DAB Pregame: Devils Return Home to Face Playoff-Bound Blues

Both the Devils and Blues were on the losing end in their respective games just last night. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Match Overview

Tonight’s game will feature your New Jersey Devils, who currently own a 29-40-9 record, which puts them last in the Metropolitan Division, and the St. Louis Blues, who own a 41-28-9 record, which puts them third in the Central Division.

The New Jersey Devils are coming off a 4-0 loss that occurred less than 24 hours ago. This marks the fifth time in their last six games where they have failed to score more than two goals. And after tonight’s contest, the Devils will only have four more games to play. Expect goaltender Cory Schneider to be in between the pipes after Mackenzie Blackwood played last night.

The Blues, like the Devils, are coming off a front end of a back-to-back. Also like the Devils, the Blues were on the losing side of things as they dropped their contest at Madison Square Garden 4-2. However, the Blues have been hot aside from last night. Over their past seven games, they own a 5-1-1 record. They’ll bring in one of the league’s best defenses as they rank sixth in goals against average. Expect Jake Allen to get the start in net as star-rookie Jordan Binnington was in net last night.

Tonight’s game will be at the Prudential Center and is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM.

Projected Devils Lines

Coleman/Zajac/Noesen

Agostino/Hischier/Palmieri

Wood/Zacha/Anderson

Stafford/Rooney/McLeod

Greene/Severson

Butcher/Santini

Mueller/Carrick

Schneider

Projected Blues Lines

Schenn/O’Reilly/Tarasenko

Schwartz/Sundqvist/Perron

Maroon/Bozak/Thomas

Sanford/Barbashev/Steen

Dunn/Pietrangelo

Bouwmeester/Parayko

Gunnarsson/Bortuzzo

Allen

What/Who to Watch

  • Special teams are always a huge part of every game and don’t expect it to be any different in this one. The Devils come into the contest with the 19th best power play in the league and the fourth best penalty kill. Meanwhile, the Blues bring the 12th best power play and the eighth best penalty kill. It’ll definitely to see how each stack up against each other tonight. 

  • Centerman Ryan O’Reilly is one of the most underrated players in the league. He brings in a team-leading 71 points (27G, 44A) in 76 games played, and he also owns a +23 rating, which ranks in the top part of the league. The most impressive statistic O’Reilly owns is his faceoff percentage. His 57.3% success rate ranks top five in the league. He’s a complete player that the Devils must be on the lookout for.
  • Scoreboard watching is something everyone does come at the end of March. Unfortunately for the Devils, it’s the bad kind of watching. With just a few games left, they are locked in a tight battle with the Los Angeles Kings and Detroit Red Wings for odds in the top three of the NHL Entry Draft. The Red Wings are off, but the Kings are in action at 10:30 PM against the Chicago Blackhawks. So if the Devils do lose, it’ll be interesting to see if they can take another step closer to better odds.

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

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