DAB Pregame: Devils Look to Stop Skid Before Break

The New Jersey Devils are back on the ice tonight to square off against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Coming off a couple rough games against the Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Devils eyeing a return to the win column. In order to lock up a win before the All-Star break, the Devils will have to tighten up their defensive zone play, as well as get a nice showing from Cory Schneider, who’ll get the start. Columbus is 6-1-1 in their last 8 home games, so it won’t be easy, but they are pretty banged up at the moment, which New Jersey will need to try and take advantage of.

Players to Watch

Blake Coleman

Coleman has been having yet another great season and is just one goal away from 20 on the season (six goals in his last five games). The consistent effort and energy level Coleman brings to the ice is something this team desperately needs and can feed off of, especially on the penalty kill. Coleman will most likely be pushing to hit that 20-goal mark before the break, so keep an eye out whenever #20 is on the ice.

Cam Atkinson

Atkinson just returned after a month-long absence, tallying a goal and an assist in a win over the Carolina Hurricanes two nights ago. Atkinson seemed to like playing the Devils last season, posting four goals and five total points in their four games during the season, and he is certainly capable of picking a corner if given the time.

Projected Lines

New Jersey Devils

  • Wood – Hischier – Bratt
  • Coleman – Zajac – Gusev
  • Zacha – Hughes – Simmonds
  • Boqvist – Rooney – Hayden
  • Greene – Subban
  • Severson – Vatanen
  • Butcher Carrick
  • Schneider
  • Blackwood

Columbus Blue Jackets

  • Nyquist – Jenner – Foligno
  • Bemstrom – Dubois – Atkinson
  • Gerbe – Wennberg – Stenlund
  • Lilja – Nash – Robinson
  • Werenski – Jones
  • Gavrikov – Savard
  • Harrington – Nutivaara
  • Merzlikins
  • Kivlenieks

Where to Watch

7:00 MSG+

Prediction

This game has the potential to be a very back and forth matchup. Both teams are going to have their fair amount of offensive chances, and it’s going to come down to which goalie can help bail their teammates out. With Schneider getting the start, the Devils are going to need to avoid giving up a goal in the opening minutes and allow Cory to settle into the crease. I think this might end up being a high-scoring game, with New Jersey coming out on top 5-3.

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