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Preseason Game Preview: September 17 Split-Squad

Half of the Devils camp roster will be at home in Newark, while half will be on the road in Montreal for a game tonight.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Lightning
With at least one camp battle underway, who might "this year's Jesper Bratt" be?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Matchups: #1: New Jersey Devils vs. The New York Rangers. SBN blog: Blueshirt Banter.

#2: New Jersey Devils at the Montreal Canadiens. SBN blog: Habs Eyes on the Prize

The Times: #1: 7:00 PM ET; #2: 7:30 PM ET

The Broadcasts: #1: TV - MSG

Hockey is back. After months of waiting, except for one prospect game, the New Jersey Devils are back in our living rooms. Tonight, we have a split-squad game. While the result does not matter in itself, it would be nice to see the Devils start off their games strong. We've been waiting awhile for this.

The Rangers-Devils Squad: Since this is a split-squad game, beyond the normal lines and pairings, we have to consider who is playing where. Amanda Stein posted this on Twitter yesterday:

Keith Kinkaid and Cam Johnson will share the net in Newark.

The Devils-Canadiens Squad: Amanda Stein also posted this on Twitter yesterday.

Eddie Lack and Mackenzie Blackwood will share the net in Montreal.

Lines to Watch for Today: While it appears that Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, and Jesper Bratt will be reunited at home, Kyle Palmieri is likely to be seen to the right of Marcus Johansson and Pavel Zacha in Montreal. If the Zacha line can have itself a good game, it will be a promising sign that the Devils can put out two at least somewhat-scoring lines after the Hall line this upcoming season. Keep in mind that Zacha had a good pre-season last year - good enough to result in Hynes trusting him next to Hall to start the season.

The Battles that have Begun: While Stefan Noesen will be broken up from Travis Zajac and Blake Coleman for today, I presume they may be reunited in the near future when the team is not broken up. Therefore, Brian Boyle is the only player I can look to tonight that I can say will probably be on the fourth line come the regular season. As for the contenders to fill other spots, Brett Seney and Joey Anderson are in Montreal, while John Quenneville and Nick Lappin are playing at home. With Miles Wood unsigned and his status up in the air, that may feed into the winger battle for the bottom six.

We will also see Ty Smith tonight, playing at home, alongside Egor Yakovlev. What is likely their main competition to crack the roster, Mirco Mueller and Ben Lovejoy, will be in Montreal. While preseason games generally don’t matter, if we see something tonight, it could lead to someone like Ty Smith getting a longer look with the team.

Your Thoughts: Which lines and players are you most excited to see today, whether you see them live on television or later in highlights? Are you excited to see Ty Smith in televised game action in red with the Devils? Are there any battles you can think of that I did not mention? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and I’ll see everyone in the gamethread tonight. If I see specific lines posted on Twitter later today, I'll be sure to pass them along.