Tonight, the New Jersey Devils will travel up to Edmonton to face the Oilers in a back-to-back after losing to Calgary by five goals last night. New Jersey had the lead going into the third period, in which they would let up six consecutive goals to lose 9-4. The Oilers are coming off a 3-2 OT win against the Rangers and have won five of their last six games.
What to Watch
The Devils acknowledged a horrible defensive performance last night, with head coach John Hynes telling Amanda Stein, “This is not about the goalie… It’s about how the rest of the guys played in front of him.” Captain Andy Greene also added to this, telling Amanda Stein, “We were absolutely garbage in front of [Mackenzie Blackwood].” New Jersey’s defensive play has definitely been the weakness of the team this season, and last night only emphasized that. Look for the Devils to come out and play for their goaltender tonight. Since the top line was the only one really generating offense for the Devils last night, I wouldn’t expect New Jersey to have a scoring clinic without players like Hall, Bratt, Hischier, Zacha, or Wood.
Obviously, the Oilers’ first line leads the way with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both being top six in the NHL in points. And though players like Ryan Nugent Hopkins and Alex Chiasson can provide scoring, for the most part, Edmonton’s offense lacks depth. Leading the way on the blueline is Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse, but don’t forget about Adam Larsson, who the Devils traded for Taylor Hall in 2016. Larsson is last in +/- for the Oilers, at -19, so we’ll see if he plays with vengeance tonight against his former team. Most noteworthy for the Oilers has been the play of Mikko Koskinen, who is 5-0 in his last five starts and has had 30+ saves in each of those games.
New Jersey Devils
When and Where to Watch
9:30PM EST; NBCSN