With a blizzard raging outside Prudential Center, the Devils made their trudge through the snow more than worthwhile. Swiss winger Damien Brunner, returning from a sprained MCL in his right knee and playing his first game in a month, scored a goal and added two assists as the Devils routed the powerful St. Louis Blues, 7-1, Tuesday night before a crowd originally listed as 2,000 and later changed to 11,432. The seven goals were the most by the Devils since they defeated the Islanders, 7-1, on April 10, 2010. “It was a great night. It’s too bad more people didn’t see it but, boy, the people that braved the weather today to come out and give us the support they did… I was expecting a couple hundred people and we ended up with a good crowd,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. “It was a great effort by them to get out and see us.” Fans braved the weather to see the Devils score three power play goals, one short of the season-high four they scored in Boston on Oct. 26. The night was somewhat reminiscent of the 15-inch storm back on Jan. 22, 1987, in which 334 fans showed up at the Meadowlands for a 7-5 Devils victory over the Calgary Flames. Those in attendance that night became known as the 334 Club. The Devils offered fans who showed up Tuesday night two tickets to an upcoming game in gratitude for their "pride and passion." Fans in attendance can get two tickets to the following games: Feb. 7 (Edmonton), Feb. 27 (Columbus), Mar. 4 (Detroit) or Mar. 27 (Phoenix). Those that were unable to make it to the game can exchange paid tickets for one ticket to one of the same games based on availability. DeBoer said he left home at 6:30 a,m. before the snow began to fall and stayed at Prudential Center all day rather than risking the round trip home in the storm. “I had no trouble, but I know some of the players dealt with quite a few elements,” DeBoer said. Jaromir Jagr said the roads were poor, but it was mainly volume and drivers being cautious that made the trip back after the morning skate long. Brunner said it took him 80 minutes to drive from Hoboken to Newark, but he didn’t mind. “I’ve got some good music on my iPod, so it’s actually not too bad,” Brunner said with a laugh. Blues winger Alexander Steen was still in the box for his late slashing penalty in the second period when Brunner scored on the power play at 1:18 of the third period. It was Brunner’s ninth goal of the season and came on a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle off a cross-ice pass from Patrik Elias. “Maybe the hockey gods rewarded me a little bit for my hard work,” Brunner said of his three points. “I was just happy to come back. I wanted to skate as hard as I could and get the legs going. I felt a little rusty at times, but I got through the game and I hope I can progress from now on in every game.” DeBoer said: “I knew he was chomping at the bit to get back in.” Eric Gelinas, who had a goal and two assists, completed the scoring at 12:04 of the third with a bizarre goal. Gelinas fired a shot into the zone and the puck deflected off the back of Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who was near the left wing boards, It changed direction towards the net and went in off goalie Jaroslav Halak, who had replaced starter Brian Elliott in the first period. “I was actually trying to dump it in,” Gelinas said. Even Jaromir Jagr admitted he’s never scored a goal like that. “Next game,” Jagr joked. “Actually no, because I don’t really dump it in. Maybe I should.” Considering the lack of offensive support the Devils have given goalie Cory Schneider this season, this was a bonanza.
Devils reward brave fans with 7-1 rout of Blues
Newark Star-Ledger | Jan 22