Pregame: Schneider Eyes Back-to-Back Victories

The New Jersey Devils have now won three games in a row, including most recently defeating Detroit 4-1 to start off the road trip. Now given how poor Detroit has been this season, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but for Cory Schneider, it was his first win of the season and a great confidence boost for the slumping goalie. Schneider will get the start again tonight in what should be a much tougher match up against the Sharks’ offense, but the team has been playing some consistent hockey as of late, and opponent Martin Jones isn’t exactly a top-notch netminder. The West Coast 10:30 start times always make things a bit more interesting, so keep an eye on how the team comes out to start the game.

Projected lines

New Jersey Devils

  • Hughes – Hischier – Palmieri
  • Bratt – Zacha – Gusev
  • Wood – Zajac – Anderson
  • Rooney – McLeod – Hayden
  • Mueller – Subban
  • Mermis – Severson
  • Claesson – Carrick
  • Schneider
  • Blackwood

San Jose Sharks

  • Meier – Thornton – Gambrell
  • Kane – Couture – Gregor
  • Sorensen – True – Labanc
  • Bergmann – Kellman – Noesen
  • Simek – Burns
  • Vlasic – Ferraro
  • Middleton – Heed
  • Jones
  • Dell

Where to watch

MSG, NBCSA. 10:30 p.m.

Who to watch

Nikita Gusev

Gusev has 6 points (5 assists, 1 goal) in his last three games, and now has 39 points on the season. As the year has gone on, he’s shown off his elite vision and passing ability, so in a game where goals are highly likely to be scored in bunches, expect Gusev to keep extend his point streak to four games.

Evander Kane

I know it may sound weird having a player who has been slumping to be labeled as a player to watch, but Kane is a different breed out on the ice. He poses a threat every shift with an incredibly dangerous shot and a large frame to scoop up the garbage in the crease. He also doesn’t shy away from playing a physical style of hockey, so regardless of putting up points, he always is one to have your eye on.

Prediction

These two teams stack up fairly similar to one another, so I would expect this one to be a fairly close game. The Devils snuck out a 2-1 victory in their last game against San Jose, but with the starting goalies being who they are, I’m anticipating more goal scoring in this matchup. New Jersey has been hot as of late and San Jose comes in riding a 5 game losing streak, but the Devils still just seem to be a different team on the road. San Jose takes this one to end the Devils’ winning streak while snapping their own losing streak by a score of 4-3.

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