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Game 74: Crucial Run Begins In Long Island

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Match-up - New Jersey Devils (31-28-14) @ New York Islanders (28-35-10)
TV - MSG, MSG Plus
Puck drop - 7:00 p.m. ET
Season series - Devils lead 2-1
Last 10: Devils 4-5-1 | Islanders 5-3-2 
Projected starting goalies - Cory Schneider vs Anders Nilsson

Projected lines for the Islanders:
Anders Lee - Frans Nielsen - Josh Bailey
John Persson - Brock Nelson - Cal Clutterbuck
Matt Martin - Ryan Strome - Colin McDonald
Mike Halmo - Casey Cizikas - Johan Sundstrom

Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic
Kevin Czuczman - Thomas Hickey
Matt Donavon - Matt Carkner

Projected lines for the Devils:
Tuomo Ruutu - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Adam Henrique - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner
Ryane Clowe - Dainius Zubrus - Michael Ryder
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier 

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Jon Merrill - Marek Zidlicky
Eric Gelinas - Pete Harrold

Pre-Game Thoughts

The Devils need to capitalize on the losses by the Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets. The Devils remained 4 points behind the Wild Card race and need to win tonight in order to keep from possibly falling further back, especially since Detroit and the Leafs, two teams NJ is battling for a Wild Card play each other tonight so a Wild Card team will have 82 points at the end of the night. Washington and Columbus are also in action today.

NJ needs more out of Eric Gelinas. He’s got a rocket of a shot but hasn’t been taking a lot of them over the last few games. He’s also a big body that needs to throw it around and get physical but at times he seems to back off from doing that. Word from TG yesterday was that coaches were working with him during practice.

Treat this game for what it is, a trap game. The Islanders are out and the Devils are fighting for a Wild Card spot but the Devils can’t go into this game thinking the Islanders aren’t going to show up. The Islanders are 5-3-2 in their last 10 which is slightly better than NJ has been playing. On top of that, this is the Islanders and they always give NJ a tough time.

Shoot the damn puck. If the outlook on Brodeur is that he’s had a terrible year, then the same is said about Nabokov as he had numbers pretty close to Broduer. The bonus tonight is that Nabokov has had a better season than his backups and its not Nabokov getting the call tonight. 

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Game 73: Phoenix Visits NJ

Written by RWTD Staff on .

 

Quick Need to Knows:

Match-up - Phoenix Coyotes (35-26-12) @ New Jersey Devils (31-28-13)
TV - MSG
Puck drop - 7:00 p.m. ET
Season series - Coyotes lead 1-0
Last 10: Phoenix 6-3-1 | New Jersey 5-5-0
Projected starting goalies - Thomas Greiss vs Martin Brodeur

Projected lines for the Coyotes:

Mikkel Boedker - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan
Brandon McMillan - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata
Martin Erat - Jeff Halpern - David Moss
Rob Klinkhammer - Kyle Chipchura - Paul Bissonnette 

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Zybnek Michalek 
Keith Yandle - Michael Stone
Chris Summers - Brandon Gormley 

Projected lines for the Devils:

Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Adam Henrique - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner
Ryane Clowe - Stephen Gionta - Tuomo Ruutu
Eric Gelinas - Ryan Carter - Michael Ryder 

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Jon Merrill - Pete Harrold

Quick Thoughts Heading Into Tonight:

First thought that comes about the Phoenix Coyotes is that of injured goaltender Mike Smith. Don’t be fooled when you hear that Smith’s injury is a crushing blow to the ‘Yotes playoff hopes. While it’s never good to lose your starting goaltender, I don’t think Mike Smith is having a year that is setting the league on fire. While Greiss has only a handful of starts, he’s put up decent numbers this season and more than capable than carrying Phoenix through Smith’s injury.

Phoenix has a poor penalty kill so NJ needs to draw penalties and capitalize on the man advantage as much as they can tonight.

NJ is 5 points behind that pack of 4 80 point teams that have a shot at the Wild Card. The Devils schedule eases up after tonight but they need 2 points out of this game tonight if they are going to have any shot at trying to challenge Toronto, Detroit, Columbus or Washington.

The Coyotes defense always scares me. They are young, quick and talented and I’ve seen Yandle be the difference maker in quite a few games.  

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Game 63: Detroit Visits New Jersey

Written by RWTD Staff on .

