Tonight, the New Jersey Devils are in Pittsburgh to play a hurting Penguins’ team. These Penguins are returning home after losing in overtime to the red-hot New York Islanders last night 4-3. They are currently fourth in the Metropolitan Division with an 11-7-4 record. To say the least, this is a big game for the Devils as they enter the second quarter of the regular season.
Normally, this would be an average Friday night divisional matchup, but sitting last in the Metropolitan amid Taylor Hall trade rumors, talks of John Hynes’ fallout, and Cory Schneider being sent down makes it a must-win. It also doesn’t help that the Boston Bruins demolished them in Newark on Tuesday night without Patrice Bergeron or Tory Krug.
With all the adversity the Devils are facing there still might be hope. Defensemen Kris Letang and Justin Schultz are out with a lower-body injury, and forwards Sidney Crosby and Nick Bjugstad are out with core injuries. Plus, the Devils proved a week ago that with outstanding goaltending they can beat the Crosby-less Penguins. As they defeated them 2-1 despite being out-shot 39-21.
Players to Watch
I obviously do not need to tell any Devils’ fans to watch Taylor Hall tonight with the pretext of his goal struggles and trade rumors. And I also wouldn’t hold much weight with the Devils’ lines, as head coach John Hynes has proven he likes to switch them throughout the game.
With that being said, look to see if Jesper Boqvist is a factor tonight. He has struggled to make an impact so far this season. However, his speed could prove useful against the likes of Patrik Hornqvist and Alex Galchenyuk.
Where to Watch
7:00PM ET; NHLN, MSG+, ATTSN-PT