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Game Preview – Game 6: Your New Jersey Devils @ Pittsburgh Birds That Can’t Fly (7PM, MSG+, WFAN 660 AM)

So, last night was heart-breaking.

The energy Prudential Center had after David Clarkson scored the go-ahead goal with minutes left in the third period was unbelievable, but you can’t expect to win a game when you get outshot 41-19. The Sharks kept firing hard and seemed to want that win a little more than we did. I hope last night’s performance doesn’t affect tonight’s game.

Tonight, the New Jersey Devils (3-1-1) will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins(5-2-2) for the first of six meetings between the Atlantic Division rivals this season.

After stopping 38 of 41 last night, Johan Hedberg is expected to make the start between the pipes again for the Devils tonight. This worries me a little bit as I bet Hedberg is exhausted after last night’s game, but with the way he kept us in the game last night, I’m more than excited to have him play. Hedberg has been the reason the Devils are where they are so far this season. Losing Martin Brodeur to a shoulder injury was a blow, but the Moose stepped up and showed he has what it takes to be a number one goaltender in the NHL.

Speaking of injuries, the already thin Center depth chart got even thinner, as Jacob Josefson is expected to miss three-to-four months after having surgery to repair his broken clavicle. This is not the first time Josefson has missed time due to injury. Just last season, Josefson missed 30 games due to repairing a torn ligament in his right thumb. General Manager Lou Lamiorello told the media this morning that he would look into acquiring a veteran center, but as of now, Adam Henrique has been recalled from Albany.

Injury news from the Penguins could make any Devils fan happy. There will be no Evegeni Malkin (knee) and Sidney Crosby (concussion) playing in tonight’s game. While this is viewed as an advantage for the Devils, the Penguins have been on fire without their top superstars. Think of it this way, former coach Jacques Lemaire said that the defense likes when Brodeur doesn’t play because they know they have to up their game. The same goes for the Penguins offense without their top two point scorers, Malkin and Crosby.

Here are the projected lineups for tonight’s game:

Devils:
Parise-Elias-Sykora
Kovalchuk-Zubrus-Palmieri
Tedenby-Henrique-Clarkson
Pelley-Mills-Janssen

Greene-Larsson
Tallinder-Fayne
Salvador-Volchenkov

Hedberg
Kinkaid

————
Penguins
Kunitz-Staal-Dupuis
Sullivan-Park-Neal
Cooke-Vitale-Asham
MacIntyre-Jeffrey-Adams

Orpik-Letang
Michalek-Martin
Niskanen-Engelland

Fleury
Johnson


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