The Time: 7:00 PM EDT
The Broadcast: TV - MSG+; Radio - 660 AM WFAN
The Last Devils Game: The Devils were back to a full line-up after a couple games playing shorthanded due to injuries. Unfortunately the Avs and Craig Anderson stood in the way with a 3-2 win over Jersey's Team. Anderson stopped 41 shots, and the Devils had a number of chances and bad breaks. Here's John's recap from last night's game.
The Last Bruin Game(s): The Bruins started their season overseas in Prague with two games against the Coyotes for the NHL Premiere Games last weekend. They split the home and home (or is it away-away?); here's Stanley Cup of Chowder's recaps on the 5-2 loss and then the 3-0 win. In the win, Tyler Seguin had a sweet breakaway goal, and Tim Thomas stopped all 29 shots for the shutout.
The Goal: The Devils played a very solid game last night, yet they had trouble getting past Anderson. Defensively, they are limiting shots. Offensively, they are putting not only a large quantity of shots on net, but good quality shots. The Devils just need to keep at it. They've had very good starts against Buffalo and Colorado and need to continue that. Also, don't get too frustrated. It leads to bad decision making and penalties. Per Gulitti, Elias preaches to keep positive, keep working hard, and eventually good things will happen on the ice. This is a good mindset to have one the second leg of a back to back.
A line-up guess and more after the jump.
First and foremost, who's in net tonight? Well, I don't have the exact answer. But I would like to think Johan Hedberg gets his first start as a Devil tonight. Martin Brodeur has played five games in eight days, and this is the second of a back to back. Marty did let in a softy (or two?) in the last game, and some may be blaming him for the loss. The Devils are playing Montreal next week, and Marty will absolutely be in net for that game. It seems like the perfect scenario to give him the night off, and give Moose the nod tonight.
John MacLean changed up the lines in the third period to generate a spark for the team and try some different looks. If something isn't working, try and fix it. The Devils were the better team last night, and had to do something to offset Craig Anderson. I don't see him rolling over the changes into tonight's game. The top two lines are generating shots and chances. They just need to capitalize. Here's my guess at the line-up.
Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk
Patrik Elias - Jason Arnott - Jamie Langenbrunner
Dainius Zubrus - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Rod Pelley - Tim Sestito - Adam Mair
Henrik Tallinder - Andy Greene
Colin White - Matt Taormina
Alex Urbom - Matt Corrente
The Devils have plenty of players capable of playing center on the third and forth lines. Josefson will most likely center the third line once again, and you can take your pick between Pelley, Sestito and Mair, who all have experience on the dot. Again, I don't see any changes to start the game. If the Devils fall into a similar situation of a hot goalie or bad luck, or even bad play, MacLean isn't afraid juggle the lines. Most of these players have with one another, mixing it up won't disrupt any emerging chemistry.
On defense, there is still no word about Anton Volchenkov returning. Lamoriello says his status remains day to day. The Devils don't need to send anyone down for cap room if he can play tonight. Volchenkov's been out with a broken nose for a week now, and his salary is still counting against the cap. He's probably a game time decision. Matt Taormina and Matt Corrente both erned career firsts last game. Taormina scored his first NHL goal and Corrente racked up his first point with an assist on Kovalchuk's goal. They've been playing well, and getting those out of the way will get the jitters out, but they want results.
Leave us your thoughts about tonight's game in the comments. Should Hedberg get the start tonight? Does MacLean change up the lines? There will sure to be updates on this and more as the day goes on. I'll try and update it. Getting a win at home is important, the Devils have a big road trip coming up. Thanks for reading. Let's Go Devils!