Tonight’s game will feature two teams that have exceeded expectations to start the season.
The New Jersey Devils (13-5-4) are coming off a 3-2 victory against the Vancouver Canucks, and will look to stay on pace with the Columbus Blue Jackets who now own a one-point lead in the Metropolitan Division. They will have to do so with Keith Kinkaid in net, as Cory Schneider will get the night off after making 23 saves in last night’s victory. This will be the Devils’ fifth back end in a back-to-back set as they are 3-1-0 in their previous four. As for personnel, the Devils will not hold a morning skate, so any lineup changes won’t be known until John Hynes speaks at 4:50 PM.
The Detroit Red Wings (10-9-4) were in New York last night and suffered a 2-1 defeat in overtime. That loss extends their losing steak to three games, in which they’ve been outscored 12-6. Overall, the Red Wings have played well on defense, as they rank 11th-best in goals against (allowing 2.8 goals per game). They also have great special team units. They rank sixth in power play and fourth in penalty kill efficiency, respectively. As for personnel, it seems as if goaltender Petr Mrazek (2-3-1, .3.10 GAA, .905 Sv%) will make his sixth start this year, as Jimmy Howard was on the losing end in New York last night. Forward Luke Witkowski (suspension) and defenseman Trevor Daley (upper body) will also be out of the lineup tonight.
Tonight’s game will be at Little Caesars Arena and is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM.
Projected Devil Lines
What/Who to Watch
- As mentioned above, both teams are coming off the front end of a back-to-back. The Red Wings have only had two back-to-backs thus far, but have won both putting up a combined nine goals. It’ll be interesting to see how both teams look, especially since they have both been successful on the second half of back-to-backs this year.
- Even though the Devils have a .500 record over their last six games, they have been getting shots on goal at a blistering pace (34.8 shots per game). Luckily for them, this trend should continue tonight. The Red Wings are allowing the 24th most shots on net per game (32.8), which should play in the Devils’ favor.
- Red Wings’ top pairing defenseman Trevor Daley was injured during last night’s contest in New York, and is unlikely to play tonight. Although Daley may not have an impressive point total, he is second on the team in ice time (20:43) with many of those minutes coming on the penalty kill. Daley is a huge subtraction from a defensive core that has been playing well this year.
- After being an on-and-off healthy scratch, Pavel Zacha has finally strung together some strong play. Last night, he was flying around the ice and was tied with Miles Wood with the most shots on goal. Continued strong play from Zacha will just add to the forward depth the Devils already have. He is due for a reward for his good play, so be sure to watch for him tonight.
Tonight’s game can be seen on MSG+2 at 7:00 PM.