After defeating these same Islanders yesterday, the Devils will hope to start the season against their division foes 2-0-0. After securing the win yesterday the Devil’s recent success continues. In their last 15-games the Devils hold a 9-5-1 record, and during this streak they have been improving on their special teams. The Devil’s power-play, which was once ranked 29th in the league, has improved to 24th (16.7%) and their penalty-kill, which has improved to 15th in the league (81.5%). All this is happening at the right time for the Devils who now find themselves 4-points out of a play-off spot. This makes it even more necessary for the Devils to close out this home-and-home serious with another win. Coming into this weekend, everyone understood that it would be make-or-break time for the Devils season.
Devils Injury Report
- Defenseman Kyle Quincey remains out with an upper-body injury. Quincey was placed on IR earlier this week, but it has been speculated that he will be returning very soon.
What/Who to Watch
- With another win tonight, the Devils can find themselves only 2 points of a playoff spot. These so-called 4-point games between conference teams are vital, as a regulation-win would also tie the Devils with the Islanders at 62 points. As the season winds down, the standings is often something we often watch out for.
- The large theme that has taken the Devils by storm this season has been getting outshot. After starting strong in the first period last night the Devils were then promptly outshot 33-13 in the last two periods of last night’s win. in total the Devils were outshot 42-21 and were behind in shot attempts 72-35 last night. To say the least, the Devils will need to get more shoots to the net to keep themselves in the play-off hunt and it needs to start now.
- After a poor start to the season, rookie Pavel Zacha has been sensational. In his last 9-games Zacha has accumulated 7-points (3G,4A), and has been vital to New Jersey’s recent found success. Zacha has been logging valuable power-play time and has even seen an increase in being used on the penalty-kill. If the Devils want to remain in the playoff hunt Zacha’s success must continue, and there are no signs that it will not.
- John Hynes will not be speaking to the media until 3:50 PM so it is unknown whether Corey Schneider will be making his 11th consecutive start. Corey has been playing fantastic as of late and has been one of the main reason the Devils remain in the playoff hunt. In the month of January, he holds an SV% of .936 and a record of 4-2-1. However, It wouldn’t surprise me if his streak of 10 straight starts came to an end today since he faced a hefty 42 shots just a day ago. If this is the case, Keith Kinkaid will get his first start since January 26th where he gave up 4 goals on only 17-shots. Before that game however, Kinkaid was playing some of his best hockey all year. If Kinkaid gets the start tonight, he will bring in a career record of 0-0-2, GAA of 2.34, and a Sv% of .922 against the Islanders.
Today’s game can be seen on MSG+ at 6:00 PM.