Newark, New Jersey and New York, New York

Saturday, September 25, 2010 - Sunday, September 26, 2010

Slightly belated, Jill and I were finally able to sneak away for a couple of days to celebrate her birthday, New York style!

Set out on Saturday morning after I got home from work, stopping at Crossings in Tannersville to return some merchandise. We grabbed lunch at a Longhorn Steakhouse not far from there - our first time there, decent food, interesting decor. Probably a keeper if that was the choice.

Drove to Newark after that, to the Robert Treat Hotel (room 1103, $133.38 total for the night), our usual haunt when staying in the Metro New York area. Pretty funny, when we walked into the hotel there was literally a wall of news cameras and photographers - we thought it was for us, but come to find out they were all waiting for the Governor of New Jersey! To funny!

After getting settled into the room, we put on our Devils garb and walked over to 'The Rock'. We were there kind of early, so we went to the Brick City Grill across the street for some pre-game drinks and a snack. Across the street to the best rink in the NHL when we were done there.

We had good (aisle) seats on the end we usual sit in, and for the most part it was a good game - right up to the point where the Devils imploded in the third period and lost the game in overtime. Oh well, at least it's just the pre-season! Back to the hotel for some sleeps after the game.

On Sunday morning we woke up and had some breakfast in the hotel, before checking out and moving the car to the Harrison Parking Ramp next to the PATH station. We hopped the PATH, to the NYC Subway up to 42nd Street, where we walked to Pier 83, and the Circle Line Cruise terminal.

We tend to shy away from 'touristy' things to do in New York. We've been there so much it's as if we are 'natives', but every once in a while we like to check out what the other half does when they are there. A Circle Line cruise was one thing on that list. We did the three hour tour around the entire island of Manhattan, and it was worth the money spent. We got to see some great sights, hear a bit of history and other stories, and get as close to the Statue of Liberty as either of us of have ever been - all in all, pretty cool!

There was a bit of time to waste after our cruise, before the main event of the weekend, so we found a pub called Lansdowne Road on 10th between 43rd and 44th. After a small bite to eat and a couple of drinks, we made our way back to the subway and onto dinner.

In my quest to find and take Jill to a restaurant from every current 'famous' chef, I made reservations at Wylie Dufresne's place, wd-50. A quaint little space on Clinton Street, and to top it all off Wylie himself was there when we got there! As was his pastry chef, Alex Stuppa!

For drinks, Jill had Sauvignon ‘800’ Thurnhof, a sauvignon blanc, and I had a Fraoch Heather Ale beer. Appetizers were, for Jill, Shrimp spaghetti, tomato, basil, garlic, and I had Corned duck, rye crisp, purple mustard, horseradish cream. For our entrees, Jill had Scallops, chicken-fried lentils, radish, lychee, and I had Wagyu flap steak, barley, malt, turnip. To top the meal off, for dessert Jill had Hazelnut tart, coconut, chocolate, chicory, and I had Tristar strawberries, fennel, yogurt, watermelon molasses, along with a couple of coffee's. Overall, it was a great meal! And to have Wylie and Alex there watching over the dining room was really cool too! A definite keeper!

We jumped the trains back to the car after dinner, and headed home arriving there around 12:00.

The Devils appeared headed to their first win of the preseason before their special teams did them in.

New Jersey penalty killers allowed three power-play goals in the third period, squandering leads of 3-1 and 4-2 in Saturday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the New York Rangers at Prudential Center.

Michael Del Zotto’s power-play tally 52 seconds into overtime capped a four-point night and kept the Devils winless in three exhibition contests.

Johan Hedberg lost his goal stick on a poke check moments before Del Zotto’s winner. He grabbed a stick from defenseman Anton Volchenkov, but couldn’t break up Ryan Callahan’s cross-slot pass to Del Zotto at the left circle.

Hedberg went the distance and finished with 15 saves, but allowed three goals on six shots in the third.

“Penalty killing and goaltending wasn’t on top there,” Hedberg said. “Sometimes little things happen, then catch on and snowball. Obviously, it’s something you have to learn to stop. I’m sure we’ll be able to do that in the future. I think it’s also important to look at what went wrong tonight, what we can do to change it, and what I can do to change the situation.”

