After coming off a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals, New Jersey’s second preseason matchup will give them a first look at some players that could compose their cross-river rival’s roster- the New York Rangers. With the exception of Damon Severson, Jimmy Hayes, and Yaroslav Dyblenko, Coach Hynes is going with a completely different lineup from the one used in Monday’s win.
The Rangers are coming off a 1-0 overtime victory over the New York Islanders, and (with the exception of Lias Anderson and Andrew Desjardins) are also going with a different lineup tonight. Making their preseason debuts for the Rangers are noteworthy names like Henrik Lundqvist, Chris Kreider, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Filip Chytil (2017 21st overall pick), so the Devils will have their hands full tonight against an experienced and competitive New York lineup.
The Devils will have a veteran-savvy group playing tonight as players like Cory Schneider, Andy Greene, Ben Lovejoy, Adam Henrique, Drew Stafford, and Tim Erixon are in the mix for making their own preseason debuts. Obviously after seeing how Monday night’s squad performed, Coach Hynes and Co. are extremely hopeful tonight’s lineup can replicate their counterpart’s performance.
Who To Watch
Yaroslav Dyblenko…While he remained off the score sheet Monday night, Coach Hynes clearly sees something in the left-shooting Russian defenseman. He was utilized frequently on the penalty kill in New Jersey’s first preseason game, and held his own in the defensive end. Considering how New Jersey needs any kind of help to bolster their blue line, another good showing tonight could benefit Dyblenko immensely.
Joshua Jacobs…Having been in the organization since 2014, Jacobs is coming off a shaky inaugural season in the AHL. Touted as a puck-moving defenseman, the 21-year old blue liner could get a long look with a strong showing tonight that. Like Dyblenko, Jacobs is one of those young players who can benefit from New Jersey’s lackluster defensive depth this preseason. Although he’s yet to make his NHL debut, Jacobs remains on the radar as one of the organization’s more noteworthy defensive prospects.
Keys To The Game
Special teams…Monday night’s matchup had a volatile showing of special team performances by the Devils, who went zero-for-seven on the power play, but killed all seven shorthanded situations. With an entirely different squad lacing up for the Devils tonight, I’m sure Coach Hynes is seeking consistency in this particular facet of the game from his players. Hopefully this lineup can produce on their power play opportunities, and continue the flawlessness Monday night’s lineup exhibited when shorthanded. If this lineup fails to convert on the man-advantage, this could potentially identify a glaring flaw the final Devils roster might contain that other teams (like last year) can exploit.
Maintaining leads…The Devils did a remarkable job at holding their leads on Monday night, which was one of the team’s biggest issues throughout last season. I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I saw how peculiar it actually felt to see the Devils rallying from being down one goal by scoring three unanswered ones of their own. Seeing the Devils capable of keeping their leads will be a very encouraging sign with the regular season approaching, and will be all the more gratifying when you consider the quality of competition they’re facing.
Where To Watch
MSG + (Local)
When To Watch