CALGARY, Alberta -- When Wayne Gretzky talks, people listen. But the New Jersey Devils are having some success shedding the 'Mickey Mouse' image the Edmonton superstar tagged them with.
'For a Mickey Mouse outfit, we are doing well,' Devils' captain Mel Bridgman said after New Jersey battled to a 2-2 overtime draw with the Calgary Flames Wednesday despite travel fatigue.
'We are out west now and we want to show we are a better club than we were the last time here,' Bridgman said.
'We outplayed them in the second period, had good chances and spent all day getting here.'
The Devils arrived in Calgary Wednesday afternoon rather than Tuesday, as planned, because their flight out of New Jersey was cancelled by fog.
Bridgman also figures new coach Tom McVie has cleared things up for the team.
'Tom's given us leadership and direction in where we are going,' he said.
McVie was pleased with the team's performance, but was unhappy with the club's lack of scoring .
'We played well enough to win, but could not put the puck in the net,' he said.
Rookie Tony Stiles gave Calgary a 1-0 lead after the first period, but Tim Higgins tied the score for New Jersey at 4:06 in the second period. Calgary was outshot 12-3 in the period, but Rejean Lemelin was steady in the Flames' net.
Bob Lorimer gave New Jersey a 2-1 lead seven minutes into the third period, but Ed Beers tied the game for Calgary with 5:17 left in regulation to send the game into overtime.
'We worked hard but give them credit,' Flames coach Bob Johnson said.
He said the Devils are playing much better than their 10-35-4 record which has them in the Patrick Division basement.
'You are never happy with a tie in your own building but I was worried because of our illness,' Johnson said, referring to several players who suited up despite the flu.
The Flames are unbeaten in their last seven contests and unbeaten in their last 12 overtime games. Calgary has a 19-19-10 record, good enough for second spot in the Smythe Division, four points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets.