DAB Pregame: Devils Bring 3-Game Losing Skid into Make-Up Game Vs. Jets

 

This game is the make-up to the one which was canceled due to snow just a couple weeks ago. –Getty Images

 

Match Overview

Tonight’s game is the make-up for the March 14th game which was snowed out. The matchup will feature your New Jersey Devils who hold a 27-35-13 record, which is good for twenty-eighth in the league and the Winnipeg Jets who currently have a 34-35-7 record, and are fifth in the Central Division. Tonight’s game will be at The Rock and is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM.

On the Devils side of things….we all know where they are at this point in the season and there hasn’t been much improvement as they hold a 2-7-1 in their last 10 games. Rookies continue to litter the lineup and the injury bug rages on. Due to these two reasons, John Hynes has been going with the 11 forwards and 7 defensemen look. However, tonight, the Devils are back to 12 forwards and 6 defensemen, as Jon Merrill is the odd one out on defense and Joseph Blandisi checks back in after missing a game due to an illness. Cory Schneider will make the start after sitting out the second of a back-to-back this weekend.

On the Jets side of things….they have been pretty hot as of late and are 4-2-0 in their last 6-games. Rookie Patrik Laine continues his push to be awarded the Calder trophy, and many other Jets have had put together respectable seasons. The Jets bring in a pretty lethal offense which ranks 9th in the NHL at 2.9 goals per game. However, they are weak on the defensive end as they rank 28th in goals against and 29th on the penalty kill. Like the Devils, the Jets aren’t really playing for anything besides pride at this point as they are many points behind 8th place in the Western Conference. It is reported goaltender Connor Hellebuyck will start for the Jets tonight, and big defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will return to the line-up tonight after being out with injury.

Projected Devil Lines 

Hall-Zajac-Palmieri
Henrique-Blandisi-Bennett
Quenneville-Zacha-Noesen
Wood-Coleman-Pietila

Greene-Lovejoy
Moore-Severson
Santini-Prout

Schneider (20-24-10, 2.71 GAA, .911 Sv%)

Projected Jets Lines

Ehlers-Scheifele-Wheeler
Perreault-Little-Laine
Copp-Lowry-Armia
Tanev-Petan-Thorburn

Morrissey-Trouba
Melchiori-Byfuglien
Stuart-Nogier

Hellebuyck (23-19-4, 2.95 GAA, .906 Sv%)

 

Forward Michael Cammalleri should be in the line-up come this weekend as he is nearing his return from injury. -Getty Images

 

Devils Injury Report

  • Forward Joseph Blandisi missed one game because he was ill, but he is expected to check back into the line-up and serve as the Devils #2 center.
  • Forward Michael Cammalleri is probably the closest to returning out of the Devils who have been sidelined for sometime. Andrew Gross reported he was upgraded to “day to day” by Coach Hynes and can play as early as this weekend.
  • Like Michael Cammalleri, forward Jacob Josefson is also awfully close to returning. He was a participate in the Devils’ full team skate this morning.
  • It was reported earlier this morning that forward Devante Smith-Pelly is unlikely to return to the ice this season.

What/Who to Watch

  • The Devils’ power play can be a big factor in tonight’s game as Winnipeg boasts the 29th best penalty kill in the NHL this season. The Devils are coming off a streak of scoring a power play goal in 6-straight games, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Devils can convert with a man up tonight.
  • Winnipeg’s forward Mark Scheifele has had a career year this year as he currently sits at 76 points (29G, 47A). The last 5-games have been nothing different as Scheifele has 6-points (1G, 5A). Look for Andy Greene to be on the ice whenever Scheifele is.
  • Defenseman Steven Santini has had a stellar rookie season thus far this year. But, in the Devils last game Santini took a silly penalty that would lead to Tyler Seguin’s OT winner.  It will be interesting to see if there’s any change in Santini’s play come tonight’s game.

Tonight’s game can be seen on MSG+ at 7:00 PM.

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