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Game Preview #63: New Jersey Devils vs the San Jose Sharks

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The Devils will try for their first 4 game winning streak of the season tonight in San Jose, with the hopes of repeating last week’s win over the same team.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at New Jersey Devils Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Match-up: New Jersey Devils (25-27-10) vs the San Jose Sharks (26-33-4)

The Time: 10:30 pm

The Channel: MSG

The Stats:

Devils Sharks

17.5%/23rd |PP%| 16.0%/27th

81.4%/14th |PK%| 85.8%/1st

2.64/25th |GF/G| 2.5/29th

3.24/28th |GA/G| 3.24/27th

.899/23rd |SV%| .893/29th

10.59/19th |HDCF/G| 11.25/11th

10.29/8th |HDCA/G| 11.93/28th

The Lineups:

Sharks

Kane - Couture - LaBanc
Meier - Thornton - Gambrell
Gregor - True - Sorensen
Suomela - Kellman - Noesen

Simek - Burns
Vlasic - Ferraro
Middleton - Heed
Dell

Devils

Hughes - Hischier - Palmieri
Wood - Zajac - Anderson
Bratt - Zacha - Gusev
Rooney - McLeod - Hayden

Mueller - Subban
Mermis - Severson
Claesson - Carrick
Blackwood

The Outlook:

We saw the Sharks only about a week ago back at Prudential Center, so not much has changed about either team statistically. They still have the top ranked PK in the league, though they’ve dropped a bit recently in terms of most offensive categories. The Devils on the other hand have picked up a few spots in most of the offensive categories and also save percentage.

The last meeting with the Sharks was prior to the trade deadline, however, so there have been some roster changes to note. The Devils have, as we all know, subtracted Wayne Simmonds, Louis Domingue and Sami Vatanen, although Simmonds is the only one of those three that actually played against San Jose last week. Claesson and McLeod have joined the lineup in their absence. The Sharks have two major roster changes to note— first, they traded Patrick Marleau to Pittsburgh. Second they regained top line center Logan Couture from IR, so their offense will likely have a bit more bite this time around.

San Jose’s loss against the Devils last week was the start of a 3 game win streak for us, and a 4-game losing streak throughout the Metro area for the Sharks— 2-1 to the Devils, 3-2 to the Rangers, 4-1 to the Islanders, and 4-2 to the Flyers. The outshot and outchanced their opponents in each of those four games. Goaltending seems to be the major Achilles heel (no surprise from the 29th ranked team in SV%) so a solid performance from Blackwood again will likely seal another win for New Jersey, assuming all else goes well.

Your Take: Will we see a repeat win, or will San Jose come for revenge this time? Which newcomer to the Devils lineup will you be watching most tonight?