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Devils Alley: Adam Henrique Strikes Again, Nets Second Straight Game Winner

Henrique2With Travis Zajac, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Martin Brodeur all dealing with injuries early in the season, Adam Henrique has given the Devils the spark they need to stay above .500.

Henrique netted his second straight game winner last night in New Jersey's 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. He now has four goals and seven points in ten games, and has become the team's first line center for Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise.

"The kid's got a knack for big goals," coach Peter DeBoer told"I think he's got the personality where those pressure situations don't seem to faze him. He almost got one a little earlier in the third period, made a great individual effort, so he seems to be able to rise to the occasion."

But Henrique is doing more then just scoring big goals. The 21 year old rookie also went 7-9 on faceoffs last night (78 percent), including a perfect 3-3 against veteran winger Tuomo Ruutu. The Devils have been lacking in the faceoff department all season, so Henrique's early success is a good sign for the future.

New Jersey as a whole had one of their better team performances last night, something that DeBoer has been looking for since their 3-0 win in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. The Devils were way above their average shots on goal and faceoff percentage, as seen below:

Average SOG per game: 29.3
Last night's SOG: 36

Average faceoff percentage: 47.7%
Last night's faceoff percentage: 67%

The Elias line continued to be the team's most consistent trio, contributing to five of the Devils eight total points. Danius Zubrus and Petr Sykora each recorded a goal on four shots each and Patrik Elias added two assists.

Adam Larsson also added to his high ice time average, as he was in action for 23 minutes and six seconds. He continues to lead all NHL rookies in the category and was third on the team behind Zubrus and Parise.

The only thing the Devils will have to work in practice will be the power play, which continues to struggle in 2011. Elias and Larsson ran the unit with Kovalchuk out, but they couldn't get anything going and actually gave up a short handed goal in the first period. New Jersey went 0-4 with the man advantage last night and are now 27th in the league with a 12.5% success rate.

Martin Brodeur made 25 saves and is now 2-2 on the season. He will have a few days off before the Devils play a home and home against the Washington Capitals on Friday and Saturday. Johan Hedberg is expected to start at least one of those games to give Brodeur extra rest.

Other Notes:

The Devils have won three straight games and are now 7-5-1 on the season. They had an optional practice today in Newark and will return to full skate tomorrow.

Ilya Kovalchuk is still listed as day-to-day, and DeBoer will determine whether or not Kovy will start Friday based on his performance in practice tomorrow. Kovalchuk has missed two straight games after suffering a lower body injury against Philadelphia.

According to the Devils Twitter (@NHLDevils), fans donated 3500 pounds of food and $3700 during last night's food drive.

You can follow Joe Kuchie on Twitter @jkuchie or check out his new website at


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