The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (31-12-4) at the Nashville Predators (23-18-6) SBN Blog: On The Forecheck
The Time: 8:00 PM ET
The Broadcast: TV - MSGSN
The Last Devils Game
The last Devils game was a 2-1 overtime win over the Vegas Golden Knights. The Knights had the lead with just over a minute to go when a shot from Hamilton deflected off a Knight’s knee and in to tie the game. Hamilton then scored again on the power play in overtime to win it, the 2nd straight game won by Dougie in overtime. If you want the full recap, Chris did it here
Shots were 36-30 in favor of Vegas, so not too much of a differential there. Power plays were 4-1 Vegas in regulation, but the Devils scored on the only power play of overtime.
The Last Predators Game
The Last Predators game was a 2-1 win over Winnipeg. Both goaltenders had save percentages of over .950. Shots were 41-33 in favor of Nashville. Glass and Jeannot were the goal scorers for the Preds, and Josi, Forsberg, and Novak had the assists.
The Last Devils-Predators Game
This game will wrap up the season series between the teams, as they have already played once this season. That game was a 4-3 Devils overtime loss in Newark. Nashville scored in the first and last minute of the first period to go up 2-0. The Devils scored 3 straight goals in the 2nd to take the lead. Granlund tied it with 10 seconds left in regulation. Johansen scored the OT winner. Shots were 28-24 in favor of Nashville. Johansen had a 3 point game. Haula and Hughes had 2 point each for NJ.
How are the Predators Doing?
The Predators, as they have been for the past several seasons, are the most average of average teams. They are currently 3 points out of the 2nd wild card spot in the west with 1 game in hand on Calgary.
So, what are they good at and what are they bad at? They’re 27th in goals for and 10th in goals against, so a better defensive than offensive team. They are also only shooting 8.8%, 29th place in the league, so that can’t be helping their goals for numbers. Their goaltending has been their best asset. Starter Juuse Saros has a .920 sv% and backup Kevin Lankinen is posting a .924.
The Predators lines on dailyfaceoff are as follows:
The biggest thing I have taken from this is that Thomas Novak is an actual NHL player, not just someone only existing in Leah Hextall’s imagination.
One thing I have noticed about the Preds is that their players aren’t posting the numbers the name recognition would suggest from a few years ago. I don’t follow them much as they are a west coast team but it seems their players have declined. They don’t have any point-per-game players. Highest totals are Forsberg and Josi, both with 40 points in 47 games played. The Devils have 3 players at ppg or higher. One name that sticks out to me is Jusso Parssinen. I’ve never heard of him before, but he has 19 points in 33 games. Not a star, but pretty good. He’s 21, a 7th round pick of the Preds in 2019.
The Devils’ practice lines from yesterday are below:
Here come some changes for #NJDevils… looks like Zetterlund will be back in, Boqvist coming out.— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) January 25, 2023
Okhotiuk replaces Bahl and Jack is winged by Sharangovich and Z. pic.twitter.com/OvemhNI9BJ
I’d say one of the keys to the game is the beat the goalie. That always is one, but the Preds best asset is their goaltending. The Devils have good goaltending and a superior group of skaters. If the Preds are letting you shoot, shoot as much as possible. If they’re not letting you shoot but giving you the occasional free space, try to make a play for an easy goal. Take advantage of the chances given. And hopefully no plays like the one Smith made last game, lol.
What do you think about tonight’s matchup? Will it be a goaltending duel? Will you stay up past 10pm for the 3rd period? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for reading.