PREGAME: Devils Return Home to Face Surging Blues

After a bumpy West Coast trip, the New Jersey Devils return to The Rock for the front end of a back-to-back against the St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers. The Stanley Cup Champions come into this one riding an eight-game winning streak and are currently the best team in the Western Conference. New Jersey will look to avenge a 3-0 loss the last time these two teams met, but that will not be an easy task.

Projected Lines

New Jersey Devils

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

St. Louis Blues

  • Schwartz – O’Reilly – Schenn
  • Sanford – Thomas – Perron
  • De La Rose – Bozak – Steen
  • Blais – Sundqvist – Barbashev
  • Pietrangelo – Faulk
  • Scandella – Parayko
  • Dunn – Bortuzzo
  • Binnington
  • Allen

Players to Watch

Miles Wood

It certainly comes as a bit of a surprise to most Devils fans seeing number 44 up on the top line, but that exposure is going to mean a whole lot of ice time and opportunities to make his presence felt. Look for a lot of stretch passes and hail mary plays trying to spring Wood on a breakaway or catch the Blues on a line change.

Brayden Schenn

He’s playing alongside Schwartz and O’Reilly, making the top line for the Blues is incredibly dangerous every time they are on the ice. Schenn is tied for the team lead with 25 goals and currently sits third in total points with 55, so the Devils will have to stay alert whenever he has the puck.

Where to Watch

Prudential Center, MSG+ 7:00 p.m.

Prediction

The Devils have been a much better team at home this season, but facing a team the caliber of St. Louis will not be an easy task. I’m normally one to be fairly skiddish when Cory Schneider is in net, but his play of late has to be acknowledged. This feels like a potential trap game for the Blues, who may be looking ahead to the playoffs already. Devils sneak out a 3-2 victory, possibly in overtime.

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