them came through in a big way on Tuesday night in Montreal. Eric Gelinas broke a 1-1 tie with a power play goal and his play is something that head coach Peter Deboer better take notice of because the Devils are simply a better hockey club with him in the lineup this season. New Jersey has won three of their last four contests but this recent one was certainly their most impressive because going into the Bell Centre and coming away with a win is never an easy thing to do. Gelinas' goal was his fifth of the season and for a player who has been in and out of the lineup I think it's probably time that he secures a spot in this defense group. The slap shot that he Gelinas beat Carey Price with was a thing of beauty and the Devils just kept going from there. Adam Henrique scored three minutes later to increase the New Jersey lead to two goals and Dainius Zubrus finished the scoring in the 4-1 win with an empty net goal late in the third. Brodeur made 29 saves in front of the home fans in Montreal and continues to play really well in goal for the Devils. Thursday night's match against the Colordao Avalanche will be a big time test for the Devils. The Avalanche have won six of their last eight games and are coming off a big time win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night. Tyson Barrie and Ryan O'Reilly gave Colorado a 2-0 first period lead but the Avalanche couldn't build on it and watched as the Blackhawks scored once in the second and once in the third to tie it. With under a minute to play in overtime it was Barrie connecting again to lift the Avalanche to a 3-2 win and two big points in the standings. Semyon Varlamov picked up his 22nd win of the season in this one and he continues to be the backbone of this hockey cub despite all the young talent they have up front. People keep expecting this Colordao club to come back down to earth but with the pieces they have in place that are starting to really mature it might not happen. There will be growing pains in the playoffs for sure in Colordao but there's a lot of good things to look forward to if you're an Avalanche fan.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports