Game Preview – Game 48: Your New Jersey Devils vs Buffalo Sabres

New Jersey Devils vs Buffalo Sabres

New Jersey Devils (26-19-2, 54 points) vs Buffalo Sabres (19-25-5, 43 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight marks the third of four matchups between the Devils and Sabres this season. Currently the Devils lead the season series 2-0-0 after defeating the Sabres in Buffalo, 5-3 on November 16, and most recently 3-1 on December 28 at Prudential Center.

Devils Playoff Chances:

Currently finding themselves sitting in 7th in the Eastern Conference standings, the New Jersey Devils appear to be doing just enough to get them qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs at season’s end. The problem is, the Devils find themselves 2-6-1 so far this season against the conference’s top four teams. After back-to-back 4-1 losses against the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers, the Devils find themselves 1-2-0 in the midst of a six-game homestand. Tonight’s game marks the last for the Devils going into the All-Star Break. The Devils NEED the win tonight psychologically.

Keys to Winning:

Obviously, the main key to win is to score more goals than the Sabres tonight. The problem is, both teams thrive on the same situation. The Devils seem to play their best hockey when on the PK, and the Sabres have more success while having the man advantage. The problem is, the Sabres find themselves at league average on the powerplay, tied for 14th in the league with a  18.7% success rate. The Devils, second in the league in PK with a 89.2% success rate, gave up nine powerplay goals over the first 35 games of the season. Unfortunately, the PK has given up the same amount of goals in the last 12 games. It’s a tough situation. You know your team is best when shorthanded, and you do lead the league in SHG’s with 11 while no other team has double digits. Stay out of the box.

Devils Stat Leaders:

Points – Patrik Elias, 45
Goals – Ilya Kovalchuk, 19
Assists – Patrik Elias, 28

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus
Ponikarovsky – Josefson – Clarkson
Boulton – Carter – Harrold

Salvador – Fayne
Taormina – Larsson
Volchenkov – Foster

Brodeur
Hedberg

*Scratches – Janssen, Mills

——————–
The Latest on the Buffalo Sabres:

The Sabres are looking to turn things around on the road tonight as they step onto the ice at Prudential Center. Saturday Night in St. Louis, Buffalo lost its 12th straight game on the road, and fifth loss in a row overall. The Sabres’ recent struggles has dropped them in the standings, and they can currently be found tied for last in the East with Carolina. During their current five-game losing streak, the Sabres have been outscored 23-7. Overall this season, the Sabres are 8-15-0 on the road.

Sabres Stats Leaders:

Points – Jason Pominville, 47
Goals – Thomas Vanek, 19
Assists – Jason Pominville, 30

Projected Sabres Lineup:

Vanek – Adam – Pominville
Boyes- Leino – Stafford
Gerbe – Hecht – Kaleta
Ellis – Roy – McCormick

Sekera – Myers
Leopold – Weber
Finley – Gragnani

Miller
Enroth

Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

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Posted on January 24, 2012, in Devils Army, Devils Army Generals, Game Preview, New Jersey Devils, New Jersey Devils Fans, NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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