The Time: 7:00 PM ET
The Broadcast: TV - TNT, BSDE; Audio - The Devils Hockey Network
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils at the Detroit Red Wings (SBN Blog: Winging it in Motown)
The Last Devils & the Last Devils-Red Wings Game:
The last Devils game was a 5-4 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. John recapped the game here. The Devils fell behind 3 times and responded each time, eventually going up 4-3. Carolina then tied it on a gift of a 5 on 3. In the shootout Tatar, Bratt, and Hughes were all stopped by Raanta. Blackwood stopped Burns, but Svechnikov scored the winning shootout goal. Overall the Hurricanes were the better team and outshot the Devils 47-28, but it was good for the Devils to score 4 goals against a top team whose goalie had 2 shutouts in a row before this game. Bratt also broke a cold streak with 2 goals and 3 points, and linemate Hischier added a goal. Tatar, who is 5th in scoring on the team behind Hughes, Hischier, Hamilton, and Bratt, had 2 assists as well. In goal, although he did make a brutal turnover leading to a SHG, Blackwood still had a .915 with 43 saves on 47 shots. He made a couple fantastic saves on breakaways on OT to keep the Devils alive.
The Devils and Red Wings have already played twice this season, so unless they meet in the playoffs, this will be the last time they see each other this season. The first game was of course the home opener, the second straight 5-2 loss. The Devils fell to an 0-2 record and the fans were calling for Ruff to be fired. That changed dramatically over the next couple weeks, and the next game, although only 10 days later, was almost a reverse of the first one, this time a 6-2 Devils victory. The Devils outshot the Red Wings 41-22 and had 5 different goal scorers and 4 multi-point games, including Bratt with 2-1-3. Ruff made the decision to start Vanecek against the team that wrecked his first game as a Devil rather than against his old team in the back to back, and Vanecek responded, only allowing 2 goals this time.
How is Detroit Doing?
The Red Wings are currently 5 points behind the Penguins with 2 games in hand. So although they are not currently in a playoff spot they are still in the race. One thing that I read today that I was not expecting was that they just placed Jakub Vrana on waivers. He only played 5 games this year after going through the player assistance program. I had no idea about that. I hope he’s beaten whatever’s bothering him and can get back to form.
The Red Wings top players this season have been Larkin with 13-19-32 in 34 games, and Kubalik, Perron, and Hronek with 28, 27, and 26 points. Raymond is next with 22 in 35. Seider has 12 in 35, although I don’t know how good he’s been defensively. Husso is the starter with a .908 sv%.
Detroit’s last game was a 4-2 win over Ottawa on December 31. Ottawa went up 2-0, but Detroit shut the door and scored 4 unanswered from Suter, Raymond, Soderblom, and Rasmussen. Shots were 25-23 in favor of the Wings.
Well, this is already the last Devils vs Red Wings matchup of the regular season. Think the Devils will get the win? Thoughts on the Wings and Vrana being waived? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for reading.