The Devils' power play went 0-for-4 while the penalty kill allowed four goals on five chances. New Jersey received strong efforts by Zach Parise, who had three assists, and Ilya Kovalchuk and Andy Greene, each of whom had a goal and an assist.

"We did some good things," said head coach John MacLean. "We let it get away at the end. We had some good opportunities on the power play. On their power play, giving up those power plays hurt us."

MacLean's squad carried a 3-1 lead into the third, when the Rangers closed to within a goal. Matt Gilroy’s shot on the power play found its way from the left point through Hedberg at 1:06. The netminder thought he had frozen the puck.

“I thought it was a dead play,” said Hedberg. “If the puck is loose the ref always lets you know, but this guy didn’t. He just stood there. It was still in me somewhere, then I got a little bump and it got loose. Have to make sure I have those better.”

Brian Rolston’s breakaway tally restored the two-goal lead, 4-2, at 5:36 of the third. Greene flipped an arching pass that Rolston knocked down with his glove and rifled past Henrik Lundqvist from the left circle.

“What a play by Greenie,” Rolston said. “I knew I had the guy beat and Greenie saw me and what a play by him.”

But New York chipped away with power-play goals by Artem Anisimov (10:01) and Ruslan Fedotenko (12:33) to tie it at 4-4.

David Clarkson was in the box when Anisimov and Del Zotto scored. He spent much of the game fending off Avery, who worked all night to get under the Devils’ skin.

“We need to let him do that stuff and play,” Clarkson said. “We’re a better team in here. Instead of going out there and reacting, just play. We had a period and a half of good hockey, and that’s what we need to continue to do.”

Tempers flared early in the second. Clarkson challenged Avery after a hit on Rolston. After Clarkson and Avery were separated, Kovalchuk and Avery came together, exchanging pushes and shoves. Avery was slapped with a double-minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct. Garnet Exelby’s roughing minor turned it into a Devils 5-on-3 for 1:57, but the Devils couldn’t convert.

“Just part of the game, nothing special,” Kovalchuk said of Avery’s antics. “We should’ve won that game but it’s good that it happened in preseason because we can’t be up two goals going into the third period and lose the game. It’s unacceptable. We took too many penalties and broke our momentum.”

He said they need to avoid similar encounters in the future.

“We definitely should stay away from that and let them be themselves, because we know we can be much better than that,” Kovalchuk noted.

Johan Hedberg Parise assisted on both Devils goals in the first period, staking them to a 2-1 lead through 20 minutes. He began Kovalchuk’s scoring play by intercepting Del Zotto’s pass in the neutral zone and sending Kovalchuk in for a top-shelf laser past Lundqvist at 2:51.

Callahan tied it 42 seconds later, breaking down the middle to knock Fedotenko’s feed past Hedberg at 3:33.

New Jersey answered less than three minutes later, when Parise set up Greene’s go-ahead tally. He dished to Greene for a wrister from the right circle that snuck through Lundqvist at 5:58.

Parise’s hard work in the corners helped generate Matt Taormina’s lone goal in the second. He freed up the puck behind the Rangers net for Kovalchuk, who found Taormina at the left point for a one-timer at 13:11.

The preseason continues Tuesday, when the Devils entertain Philadelphia at the Rock. The Islanders visit on Friday, before the exhibition finale on Saturday at Nassau Coliseum. The Devils host Dallas to open the regular season on Friday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.

Exhibition extra sessions The Devils have gone to overtime in all three preseason games. They dropped their opener, 4-3, in a shootout at Philadelphia on Tuesday, then lost, 4-3, in overtime at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

Kovy line impresses The Kovalchuk line with Parise and Travis Zajac looked strong in its second game of the preseason. Led by Parise's goal and two assists, the trio combined for seven points against the Rangers on Thursday.

"They had some good chances," MacLean said. "Zach had some good chances. They're looking good. Each night they seem to get some chances. As we got forward and they start to get used to how one another player, when we get the full lineup in, I think it will be a good unit."

Total Mileage: 336 Miles

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Page Last Updated: November 6, 2010