There is definitely no flying under the radar now for Devils right winger David Clarkson after his 30-goal breakout season.
That's why goalie Martin Brodeur didn't waste any time before issuing the first challenge to his teammate.
"I told him, 'If you want to score 30 this year, you've got to score one tonight,' " Brodeur said before Clarkson had the winner in a 2-1 victory over the Islanders tonight at Nassau Coliseum.
"He told me, 'I'm on pace for 48 now,' " Brodeur added with a laugh.
It was how the Devils hoped to open the lockout-delayed 48-game schedule. They got goals from Clarkson and newly-signed center Travis Zajac, along with a performance from Brodeur that looked more mid-season than opening night.
"Marty was excellent. I don't know what he was doing (during the lockout)," coach Pete DeBoer said. "He said he was golfing. I'm not sure I buy that."
While the intensity may be a far cry from where the Devils left off in the Stanley Cup Finals last June, the excitement was there. A sellout crowd of 16,170 showed up, dispelling the idea that fans wouldn't return after the labor stoppage.
Devils top Islanders in opener, 2-1
Newark Star-Ledger | Jan 20