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New Jersey Devils vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: Game 4 Preview

As the series gets increasingly more hostile, the Devils look to tie the series at two games apiece at home.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at New Jersey Devils
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (1-2) at the Tampa Bay Lightning (2-1). SBN Blog: Raw Charge.

The Time: 7:30 PM

The Broadcast: TV - MSG+; The Golf Channel (...?)

The Series Preview: John did a very in-depth preview of this series. You can read that here.

The Last Game: As John recapped, the Devils were able to get past the aggression of the game to win the game for their first playoff win since 2012. It was a pretty fun game to watch. For John’s article on how the Devils ought to improve from game three, click here.

Should We Make Lineup Changes?: In my opinion, it’s not entirely necessary. I think the Devils, overall, executed well at even strength even when the chances were slimmer than usual and played just well enough on special teams to warrant everyone returning for tonight’s game. The one point I might change is Drew Stafford, in exchange for Jesper Bratt. Bratt’s ability to help the power play would be appreciated, though I’m not sure John Hynes wants to sacrifice the size he has in the slot on the power play in such an increasingly physical series. Also important, an update on the injury scare of Cory Schneider:

Game Plan: The Devils need to, as I’ve said before, bring hell to Andrei Vasilevskiy. They also should continue using Travis Zajac as much as possible to shut down Tampa Bay’s scorers. However, they do need to continue to make changes in collapsing around Cory Schneider better than they have been this series. High danger chances in game three at even strength were three for the Devils, and 10 for the Lightning. This has to change, because I don’t know if Schneider can keep the scoresheet clean at even strength. Perhaps changing the usage of John Moore and Damon Severson would be helpful. In game three, they only had one offensive zone start at even strength, and five defensive zone starts. During the game, Severson and Moore were on the ice for four and five high danger chances against, respectively, and ten and nine scoring chances against, respectively. This is not ideal.

Your Thoughts: What do you think about the game tonight? Do you want any lineup changes other than the potential one I gave? Do you want to see anything specific in the Devils’ play change tonight? Why are we on The Golf Channel? Leave your thoughts below.

As a final thought: Brian Boyle will have his revenge.