DAB Pregame: Devils Look to Rebound in Minnesota

Preview

After a tough 5-2 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks, the New Jersey Devils are right back at it tonight against the Minnesota Wild. The road remains unkind to the Devils, having given up 13 goals in the previous two games and having things spiral out of control in each of the two games rather quickly. The Wild are fighting to keep the eighth and final wild-card spot out West, but they are coming into this one on a two-game losing streak. Back-to-backs are never an easy task so the Devils will need to keep things simple and minimize defensive zone mistakes.

What to Watch

Not much has gone right for the Devils recently. However, seeing Jesper Bratt on the power play yesterday was a nice change of pace. Bratt was very quick with his passes and helped create the Travis Zajac goal, along with numerous other chances. With all the injuries this roster is currently facing, Bratt may very well be your most skilled stick handler right now, so it’s a good idea to let him help lead the offense.

Mikael Granlund is a very talented playmaker who can create time and space out of seemingly nowhere. Playing alongside leading scorer Zach Parise, Granlund has to be accounted for whenever in the offensive zone. He also is incredibly dangerous on the power play. Keep an eye out for number 64.

Projected Lines

New Jersey (lines subject to change)

Johansson – Zajac – Palmieri
Bratt – Hischier – Anderson
Agostino – Zacha – Lappin
Seney – Rooney – Stafford

Greene – Severson
Butcher – Lovejoy
Mueller – Santini

Kinkaid
Schneider

Minnesota Wild

Parise – Granlund – Coyle
Zucker – Staal – Greenway
Rask – Eriksson Ek – Kunin
Foligno – Fehr – Hendricks

Suter- Spurgeon
Bitetto – Brodin
Pateryn – Seeler

Dubnyk
Stalock

Where to Watch

8:30 Xcel Energy Center

MSG+

FS-N, FS-WI

Prediction

The Devils are missing key players at every position and are in a race for the first overall draft pick, while the Wild are going to treat this as seemingly a must-win. I can see this at least being a more competitive hockey game, but playing the second of a back-to-back on the road is just going to be too tough of a task for this team. Devils lose this one 4-2.

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