The New Jersey Devils look to close out the opening three game homestand with a win against the visiting LA Kings (1-1-0) tonight at Prudential Center. This will be the first of two matchups between the two clubs this season (Oct. 25 @ LA).
The Devils (1-1-0) are coming off a celebrated victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday. After getting shutout by the visiting Flyers last Saturday, the Devils came out strong Monday with strong support from their new Captain, Zach Parise. Parise led the team with two goals including the first goal for the Devils in the 2011-2012 season. Also having a strong game Monday, was Ilya Kovalchuk who netted the game winning goal and added two assists of his own.
Pete DeBoer collected his first win as Head Coach of the Devils, something he hopes is the first of many this season. In anticipation of his second win of the season, DeBoer is making a bit of a change to the Devils lineup tonight. Skating on the fourth line tonight will be Rod Pelley and Cam Janssen making their regular season debuts in place of Adam Henrique and Eric Boulton. DeBoer says he hopes the addition of these two will bring energy and momentum to the team. Seeing Janssen on the ice will definitely be exciting to see. Willing to bet he will be in a fight before halfway through the first period.
Adam Larsson, who was listed as probable for the game, will play. Larsson said he was hit in the groin by Eric Staal in Monday’s contest against the Hurricanes. This is good news for Devils fans as the fourth overall pick in this past year’s NHL Entry Draft has been logging top on-ice minutes in his first two NHL games. It appears that Larsson is the real deal, and will be playing a full year in the NHL.
The key to victory tonight will be to stay out of the penalty box and to convert on the powerplay. The Devils have been shorthanded an outstanding 16 times in the first two games of the season. Luckily, they have not given up a single powerplay goal, but discipline is something that needs to be learned, and learned quickly. The LA Kings have a 28.6% powerplay percentage which puts them at sixth in the league. As for the Devils powerplay, the Devils have capitalized ONCE out of 10 chances, putting them 19th in the league at the moment for powerplay conversions.
Here are your projected lineups for tonight: