With the trade deadline only two days away, the Devils stumble home from a three-game road trip in which they lost twice in a shootout and once in overtime to face the Islanders tonight in a game pivotal to both teams' playoff chances. The Devils are seventh in the Eastern Conference, four points ahead of the ninth-place Islanders, with 13 games remaining. If Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello makes another move to strengthen his team before Wednesday's 3 p.m. deadline, it will be difficult for him top the payoff he's gotten so far from the deal he made Feb. 6 for center Andrei Loktionov. In what has been a steal for the Devils, Lamoriello gave the Los Angeles Kings just a fifth-round draft pick for Loktionov, who has seven goals and four assists in 18 games since joining the team. "We've been very fortunate with how things have worked out with Loktionov," Lamoriello admitted. Loktionov, 22, considers himself very fortunate, too. Since being drafted in the fifth round in 2008, the native of Voskresensk, Russia, had gotten a taste of the NHL with the Kings, playing in 59 regular-season games, including 39 last season. He also played in two playoff games during their run to the Stanley Cup last season, but did not get his name on the Cup as he fell two regular-season games short of the required number. Loktionov was toiling again on the Kings' AHL team, waiting for another chance to play in the NHL, when the Devils acquired him. "I just wanted to play and New Jersey gave me that chance," Loktionov said. "I think I'm doing not bad. I'm so glad to be back playing in the NHL. That's all I needed, I guess – to play at this level."
A steal of a deal for Devils
Bergen Record | Apr 1