Pregame: Devils Look to Extend Two-Game Win Streak in Detroit

The Devils will look to win their second game against the Red Wings this season. (Photo by Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)

Match Overview

Tonight’s game will feature your New Jersey Devils, who currently own a 24-27-10 record, which puts them last in the Metropolitan Division. And the Detroit Red Wings, who own a 15-45-4 record, which puts them last in the Atlantic Division.

The Devils come into tonight’s game fresh off an eventful trade deadline. After not having played since a 3-2 victory against the Washington Capitals three days ago, they will be well-rested. They also bring a two-game win streak into tonight’s matchup, as well as a record of 6-3-0 in their last nine games. Interestingly enough, each of the six wins was started by Mackenzie Blackwood and the three losses by Louis Domingue – who is now a part of the Vancouver Canucks’ organization.

As for the lineup and goaltender for tonight’s game, Cory Schneider will make his first start since Jan. 18. Forward Michael McLeod also returns to the lineup, as he will be centering the fourth line.

The Detroit Red Wings are still the worst team in the league, and it is by a wide margin. They enter tonight’s game on a 1-6-0 stretch and only have three wins since Jan. 10. They rank last in goals and goals against per game and 29th in power play and penalty kill efficiencies. This Red Wings’ team is historically one of the worst of all-time and got even worse during yesterday’s deadline, as they traded away Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier — who also started against the Devils in the team’s last matchup — will be in net.

Tonight’s game will be at Little Caesars Arena and is scheduled for 7:30 PM.

Projected Devils’ Lines

Forwards:

  • Hughes/Hischier/Palmieri
  • Bratt/Zacha/Gusev
  • Wood/Zajac/Anderson
  • Rooney/McLeod/Hayden

Defense:

  • Mueller/Subban
  • Mermis/Severson
  • Claesson/Carrick

Goalies:

  • Schneider (0-6-1, .852 Sv%, 4.65 GAA)
  • Blackwood

Projected Red Wings’ Lines

Forwards:

  • Fabbri/Larkin/Mantha
  • Bertuzzi/Filppula/Perlini
  • Helm/Nielsen/Glendening
  • Erne/Ehn/Abdelkader

Defense:

  • Nemeth/Biega
  • Daley/Bowey
  • Ericsson/Goloubef

Goalies:

  • Bernier (13-19-2, .908 Sv%, 2.90 GAA)
  • Howard

What/Who to Watch

  • The last time these two teams met, the Devils were thoroughly outplayed the first two periods of the game. Fortunately, they woke up in the third period, as they exploded for four goals – three of which were scored by players no longer on the team. A loss to Detroit – especially on home ice – would have been extremely embarrassing. Although they are on the road tonight, this would still be the case.
This chart is courtesy of evolving-hockey.com.
  • It is projected that defenseman Fredrik Claesson will make his Devils’ debut tonight. The 27-year old was acquired yesterday via trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. Surprisingly enough, he may be relied on as one the Devils’ of the best defensive defensemen down the stretch. As is evident by his impressive defensive underlying statistics, which you can see above. It’ll be interesting to see how Claesson is utilized in his first game with the Devils tonight.
  • The Devils have been overly reliant on their goaltenders as of late. They have been steeply caved in on their side of the ice seemingly on a nightly basis. Hopefully, tonight will be a different story, as Detroit struggles in almost every category as a team. Specifically, they only average 27.3 shots per game, which is last in the league by almost two full shots. Interim head coach Alain Nasreddine made the right decision in giving Cory Schneider a shot to right his game, and possibly pick up his first win of the season against the lowly Red Wings.

Tonight’s game can be seen on MSG+ at 7:30 PM.

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