Match-up - Detroit Red Wings (28-20-12) @ New Jersey Devils (26-23-13)
TV - MSG
Puck drop - 7:00 p.m. ET
Season series - Detroit leads 1-0
Last 10: Red Wings 6-2-2 | Devils 4-4-2 
Projected starting goalies - Jimmy Howard vs Martin Brodeur

 

Projected lines for the Devils:

Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Adam Henrique - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner
Ryane Clowe - Andrei Loktionov - Michael Ryder
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov/Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Eric Gelinas - Jon Merrill

Projected lines for the Red Wings:

Johan Franzen - Joakim Andersson - Gustav Nyquist
Tomas Tatar - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Jurco
Justin Abdelkader - Darren Helm - Daniel Alfredsson
Drew Miller - Luke Glendening - Todd Bertuzzi

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey - Danny DeKeyser
Brendan Smith - Brian Lashoff


Noteworthy Pre-Game Talk:

Let’s get it out of the way so that we can move on. Marty Brodeur is expected to start in net tonight and tomorrow is the NHL Trading Deadline. Lots of speculation out there as to whether or not this will be the last we see of Marty in a Devils uniform. I truly believe he won’t be moved because I don’t see the benefit in it for the Devils. The Devils play 20 games/40 days with six back-to-backs meaning that Schneider cannot play all of them. If you trade Marty and Corey gets hurt then the Devils are up shits creek. If the Devils were currently where the Islanders are, then maybe you could convince me that dealing him away doesn’t matter. Despite whether or not you feel Marty’s game is in decline, the truth is Marty Brodeur acting as a backup goaltender to Cory Schnieder is a better option for NJ than having any other NHL/AHL goalie fill that role.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how important these two games against Detroit are. The Wings hold a 3 point lead in the standings for the final Wild Card spot. The Devils have been great at giving points away this season but anything less than a win in regulation tonight has to be considered a step in the wrong direction.

The players I will be watching closely tonight are Adam Henrique, Patrick Elias and Johan Franzen. Elias and Henrique have really elevated their game since being placed on the same line. In the 3 games since the Olympic break, both players have six points in those three games. Franzen for the Wings is just as hot with 5 points in the two games that Detroit has played in the games in Sochi came to an end. Much like ex-teammate Damien Brunner, Franzen is known to be a streaky point scorer but when he’s on, he’s on. There are a list of others you could watch, like Brunner and Gelinas but those are the few I am going with tonight. 

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Game 29: Devils Looking To Avoid a Repeat of Monday Night

Written by RWTD Staff on .

The Matchup 

The Montreal Canadiens (16-9-3) visit the New Jersey Devils (11-12-5) in the second game of a home and home matchup. Montreal won Monday’s game by a score of 3-2 but the Devils had their chances.

Projected Lines for the Montreal Canadiens

Danny Briere - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher
Alex Galchenyuk - Lars Eller - Michael Bournival
Travis Moen - Brandon Prust - Ryan White

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Josh Gorges
Douglas Murray - Raphael Diaz

Projected Lines for the New Jersey Devils

Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Reid Boucher - Patrik Elias - Steve Bernier
Damien Brunner - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder
Tim Sestito - Andrei Loktionov - Cam Janssen

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Eric Gelinas - Jon Merrill
Anton Volchenkov - Marek Zidlick

Injury Notes

Montreal will be without forward Rene Bourque (upper body) and defenseman Davis Drewiske(shoulder). … Defensemen Adam Larsson (lower body) and Bryce Salvador (non-displaced stress fracture in foot) and forwards Ryan Carter (leg), Stephen Gionta (ankle) and Ryane Clowe (head) are on injured reserve for New Jersey.

Random Thoughts For This Game

So Ryan Carter hits the IR and the Devils call up Reid Boucher, a guy that I couldn’t really understand being in Albany when the Devils seem to have issues scoring and this kid had been a proven goal scorer at every level he’s played so far. Isn’t Boucher a better option to have in NJ than Cam Janssen? Thank god he finally got the call, can’t wait to see what he brings tonight. He’s going to be on a line with Elias so that has a lot of potential.

The Devils need to stay out of the box. They only took 2 penalties on Monday night but the Canadiens were able to convert on one of the chances which in a 3-2 hockey game, even if it wasn’t the GWG, it was enough to hurt.

Devils are getting somewhat of a break tonight. Peter Budaj is a decent backup but I’d rather have Cary Price in net if I am a Canadiens fan. Throw pucks at the net, crash the net for the rebounds because Budaj does give up rebounds and get some in the back of the net.

