DAB Pregame: Devils Look To Remain Undefeated

Miles Wood is expected to play tonight after suffering an injury to his teeth during the San Jose game. –Getty Images

Match Overview

Tonight’s game will feature your New Jersey Devils, who currently own a 3-0-0 record in the Metropolitan Division, and the Dallas Stars, who own a 3-2-0 record, which puts them fourth in the Central Division.

The New Jersey Devils are the only unbeaten team left in the NHL. After convincing wins over the Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals, and a resilient victory over the San Jose Sharks, their season is off to a great start. Through their first three games, the Devils are tops in the leagues in three of the four major team categories (GF, GA, and PK).

Tonight will mark Keith Kinkaid’s fourth consecutive start. He’s coming off a masterful performance against San Jose, where he made 37 saves on 39 shots. The Devils will go with the same lineup as the first three games, meaning Steven Santini, Eric Gryba, and Drew Stafford will be the healthy scratches.

The Stars are coming off a 4-1 loss in Ottawa just last night. Early in the season, Dallas is proving to be a team that gets most of their scoring from their top two lines. Their bottom two lines have only combined for two points thus far this season. However, the Stars have a lethal power play made up of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov, and John Klingberg. This unit is converting at a near 50% rate, so the Devils must stay out of the box tonight. Since the Stars are on the tail-end of a back-to-back, expect Anton Khudobin to be in between the pipes.

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

Projected Devils Lines

Hall-Hischier-Palmieri
Johansson-Zacha-Noesen
Wood-Zajac-Quenneville
Boyle-Coleman-Dea

Mueller-Vatanen
Greene-Severson
Butcher-Lovejoy

Kinkaid

Projected Stars Lines

Benn-Seguin-Comeau
Nichushkin-Spezza-Radulov
Janmark-Faksa-Pitlick
Shore-Dickinson-Ritchie

Lindell-Klingberg
Methot-Honka
Heiskanen-Carrick

Khudobin 

Sami Vatanen will be seeing a lot of Tyler Seguin in tonight’s matchup. –Getty Images

What/Who to Watch

  • As mentioned above, the Stars power-play is lethal. Approximately 40% of the goals scored by them this year have been a man-up. In order to be successful,  tonight the Devils — who own the 4th best penalty kill unit in the league — must stay out of the penalty box.

 

  • After signing a massive extension in the offseason, Stars forward Tyler Seguin is showing how he’s worth every penny. He has already tallied 10 points (3G, 7A) and is playing just over 20 minutes per game. Look for Sami Vatanen to see a ton of Seguin tonight.

 

  • Interestingly enough, the Stars first line may not even be their best one. Their second line of Nichushkin-Spezza-Radulov consists of two veterans and a KHL star. Look for Hynes to try to get the Severson-Greene pairing on the ice whenever these guys are out there, as Sami Vatanen will be tasked with shutting down the top line.

 

  • The Devils have scored 3 or more goals in each of their first three games. Luckily for them, the Stars are also giving up three goals per game. With the firepower their opponent presents them tonight, this trend of scoring a plethora of goals will need to continue. A high scoring matchup at the Prudential Center is a strong possibility.

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

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