Preview: Devils Searching for Ways to End Three-Game Losing Streak

The Devils bring a three-game losing streak into Raleigh tonight. (Photo by: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Match Overview

Tonight’s game will feature your New Jersey Devils, who currently own a 2-5-4 record, which puts them last in the Metropolitan Division, and the Carolina Hurricanes, who own a 9-3-1 record, which puts them second in the Metro.

The Devils are coming off another blown third-period lead. Last night’s 4-3 shootout loss marks their fourth OTL/SOL this season and extends their losing streak to three. Once again, as has been mentioned countless times this season, the Devils must right the ship before it gets too late. Worth mentioning is their streak of games with a power play goal extended to five, as they have six power play goals across this time. 

The Hurricanes have built on their success from last season and own one of the highest point totals in the league. They are also currently riding a three-game win streak, where they have outscored their opponents 13-4. However, they will also be playing on the back end of a back-to-back much like their opponent. These Hurricanes are led by a stout defense (seventh in the league in goals against per game) and can also score the puck (ninth in the league in goals for per game). As for their special teams, the Hurricanes rank seventh on the power play and 12th on the penalty kill. 

The Devils are not expected to have a morning skate, as they most likely arrived in Raleigh extremely early this morning. I would expect a goalie announcement, as well as any lineup changes closer to puck drop. As for the Hurricanes, I expect James Reimer to get the start in between the pipes, as Petr Mrazek started last night against Detroit.

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

Projected Devils Lines

Check on our DAB page as we get closer to puck drop for lineup and goalie news.

Projected Coyotes Lines

Forwards:

  • Niederreiter/Staal/Teravainen
  • Svechnikov/Aho/Foegele
  • Dzingel/Haula/Necas
  • McGinn/Wallmark/Gibbons

Defense:

  • Slavin/Hamilton
  • Gardiner/Pesce
  • Edmundson/Van Riemsdyk

Goalie:

  • Reimer
  • Mrazek
Forward Wayne Simmonds has been terrific this year. (Photo by: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

What/Who to Watch

  • Goaltending has been a well-documented issue for the Devils this season. They even made an effort to address the position group’s depth by acquiring Louis Domingue yesterday. That is why it’ll be interesting to see who head coach John Hynes goes with tonight. Given they are on a back end of a back-to-back, usually the netminder who played the night before will get the night off. However, since Cory Schneider has not turned in a decent start in weeks, maybe Hynes will go the less-traveled route and start Mackenzie Blackwood again.
  • The Hurricanes have four skaters with 10 or more points already this season. Dougie Hamilton (16 pts) and Jacob Salvin (10 pts) lead the way on defense. And wingers Andrei Svechnikov (14 pts) and Teuvo Teravainen (11 pts) for forwards. Given each of these defensemen comprise the Hurricanes’ first pairing, the Devils must not only worry about their great defensive skills but their offense as well. As for the forwards, each the first and second lines are lethal, as they can each qualify as some of the better ones in the league. 
  • The Devils have been a lot better defensively than people have given them credit for, and evidence of this is their fourth-lowest shot attempts against per 60 rating of 50.98. They’ll get a nice offensive challenge tonight from the Hurricanes, who rank sixth in the league in shot attempts per 60 minutes (58.89). Something will have to give, and it will most likely come down to goaltending once again.
  • Forward Wayne Simmonds has been a terrific pickup by general manager Ray Shero. He picked up his first goal with the Devils and now has four points in his last two games. His 51.23 Corsi for percentage (CF%) ranks fourth on the Devils and is slightly above league average, which is great. Look for Simmonds to continue his stellar performance tonight.

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

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