Henrique who left the game on Monday night will be in tonight’s game which is good because he has points in 3 consecutive games. He’ll be on a line with Ryder who had a great goal on Monday night and hopefully is breaking out of his slump and Brunner who certainly needs to break out of his.

NHL 14 Simulation Results

It was all Devils from the start as Jagr started the scoring and Elias and Zubrus both found the back of the net. Cory Scheider was unbeatable and Michael Ryder put home a late goal to give the Devils a 4-0 win at home.

 

 

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Game 25: Hurricanes Come To NJ

Written by RWTD Staff on .

The Matchup
Carolina Hurricanes (9-10-5) visit the New Jersey Devils (9-10-5). These two teams are currently battling it out for 4th and 5th place in the Metropolitan Division with NJ sitting in 4th and Carolina sitting in 5th but both have 23 points in 24 games played. The Devils are coming off a disappointing 3-1 loss at home to Winnipeg, which was their second straight loss while the Hurricanes are coming off a 4-1 win at home against the Senators

Projected Lines for the Carolina Hurricanes
Nathan Gerbe - Eric Staal - Tuomo Ruutu
Jiri Tlusty - Jordan Staal - Pat Dwyer
Jeff Skinner - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm
Drayson Bowman - Manny Malhotra - Radek Dvorak

Justin Faulk - Andrej Sekera
Brett Bellemore - Ron Hainsey
Ryan Murphy - Jay Harrison

Projected Lines for the New Jersey Devils: 
Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Adam Henrique - Patrik Elias - Steve Bernier
Ryan Carter - Andrei Loktionov - Michael Ryder
Mattias Tedenby - Jacob Josefson - Cam Janssen

Andy Greene - Marek Zidlicky
Eric Gelinas - Mark Fayne
Jon Merrill - Pete Harrold

Injury Notes

Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin (concussion) and goalie Anton Khudobin (lower body) are on injured reserve. ... Forward Stephen Gionta (ankle) and defensemen Adam Larsson (lower body) and Anton Volchenkov(lower body) are questionable for the Devils. Defenseman Bryce Salvador (fractured foot), and forward Ryane Clowe(concussion) are doubtful.

Random Thoughts For This Game

Cam Janssen will get the spot in the lineup and Damien Brunner will be a healthy scratch again. He was a healthy scratch last week against the Kings but put in poor performances against the Sharks and Jets which gets him the night off. Cam was a good story when he came up and scored two quick goals in his first 3 games but that’s long over and time for Cam to get his bus ticket back to Albany.

Broduer gets the nod in goal tonight and he’s been playing well so it’s not a shock or at least shouldn’t be. According to TG, Cory Schneider is a little frustrated with his lack of playing time but to be fair, you knew what the situation was when you got traded here. No way are you going to make Marty Brodeur ride the bench for most of the season. With that said, be patient because you are the future of the NJ Devils and that future probably starts next season. On top of that, the Devils play Friday and then again Saturday night, starting this weekend and following through for the next 6 weeks so you are due to start playing more. First Friday night they don’t play is January 10th.

I’m excited to see Merrill in again tonight. I want this kid to succeed. I just have a soft spot in my heart for Wolverines, what can I say. I thought he showed some good promise the other night.

Hopefully the Devils can halt Eric Staal. It sounds like he’s coming off his best game of the season so I would imagine you will see Travis Zajac on him a lot.

NHL 14 Simulation Results:

Unfortunately for the Devils, it was a disaster of a game. The ‘Canes came out strong, struck early and kept going. Let’s hope it doesn’t go the way of the simulation because if it does, Cory Schneider will be playing in this game, much like he did when he relieved Marty after a 5 goals on 17 shots got in. The ‘Canes rolled to a 5-1 victory in this matchup.

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Preview: West Coast Tour Stops in LA

Written by RWTD Staff on .

 

Tonight’s Matchup

The New Jersey Devils (8-8-5) visit the Los Angeles Kings (15-6-1). The Devils come into this game on a 2 game winning streak and are 6-3-1 in their last 10. The Kings come into this game having won 4 straight and are 7-2-1 in their last 10 which includes a very impressive sweep of the NY teams. In other words, even though NJ has been playing well going into this game, they will still have to dig deep because LA is a very good hockey team that is playing very well lately.

