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Game Preview: Devils at Red Wings

The Devils head to Detroit, facing a Detroit team that has now lost three straight. Here’s the preview.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Detroit Red Wings
Travis Zajac and Darren Helm chase after a puck
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Devils head to Detroit after having beaten the Canucks 3-2. Here’s the preview.

The Matchup: New Jersey Devils (13-5-4) at the Detroit Red Wings (10-9-4 SBNation; Winging It In Motown)

The Time: 7:00 PM EST

The Broadcast: TV - MSG+2; Radio - TONJ

Hockey Fights Cancer Victory: The Devils beat the Canucks on Hockey Fights Cancer night, and it seemed almost perfectly scripted. Brian Boyle scored for the Devils, which was a very emotional moment for him. Overall, the Devils outshot the Canucks 26-25 on the night, with Damon Severson and Taylor Hall scoring the other two goals. The Devils did a good job of neutralizing the Brock Boeser line, although Bo Horvat did score late in the game to keep it close. Schneider made some big saves for the Devils, and the win kept the Devils one point behind the Blue Jackets for first in the Metropolitan.

Heartbreaker for Detroit: Though I didn’t watch the game, it seems like the Red Wings outplayed the Rangers, but couldn’t get the puck by Henrik Lundqvist. They ended up losing to the Rangers 2-1 in overtime, with Tomas Tatar scoring the only goal. Howard made 29 saves, while the Red Wings were able to put up 41 shots on goal. This marks Detroit’s third loss in a row, and they look to end the losing streak tonight against the Devils.

Who To Watch: While Detroits team doesn’t feature too many offensive threats, evidenced by their 22nd ranked offense, some individual players need to be watched for. Anthony Mantha seems to have taken another step forward this year, with 10 goals and 9 assists in 22 games. Dylan Larkin has come back after a weak sophomore campaign, with 4 goals and 16 assists in 20 games. Larkin is also incredibly fast, which the Devils need to watch out for. Justin Abdelkader and Henrik Zetterberg provide veteran leadership, and the two lifetime Red Wings are both still a threat to score.

Defensively, Mike Green is their top defenseman minutes-wide, averaging a bit over 23 minutes a game, and recording a goal and 16 assists on the season. Niklas Kronwall is still Niklas Kronwall, meaning he won’t be afraid to throw his body around. Other than that, this Detroit defense doesn’t appear to be that great, which bodes well for the Devils offense.

Look for Mrazek to start this game for the Red Wings. On the year, he’s 2-3-1, with a .905 save percentage. Before the season started, he was expected to be the better goaltender over Jimmy Howard, but Howard has established himself as the clear number 1 this year.

Devils Changes?: There don’t appear to be any changes to the Devils lineup, aside from the fact that Keith Kinkaid is starting in goal.

So...: Short preview, as it’s two games in two days. Let me know who you think will score first. Will the Devils win this one? Personally, I think this is a very winnable game. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and take care!