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John Kreiser | columnist
Dec 1, 2006, 12:00 PM EST

The “New NHL” may be about scoring more goals, but the New Jersey Devils must not have gotten the message.

The Devils started the season scoring four goals in winning their opener at Carolina and seven in a shootout win over Toronto in their home opener six nights later. Since then, they’ve scored just 19 goals in 12 road games, and no more than two in any game. They managed just five while losing all four games (one in a shootout) in their just-completed four-game Western swing.

The Devils aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut at home, but they’ve scored enough to go 8-1-1 at the Continental Airlines Arena (as opposed to 4-8-1 on the road). They scored just 21 non-shootout goals in their next nine home games after the offensive outburst against Toronto, managing more than three just once.

So why are the Devils in a four-way scramble for the Atlantic Division lead entering the weekend? Mostly because opponents have found it just as tough to score, especially at the Meadowlands. After winning their home opener 7-6 in a shootout, the Devils allowed just 17 non-shootout goals in their next nine games, the best home defensive showing in the league during that time. Goaltender Martin Brodeur hasn’t allowed more than three goals in his last 11 starts overall and just 14 in his last eight starts at home.

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