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Game Preview: New Jersey Devils at Pittsburgh Penguins

In the first game after the trade deadline, the New Jersey Devils will be in Pittsburgh looking to move up the standings within the division.

NHL: New York Islanders at New Jersey Devils
Will Grabner be joined by the other rental tonight?
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Matchup: New Jersey Devils (32-22-8) at the Pittsburgh Penguins (36-23-4). SBN Blog: Pensburgh

The Time: 7:00 PM

The Broadcast: MSG+

What Pittsburgh has done over the past few days: The Pittsburgh Penguins traded away (not in the same trade) Ian Cole, Ryan Reaves, and Greg McKegg. They traded for Derick Brassard, and Josh Jooris. The only people who matter in my opinion are Cole and Brassard.

Brassard had 38 points in 58 games with the Ottawa Senators, already close to matching the 39 he put up in 81 games last season. To get this middle-six center, the Penguins gave up a depth defenseman that seems to have regressed somewhat from last year. In my opinion, this was a good move, and should better balance the Penguins scoring. They now have an ability to make a stronger third line, which means Travis Zajac and his Texan wingers can no longer win the game by shutting down the Crosby line.

What the Devils Did: Michael Grabner will presumably play his second game for the Devils tonight. Patrick Maroon might make his Devils debut. If Patrick Maroon is in the lineup, I assume Grabner or Miles Wood will play right wing for balance.

Personally, I like the Maroon addition. It knocks Jimmy Hayes further down the options list, and it creates more competition for the bottom six wingers - especially non-PK players such as Stefan Noesen and Drew Stafford. Maroon could help possession if placed with the correct line, and his transition game has improved from last year. He could take a net-front spot on the power play, but I don’t know if the Devils will use him in that role. For more on the Devils’ trade moves, read John’s post on the matter.

Lineup notes: Keith Kinkaid will be in net. Cory Schneider did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh. Matt Murray suffered an injury yesterday, as he took a puck to the head. I do not think he will be playing tonight.

Your Take: What do you think of tonight’s game? How do you think Brassard will affect the Penguins in the near future? What are your thoughts on the Penguins goalie situation? Leave your thoughts below.