After being dealt another blowout loss, the Devils will look to start the new year fresh against the Boston Bruins. The Devils have just 5 wins in their last 22 games and have been handily beat in a majority of their losses. The Bruins come into tonight’s matchup having won their last two games and will look to build on that. They also come in with one of the better road records in the league at 11-6-4, so New Jersey will likely have their hands full once again.
What to Watch
- With John Moore on IR with a concussion, Steven Santini will make his season debut tonight. He had no points in 15 games with Albany this season. He’s never been considered a scoring threat from the backend, and probably never will be. However, he should be able to provide a stabilizing defensive presence along their blueline and finally gives an opportunity for one of the Devils younger players to get some playing time, which is something we should see more of as the Devils playoff hopes continue to fade.
- Despite only being 20-15-4, Boston is a highly competitive team. They have a team Corsi of 55.1%, which is best in the league, and average 61.7 shot attempts for per 60 and 50.3 shot attempts against per 60. The Devils have struggled in terms of possession all season long and have lost 6 of their last 7 to Boston. If they aren’t able to suppress and generate shots tonight, things could get out of hand quickly.
- A big problem for the Devils this season has been getting outshot on a regular basis. They’re 4-15-2 when getting outshot this season. Likewise, they’re 7-4-3 when outshooting their opponent, granted those games are few and far between. Their playoff chances are likely dead in the water, but if they’re going to stabilize things, it has to start by suppressing and generating shots on a regular basis to help Kinkaid and Schneider out. Otherwise, it’s just going to be more of the same.
- There’ll be a few changes other than Santini making his debut, most notably Taylor Hall returning after a brief absence with a lower-body injury. Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson did not skate this morning due to illness. Josefson will not play, so Pavel Zacha will draw back in. Travis Zajac will be a game-time decision.
Tonight’s game can be seen on MSG+ at 7PM.