After a nerve-wracking but ultimately successful home game, the Devils head back on the road to hopefully find a second win in as many nights.
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (18-20-7) at the Columbus Blue Jackets (27-15-3; SBN Blog: The Cannon)
The Time: 7:00 PM ET
The Broadcast: TV - MSG+2; Digital Audio - The “Devils Hockey Network.” Go to Radio.com or NHL.com for an audio feed.
The Last Devils Game: Last night was a pretty good night to be a Devils fan; despite MacKenzie Blackwood surrendering five goals (not all were his fault by the way), the Devils managed to put eight past the combination of Cam Ward and Collin Delia to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 8-5. Yes, you’re reading that score correctly! Leading the way were Blake Coleman (2G, 1A and a new career high in points), Travis Zajac (1G, 2A) and Kyle Palmieri (2G) as the Devils held a 6-1 lead late in the second; they allowed Chicago back in the game a bit before finally settling to the final score. Congratulations go out to Kevin Rooney as well; his first NHL goal was the sixth of the game, making it the game winning goal. Mike posted this recap detailing the Devils’ offensive outburst.
The Last Blue Jackets Game: While their previous game couldn’t match the New Jersey/Chicago 13 goal game last night, the Jackets last played Our Hated Rivals on Sunday, beating them 7-5 on a night where both teams honored the recently retired Rick Nash. That game marked a third straight win for the Jackets and four out of their last five as well. Pale Dragon recapped that game over at The Cannon.
The Last Devils-Blue Jackets Game: The teams last met just prior to Christmas, when the Jackets came in to New Jersey. Sergei Bobrovsky put his team on his back, and no Devil was able to solve him as Columbus shutout New Jersey 0-3. I had this recap posted of a game where the Devils could have built on the prior game’s momentum to send the fans home happy for the holiday, but alas, it was not to be.
The Goal: Don’t get shutout? In seriousness, it seems that the Devils have struggled mightily with the Blue Jackets for some time now, and on the latter half of a back to back against a fresh Columbus team, tonight’s goal might just be to find their legs quickly. The Devils come in still missing Taylor Hall and the offense he provides; hopefully the contributions of last night’s line combinations were not just a fluke and the Devils can bring some more offense into Ohio.
Broken Wood?: Miles Wood left the Devils’ victory over Chicago roughly halfway through the third period after getting rocked a bit earlier. He did take another shift or two after the hit, but then made his way down the tunnel and did not return. Amanda Stein is reporting that he will make the trip with the team to Columbus for tonight, so it will be interesting to keep an eye on his availability.
Who Gets the Net: There was no decision made after last night’s game as to which Devils’ goalie would be in between the pipes tonight in Columbus. Smart money would probably say Keith Kinkaid just because he is rested on the latter half of a back to back, but John Hynes could choose to ride the hot hand and send MacKenzie Blackwood back into the line of duty. As of writing time, this decision has still not been made, but it will be interesting to see what choice is made.
A Final Thought: Please shutout the Jackets just so I don’t have to deal with that cannon...
Your Take: The Devils prepare for a divisional foe tonight in a game that could give them a boost going into the remainder of the week. What are your thoughts on tonight’s tilt? Who do you think gets the start in net? Can the Devils get one past whoever Columbus puts in net tonight? Leave any and all comments below; thanks as always for reading.