Projected lines for the New Jersey Devils

Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Damien Brunner - Patrik Elias - Michael Ryder
Adam Henrique - Andrei Loktionov - Steve Bernier
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Cam Janssen

Andy Greene - Marek Zidlicky
Eric Gelinas - Adam Larsson
Peter Harrold - Mark Fayne

Projected lines for the Los Angeles Kings

Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dwight King - Mike Richards - Tyler Toffoli
Dan Carcillo - Jarret Stoll - Matt Frattin
Tanner Pearson - Linden Vey - Trevor Lewis

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty
Robyn Regehr - Slava Voynov
Willie Mitchell - Alec Martinez

Random thoughts going into this game

I thought the Devils showed a lot of fight last night with their win in Anaheim. They got down early but were able to battle back. Yes, the Ducks didn’t deserve the 4 minute high sticking penalty but good on NJ to cash in on an opportunity and score 2 goals in those 4 minutes. Hopefully they take the momentum of beating Pittsburgh and Anaheim, two of the NHL’s top teams (well kind of, Pitt has fallen to 11th) into their matchup with LA.

I thought Zajac played a decent game again last night. He has points in four of his last five games and his defensive play has been really good lately. The funny thing of the OT goal last night is that Zajac looked like he tried to kick it in the net. Had Hiller not blocked that shot, it goes in but gets negated for a kicking motion and the Ducks then don’t put the puck in their own net.

Jagr is Jagr and he’s currently on fire. Let’s hope it continues.

Schneider gets the nod tonight and hopefully our goal scorers are up to helping him out tonight. He was excellent on Friday against the Kings but the bad news is that Scrivens was as well who will be in the net tonight for LA.

I’m starting to get a little sour on Brunner lately. That’s sad because this is a guy I really wanted to over the summer. He’s pointless in his last 10 games and is averaging about 13:36 TOI during that stretch. This guy really needs to start putting the puck in the net.

On a side note that doesn’t have to do with today’s game, Left wing Rostislav Olesz cleared unconditional waivers at noon today and his contract with the Devils has now been officially terminated.

NHL 14 Simulation Results

LA got on the board first with a Dustin Brown PP goal but NJ came right back and found the equalizer. The score remained 1-1 until the OT period where Drew Doughty put home a bomb from the blue line that beat Schneider glove side for a 2-1 OT victory.

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It's Duck Season

Written by RWTD Staff on .

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (7-8-5) visit the Anaheim Ducks (15-6-2)

Going Into Tonight’s Game: The Devils are coming off an impressive 4-1 victory against their Metropolitan Division opponent Pittsburgh Penguins. The Devils got great goaltending from Marty Brodeur and unlike when Schneider gives them a great performance, the Devils were actually able to give him some goal support to work with. Jagr had 2, Larsson had 1 and Andy Greene got things started on Saturday night.

The Ducks wrapped up a 4 game road trip in Pittsburgh on Monday night that ended in a 3-1 loss. The Ducks walked away with 1 point out of a possible 8 points on this road trip. Meanwhile, the Devils have earned 16 points in their last 13 games, including five in their last six contests. With that said, the Ducks are undefeated at home this season and the Devils don’t exactly instill confidence when on the road.

Defensively Tonight: Once again the Devils defense is going to get tested. The Ducks, they have the players that can score. Right now they are going through a winless stretch so I would imagine the Duck snipers are going to be hungry for blood tonight. The Ducks have outscored their opponents 72 to 59 so far and have found the back of the net 29 more times than the Devils have. The one are the Duck seem to have trouble would be their PP units. Good for NJ since the Devils tend to be a little undisciplined but you watch, tonight will be the night that costs NJ big time.

Offensively Tonight: After the performance against the Penguins, just keep it going. The Devils got 4 goals against a pretty solid team, a night after they couldn’t get even 1. The one thing to remember about the Ducks is that they do a very good job at blocking shots. Let’s hope the Devils offense doesn’t get frustrated by the Ducks shot blocking abilities. The one thing any team needs to do when playing against a good shot blocking team is to throw pucks at the net on every chance you get to look at the net. Don’t delay, don’t opt for the pretty pass/highlight reel moment just shoot the damn puck. Devils will have to play smart because Bruce Boudreau is obviously benefiting from getting last change at home.

 Injury report: New Jersey is without defensemen Bryce Salvador (fractured foot), Anton Volchenkov (lower body) and forward Ryane Clowe (concussion). … Center Saku Koivu (concussion) is questionable for the Ducks, though he has resumed skating. Right wing Jakob Silfverberg (broken hand) remains on injured reserve.

