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Game Preview: New Jersey Devils at the Pittsburgh Penguins

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Fighting off the Panthers for a playoff spot, the Devils take on the Penguins as they seek two points in their race.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Matchup: New Jersey Devils (37-28-8) at the Pittsburgh Penguins (42-27-5). SBN Blog: PensBurgh

The Broadcast: MSG+

The Time: 7:00 PM

Finally, Some Help: Last night, the Columbus Blue Jackets took on the Florida Panthers. The Panthers, on a hot streak, were one point behind the Devils in the standings, with two games at hand. Thankfully, they lost in regulation, shutout by the Blue Jackets. If the Devils win tonight, they will be three points above the Panthers, having played two more games. The Devils should seek to get at least three points on this back-to-back, and hope that the Panthers lose more games.

Goaltenders: The goaltending has been a point of controversy in recent times. For reference, just look at the response to the recap of the last game against the Sharks. The pot will continue to be stirred. Keith Kinkaid will start in net for the New Jersey Devils tonight. As for the future, John Hynes has not said who will start versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. If Kinkaid starts in both games, I think that just about does it for Cory Schneider in the starting role for the rest of the year.

Certainly, not too shabby for a backup goaltender. Let’s hope he can replicate those performamces.

Potential Return: After being out due to injury, Pavel Zacha may return to the lineup. While this is a likely positive in terms of chances the offense generates, it may not be hugely important. Zacha has made improvements in his overall game this year, but he hasn’t been finishing with the consistency necessary for him to be a top six mainstay.

Injury?: Brian Gibbons left practice early yesterday. Not much was said about it, so the reason for his departure remains to be seen. This may make an easy entry point for Zacha into the lineup, but Gibbons probably isn’t someone I want to lose against a team with a good power play. Updates will be passed along if they come out for Gibbons.

Veteran Leadership: Unsung third pairing hero Ben Lovejoy had some words of wisdom for his teammates after practice yesterday.

While I do actually appreciate the improvements in Ben Lovejoy this season, the veteran leadership he provides is necessary. I personally hope he returns next year - even in the event of missing the playoffs.

Your Thoughts: What do you think of this game? How do you think the Devils will respond to the past two games? Do you think the Devils will win? If they win, what do you think of their playoff chances? Leave your thoughts below.