Pregame: Devils Look to Collect a Point in Seven Straight

Tonight’s game features two teams trending in opposite directions. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

Match Overview

Tonight’s game will feature your New Jersey Devils, who currently own a 20-24-10 record, which puts them last in the Metropolitan Division, and the Florida Panthers, who own a 29-18-6 record, which puts them fourth in the Atlantic Division.

The Devils come into tonight’s game on a six-game point streak (3-0-3). During this recent stretch, they have excelled at putting the puck past opposing netminders, as they have 23 goals in their last six games. Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood will not get a chance to extend his 130:03-minute shutout streak tonight, as Louis Domingue was named the starter.

As for the rest of the lineup, it is expected that Sami Vatanen and Nico Hischier will miss another game. The Devils are projected to go with the same lineup they had the last game against the Kings. 

The Florida Panthers are enduring some significant struggles. It is not often that the Devils come into a contest hotter than the team they are playing. But tonight is an exception, as the Panthers are 1-5-0 in their last six games and currently riding a four-game losing streak. Over this six-game span, they are being outscored 22-10. To make matters worse, the Panthers are on a backend of a back-to-back, as they lost in Philadelphia 4-1 last night.

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

Projected Devils’ Lines

Forwards

  • Bratt/Hughes/Palmieri
  • Coleman/Zajac/Gusev
  • Wood/Zajac/Simmonds
  • Hayden/Rooney/Anderson

Defense

  • Greene/Subban
  • Mueller/Severson
  • Butcher/Carrick

Goalies

  • Domingue
  • Blackwood

Projected Panthers’ Lines

Forwards

  • Huberdeau/Barkov/Dadonov
  • Connoly/Trocheck/Acciari
  • Vatrano/Toninato/Hoffman
  • Hawryluk/Sceviour/Pysyk

Defense

  • Yandle/Ekblad
  • Stillman/Stralman
  • Matheson/Weegar

Goalies

  • Bobrovsky
  • Montembeault
Defenseman Will Butcher has struggled mightily as of late. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

What/Who to Watch

  • Defenseman Will Butcher has struggled mightily as of late. This is evident by a shot attempt ratio of +25/-70 over his past three games. Tonight, Butcher will continue serving on the third pairing alongside Connor Carrick. The reasoning for this recent struggle is most likely directly correlated to being weighed down by his partner. So it’ll be interesting to see if interim head coach Alain Nasreddine finally adjusts and gives Butcher a different partner.
  • The Florida Panthers’ first line has been tremendous all year. The trio of Jonathan Huberdeau, Alexander Barkov, and Evgenii Dadonov are the team’s first, second, and fourth-leading scorers, respectively. According to Corsica Hockey, this line ranks as the ninth-best first line in the NHL. Whoever Nasreddine puts on the ice against this trio will have their work cut out for them.
  • The Florida Panthers have had major goaltending struggles this season. This is evident by their 28th ranked even-strength save percentage of .908 and 25th ranked overall team save percentage of .898. It is unclear who will be in net tonight for Florida. Although Sergei Bobrovsky — who has a tremendous record versus the Devils — started last night, do not be surprised if he starts again tonight.

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

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