TV: MSG Plus
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
Tonight is the first of four games between the Devils and the Maple Leafs this season. Last year, the Devils were 2-2 against the Leafs, with one of the wins coming in overtime. The Devils were outscored 10-8 in the season series.
Home Ice Advantage?:
The Devils will return home to the Prudential Center tonight to take on the Maple Leafs, and I bet they’re glad to be home. The Devils dropped three of four on the road, collecting their only win against the Kings last Tuesday. They were outscored 12-8 on the trip.
The Devils find themselves 2-1-1 at home this season. Their last game at Prudential Center was on October 21 against the San Jose Sharks which resulted in a 3-2 loss in a shootout.
As pointed out on Speaking of the Devils, “The Devils play play four of their next five at Prudential Center (they play in Philly tomorrow), but play 15 out of their next 21 games on the road.”
Devils Injury Update:
Martin Brodeur has confirmed that he is starting in goal tonight for the New Jersey Devils, after missing six games with a sore shoulder.
Travis Zajac made a visit to Devils practice on Monday. Zajac told reporters that he has started skating on his own in Winnipeg, but there is still no timetable for his return. If going by the first indication, the original prediction for Zajac’s return would be in the middle of the month.
Jacob Josefson is still recovering from surgery to repair his broken right clavicle. He’s still expected to miss three-to-four months.
Eric Boulton has resumed practicing with the team after hurting his hand in a fight on October 21 in the game against San Jose.
Against the Maple Leafs:
All-time the Devils are 36-35-15-1 against the Maple Leafs. They are 21-12-9-1 when playing in New Jersey.
Ilya Kovalchuk has the most career points against the Leafs, 16 goals and 19 assists.
Patrik Elias has the most points against the Leafs as a Devil with 13 goals and 16 assists.
Martin Brodeur is 20-17-9 in his career against the Leafs, with a 2.53 goals against average.
Projected Devils Lineup:
Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora – Elias – Zubrus
Tedenby – Carter – Clarkson
Palmieri – Mills – Janssen
Greene – Larsson
Tallinder – Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador
Why was Phil Kessel Chosen Last in the All Star Draft?:
Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel is getting the last laugh at the fact he was drafted last in last year’s All Star Fantasy Draft. Kessel led the league in October with a league best 10 goals and 18 points, earning him the Player of the Month award. With Kessel’s hot start, the Maple Leafs find themselves first in the Northeast Division with 15 points.
Leafs goaltender James Reimer has missed the last several games while recovering from whiplash. He has been practicing with the Leafs for a couple of days now, and has been labeled by Leafs coach Ron Wilson as a game-time decision.
Projected Maple Leafs Lineup:
Lupol – Connolly – Kessel
MacArthur – Grabovski – Kulemin
Frattin – Bozak – Lombardi
Dupuis – Steckel – Brown
Gunnarsson – Phaneuf
Liles – Komisarek
Gardiner – Schenn