Not too long ago, the New Jersey Devils were worried about falling into seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
If they continue their recent strong play, they might be one of the top three seeds.
New Jersey looks to move into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Division when it meets the rival New York Rangers for the sixth and final time this season.
New Jersey, 5-2-1 in its last eight contests, has three games left to catch the Flyers, but the Devils don’t seem too concerned about where they will finish in the standings.
“We just have to win these final hockey games,” Devils center Scott Gomez said. “We’re not worrying about Philly. To be honest, I think that’s what got us in trouble in the past. We’ve got three games left and then the real dance starts, so we want to be going at full steam.”
“We just have to keep winning,” Elias said. “We’ll know soon how it turns out.”
The Rangers did the Devils a favor in their last outing, beating the Flyers 3-1 in Philadelphia on Saturday to snap a season-high, eight-game losing streak.
Valiquette was recalled from Hartford of the AHL after Dunham bruised his shoulder during the first period of a 4-2 loss to Nashville on Thursday. Valiquette was obtained from the Edmonton Oilers on March 3 as part of the trade for Petr Nedved.
Valiquette went 2-0 for the New York Islanders in 1999-2000, recording a 2-1 win at Ottawa in his last start on April 6, 2000.
“This was really a big thrill for me,” said Valiquette, whose only other NHL action this season was 14 minutes of relief work with the Oilers. “Coming into Philly was obviously a momentous challenge. I was ready for it. I felt like I was a kid who studied well for a math exam. I felt like I put my work in and I was ready to play.”