NHL 14 Simulation Results: The Devils fell behind 1-0 after 1 on a Cory Perry goal but came storming back in the 2nd period with goals from Zubrus, Brunner, Ryder and Henrique. Ryder scored his second of the night in the 3rd period to help NJ cruise to a 5-1 victory in Anaheim. If the real thing were only that easy!!

 

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Crosby and Co. Come To Town

Written by RWTD Staff on .

 

The Matchup:  The Pittsburgh Penguins (12-7-0) visit the New Jersey Devils (6-8-5)

The Last Meeting: The last time these two teams met was opening night of the 2013/2014 season. Pittsburgh skated away with a 3-0 win and opened our eyes to the many struggles that the Devils might have this season.

 Going Into Tonight’s Game: The Devils gave a good effort last night but ultimately a late 3rd period goal and an empty net goal gave the Kings a 3rd period victory for the second night in a row. The final was 2-0 but I thought the game was much better and much more intense than a 2-0 shutout would be. On the other side of the puck, the Penguins have been struggling a bit but won last night 4-1 over the Predators. The Penguins come into this game 5-5 in their last 10 while the Devils come in 5-3-2 in their last 10.

Defensively Tonight: It’s the Pittsburgh Penguins so you know the defense is going to have to work all night. While the Pens aren’t at the top of the league, they are a very good team. Leading this team are guys like Malkin, Kunitz, Jokinen, Dupuis and of course NHL points leader Sidney Crosby. The goal tonight, just try to keep them quiet. Malkin has been quiet recently but James Neal is back in the lineup so hopefully tonight isn’t the night that Malkin gets going.

 Offensively Tonight: Score some freaking goals. The Devils have been shutout 5 times this season, which is basically a quarter of the games played so far. That’s terrible and with guys like Henrique, Zajac, Jagr, Brunner and Elias, it shouldn’t be happening.  Seems like the Devils goal scorers take the night of when Schneider is in net as he’s been the goalie for 4 of the 5 shutouts against. Tonight Marty is in net so maybe the goal scorers will show up. I don’t think the Devils are winning enough of the small battles. The other night in NY, the Devils rocked in winning the faceoff, so it’s the small things that help a team gain confidence and stick the puck in the net. I also think the Devils do well when they get in front of the net, create traffic and scrums in front but I don’t remember that really happening much last night. Get shots in from the point and get guys in front of the goalie.

A complete 60 minute effort is what it will take tonight. I thought the Devils compete level tailed off in the third period last night while the Kings amped up their game and got the win. Hopefully the Devils can put something together tonight and get something positive out of this weekend. I was hoping to have a shot at being a .500 team going into this weekend.

NHL 14 Simulation Results: Have you played NHL 14? Even though it is mostly the same game as last season, I like the few changes they made. I’ve just started but I do like it a lot. Of course I am struggling in goal scoring just like the Devils are!!

In the NHL 14 Simulation I ran, the Penguins got 2 goals from Crosby early on and another from Malkin late in the second but goals by Zubrus, Brunner and Elias forced OT and ultimately a shootout where the Penguins prevailed 2 goals to none to get the extra point and a 4-3 SO victory.

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2012 Stanley Cup Rematch, One Game Anyway!!

Written by RWTD Staff on .

 

The Matchup: The Los Angeles Kings (12-6-1) visit The New Jersey Devils (6-7-5)

The Last Meeting: It’s a memory I’ve tried to pretend doesn’t exist. Truth is, the Devils were a very different team the last time we played the Kings. Due to the shortened season last year we didn’t meet up with them so yes, the last time we played the Kings was the night we surrendered Lord Stanley’s cup to them. Now I need to go drink a few!!

Going Into Tonight’s Game: The Devils are coming off an impressive team effort against the New York Rangers in a game that saw the Rangers battle back twice to tie the game. It’s certainly one of those games that you hope get your team going on some type of winning streak. The Kings played last night and fell into a 2-0 hole after two periods of play to the Islanders but battled their way out of it and scored 3 goals in the third for a 3-2 regulation win. The bad news delivered to the Kings yesterday was that they will be without goalie Jonathan Quick somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-6 weeks.

