New Jersey Devils (12-12-1, 25 points) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (15-10-2, 32 points)
7:00 PM EST
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
Tonight will be the second of four times this season that the Devils and Leafs will square off against each other. They last met on November 2 at Prudential Center, which saw the Leafs take a 5-3 victory.
Will the Devils Win on this Road Trip?:
The Devils cannot wait to return to Prudential Center on Thursday after they conclude this four-game road trip tonight in Toronto.
Overall, the Devils are 7-8-0 on the road this season. Three of those losses are from this current road trip which have the Devils on a season high four game losing streak.
The bright side, I guess you could call it, is that the Devils are playing better at the end of the road trip compared to the first game against Colorado last Wednesday. In the game against the Avalanche, the Devils were made a fool of by losing 6-1. After that game, the Devils dropped consecutive contests to the Wild and Jets 4-2. They outshot their competition in both of those games. 31-16 against Minnesota, and 25-20 against the Jets.
It’s not that the team is playing bad, things just aren’t going the Devils’ way. Well, except the fact they need to learn to stop giving up goals when they have the man advantage!
The Devils have to continue to keep playing hard, and a win tonight against the Maple Leafs will be a step in the right direction for the team.
Projected Devils Lineup:
Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Tedenby – Elias – Sykora
Zubrus – Carter – Clarkson
Boulton – Sestito – Palmieri
Greene – Larsson
Talinder – Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador
Toronto vs. New Jersey Notes:
– Phil Kessel leads active Toronto players in assists (14) and points (18) against the Devils.
– Joffrey Lupul leads the Leafs in career goals (7) in 18 games against New Jersey. Remember, Lupul had a hat trick on November 2 in the first meeting between the two clubs this season.
– Leafs Center, David Steckel, played 18 games with the Devils last season.
Projected Maple Leafs Lineup:
Lupul – Bozak – Kessel
MacArthur – Connolly – Frattin
Kulemin – Colborne – Crabb
Rosehill – Steckel – Dupuis
Phaneuf – Gunnarsson
Liles – Franson
Gardiner – Schenn
Classic barbecue food, music, games for the kids and a chance to chat with your favorite New Jersey Devils – I’d say that’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. This past weekend the Devils hosted their second annual Devils Family BBQ and Fan Fest at the Prudential Center. It’s one of the cool events season ticket holders get to be a part of and a great way to kick off the season.
Anxious fans lined up outside of The Rock waiting to get in and meet their favorite players. They opened up the main concourse of the Prudential Center and let the fans roam. Lunch was served in the Fire & Ice Lounges. If you were lucky you caught Zach Parise behind the counter suited up to serve with an apron and chef hat. Rumor has it that Ilya Kovalchuk was handing out cookies. Bryce Salvador was taking care of the sodas with Nick Palmieri and Andy Greene.
There was plenty for the younger kids to do between shooting pucks into inflatable nets, hanging out with NJ and dancing with the Devils Dancers. All the players were happy to take pictures, share stories and even play a few rounds of floor hockey with the kids (and some of the adult fans, too). Parise and David Steckel played a couple games of hockey, followed by another game around the corner with Jacob Josefson, Mattias Tedenby, Alexander Urbom and Henrik Tallinder – only a few men short of a Swedish National team. Dainius Zubrus and NJ were hanging around the inflatable goalie nets watching our youngest Devils Army members practicing their slap shots.
Lines formed for both our veteran players and new additions to the team. Cam Janssen and Adam Larsson were pretty popular, as were Martin Brodeur and Patrick Elias of course. Even Lou Lamoriello and our new coach, Peter DeBoer, made appearances on the concourse. Every where you looked you saw a Devil in their jersey. It was surreal to see them on the concourse and to be honest, kind of weird. You learn a few things about the guys being so close. Did you know that Janssen loves to dance in place? David Clarkson seems tough on the ice but his face lights up when you mention his little girl (who will not be a hockey player). Clarkson is also a huge Jets fan and has a helmet signed by the team. Tallinder is a bit of a goofball, he was caught sneaking into pictures with other players and teasing Tedenby and Josefson when they lost their hockey game. Oh, and Rod Pelley has no front teeth – but you’ve probably noticed that before.
It’s great getting a chance to talk to the players and see them off the ice. Everyone had a great time and made sure to wish their favorite guys good luck during the season. There was tons to do and lots to see. Check out more photos from the BBQ on the Devils Generals Flickr page. Let us know if you find your face!