Pregame: Devils Look to Keep Bringing the Heat Against Avalanche

Brian Boyle jams at a loose puck

Photo by Ron Chenoy of USA Today Sports

Writer’s Twitter: @ChrisMottHockey

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Matchup Preview

New Jersey Devils (4-0-0) vs Colorado Avalanche (3-1-2)

7PM ET at Prudential Center and on MSG+.

The Devils have enjoyed a great start to their season, earning victories over other strong playoff caliber teams and tonight will be no different. The Avalanche were very much the Devils of the Western Conference last season. They were not expected to make the playoffs but battled their way to earn a spot in the postseason.

The Avalanche are coming off of a shootout loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night and will be looking to get back in the win column. For the Devils, this is another game where the team needs to perform together at the level it has to bring down a team with one of the league’s best players.

The Devils have done this against Connor McDavid and the Oilers, Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals, Joe Pavelski and the Sharks, and most recently Tyler Seguin and the Stars. They will look for the same result against Nathan MacKinnon and the Avalanche. The Devils are on the verge of being 5-0-0 to start the season and with a win tonight, they can take over first place in the Metropolitan Division over the idle Carolina Hurricanes.

 

Projected Lines for the Devils

Hall/Hischier/Palmieri;
Wood/Zajac/Coleman;
Johansson/Zacha/Stafford;
Boyle/Dea/Noesen;

Mueller/Vatanen;
Greene/Severson;
Butcher/Lovejoy;

Kinkaid/Lack

Projected Lines for the Avalanche (via DailyFaceoff)

Landeskog/Mackinnon/Rantanen;
Kerfoot/Jost/Wilson;
Nieto/Soderberg/Calvert;
Kamenev/Dries/Bourque;

Girard/Johnson;
Cole/Barrie;
Zadorov/Nemeth;

Grubauer/Varlamov

 

 

What to Watch For

Kyle Palmieri and Jean-Sébastien Dea will be looking to extend their hot streaks. Palmieri has scored the first goal in every Devils game thus far, with three multi-goal games, a four-game goal streak, and a “magnificent seven” goals to start the season. Jean-Sébastien Dea has also been hot to start 2018-19. He has three goals in four games after being claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

First goals for key players such as Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, and Pavel Zacha are bound to happen anytime now. Everyone on the team has been getting chances, with players like Hall, Hischier, and Zacha having multiple chances a game to score but have done about everything except put the puck in the net. The Devils are a fun team to think about when they are 4-0-0 to start the season without any goals from those players. Imagine what they can be when they start scoring.

Nathan MacKinnon is currently on a National Hockey League record streak of six straight games with a goal to start the season. The Devils will need to limit MacKinnon’s chances to have a good shot of winning this game, especially if Grubauer plays the way he did for the Washington Capitals last season.

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