PREGAME: Devils Take on Sabres at The Rock

Overview

The New Jersey Devils are looking to string together another win as they return home from their midwest road trip to take on the Buffalo Sabres. In their last meeting a little over a month ago, the Sabres defeated the Devils 5-1. But the Sabres just suffered a 6-2 loss to the Devils’ Metropolitan counterpart, the New York Rangers. The Devils will get a crack at Buffalo on home ice coming off a comeback win in Minnesota.

What to Watch

Tonight, the Devils will still be missing Sami Vatanen, Taylor Hall, and Blake Coleman along with Pavel Zacha, who is out with an upper-body injury. Keep your eye on Marcus Johansson, who’s projected to play on the top line again with 10 points in his last 11 games. Johansson has been the subject of trade talks, and there will undoubtedly be scouts from other teams at the game to watch him play.

The Sabres are five points out of the playoffs and hungry for a win after Friday’s loss. I would expect the top line to come out flying against the Devils tonight. Skinner had both of the Sabres’ goals on Thursday and has collected 8 points in his last 7 games.

Jesper Bratt

Photo by Rob Marczynski/Getty Images

Projected Lines

New Jersey Devils

Johansson – Hischier – Bratt
Wood – Zajac – Palmieri
Agostino – Rooney – Anderson
Stafford – Seney – Gabriel

Greene – Severson
Butcher – Lovejoy
Mueller – Santini

Goalie: Schneider

Buffalo Sabres

Skinner – Eichel – Pominville
Rodrigues – Middelstadt – Reinhart
Smith – Sobotka – Thompson
Sheary – Larsson – Girgensons

Dahlin – Bogosian
Beaulieun – Ristolainen
Pilut – McCabe

Goalie: Hutton

Prediction

The Devils have let up 12 goals in their last two games, so I’m assuming John Hynes will crack down on the Devils defense. Therefore, I think it will be a tight, low scoring game in which Schneider picks up another win for the Devils.

When and Where to watch

6PM EST; MSG+, MSG-B, NHL.TV

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