Defensively Tonight: It somewhat falls in the category of defense but the Devils need to stay out of the box tonight. The Kings are deadly on the power play and if you give them too many opportunities, it’s going to cost you. The Kings have struggled to score goals outside their PP unit, although last night 2 of their 3 goals came at even strength hockey.  I will certainly have my eye on the usual suspects tonight, Justin Williams and Mike Richards, and hopefully the Devils defense will too. Devils killer Jeff Carter has a broken foot and won’t be in tonight’s lineup.

Offensively Tonight: Keep moving the puck around and keep generating pressure on their goalie. While the Isles first goal last night was more of a misplaced rebound, their second was generated by getting the puck from one side to the other. This is exactly what the Devils need to do. With Quick out of the lineup, t's a real possibility that the Devils may see Martin Jones instead of Scrivens getting back-to-back starts. While Jones has been great in the AHL, that’s a situation most of us will gladly take. The possession game will be an interesting one to watch tonight as the Kings have dominated that game while the Devils have not. Would certainly be nice to see the Devils do better in this category, even though they beat a team that had such better puck possession the other night.

Word is that Gionta and Elias will be in the lineup tonight and that will probably mean that Tedenby and Josefson will get to sit out tonight. Elias is a guy you can’t make an argument against having in the lineup but Gionta is usually a different story. However, Josefson didn’t have a great game in NY and while Josefson probably is a better long term option than Gionta, in the short term that can’t be said. Adding to the “who do you sit” game would be Janssen’s two recent goals that keeps him in the lineup.

Fayne will also return to the ice for the injured Anton Volchenkov.

NHL Injury report: The Kings are without Quick, defensemen Matt Greene (undisclosed) and forwards Jeff Carter (broken foot), Kyle Clifford (head) and Jarret Stoll (upper body). … Ryane Clowe (head), Bryce Salvador (foot) and Jon Merrill (face) are on injured reserve for the and  Volchenkov (lower body) is out for tonight but is day-to-day

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Devils Gameday #18 - Heading To Rangerstown

Written by RWTD Staff on .

It’s been a while since we did these but it’s time to start jumping back into the preview game!!

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (5-7-5) at the New York Rangers (9-8-0)

The Last Meeting: These two teams last met on October 19th. Both teams weren’t playing very good hockey at the time. The Devils had a zero in the win column while the Rangers only had a 1 in the win column. Devils fans were treated to a fantastic 4-0 shutout win over their rival. If you’re going to struggle at winning like NJ did early, all seems ok when you hand your rival a loss!!

Going Into Tonight’s Game: The Rangers are on a little bit of a roll. They’ve won 7 of their last 9 games and had limited the opposition to 2 goals or less before they played the Panthers on Sunday. The Devils are coming off a decent weekend of hockey that ended with a 5-0 shutout of the Nashville Predators. Marty Brodeur has been pretty hot in his last couple of starts and much to the liking of the Garden faithful, will get the start tonight for NJ.

Defensively Tonight: Defense will be key in this game because the Rangers seem to have it figured out offensively at the moment. They’ve scored 13 goals in their last 3 games which included a 5-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Carl Haglin will certainly be a player to watch in this game. He’s only appeared in 7 games this season but has 4 goals and 4 assists in those 7 games. Brad Richards seems to be a different Brad Richards this season and leads the team in goals, assists and points. Stepan, Callahan and McDonagh are other players NJ will need to worry about as well.

Offensively Tonight: The Devils are coming off a 5-0 stomping of the Nashville Predators that saw 5 different Devils find the back of the net. When you get that type of production, any team, any defense will struggle against you.  Most importantly, Travis Zajac was moved onto a line with Zubrus and Jagr Sunday night that paid off in Zajac finding a goal and hopefully some momentum. Recently, the Rangers defense has been decent at keeping pucks out of their net so the Devils are going to need to work and spread the puck around. Hopefully Zidlicky can repeat his performance on Sunday night and help the Devils keep climbing in the standings.

Injury report: Elias (upper body), Ryane Clowe (head) and Bryce Salvador (foot) are on injured reserve for the Devils. Rookie defenseman Jon Merrill (face) has not played since his NHL debut Nov. 3 after crashing into the boards awkwardly. Stephen Gionta (sore foot) is day-to-day. … Rangers forward Rick Nash (head) has been skating on his own and taking shots, but will miss his 15th straight game. He has not played since Oct. 8 and there is no timetable for his return. Forwards Dominic Moore (oblique) and Taylor Pyatt (concussion) are out.

 

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