Quick Need to Knows:
Match-up - Phoenix Coyotes (35-26-12) @ New Jersey Devils (31-28-13)
TV - MSG
Puck drop - 7:00 p.m. ET
Season series - Coyotes lead 1-0
Last 10: Phoenix 6-3-1 | New Jersey 5-5-0
Projected starting goalies - Thomas Greiss vs Martin Brodeur
Projected lines for the Coyotes:
Mikkel Boedker – Antoine Vermette – Shane Doan
Brandon McMillan – Martin Hanzal – Radim Vrbata
Martin Erat – Jeff Halpern – David Moss
Rob Klinkhammer – Kyle Chipchura – Paul Bissonnette
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Zybnek Michalek
Keith Yandle – Michael Stone
Chris Summers – Brandon Gormley
Projected lines for the Devils:
Dainius Zubrus – Travis Zajac – Jaromir Jagr
Adam Henrique – Patrik Elias – Damien Brunner
Ryane Clowe – Stephen Gionta – Tuomo Ruutu
Eric Gelinas – Ryan Carter – Michael Ryder
Andy Greene – Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador – Marek Zidlicky
Jon Merrill – Pete Harrold
Quick Thoughts Heading Into Tonight:
First thought that comes about the Phoenix Coyotes is that of injured goaltender Mike Smith. Don’t be fooled when you hear that Smith’s injury is a crushing blow to the ‘Yotes playoff hopes. While it’s never good to lose your starting goaltender, I don’t think Mike Smith is having a year that is setting the league on fire. While Greiss has only a handful of starts, he’s put up decent numbers this season and more than capable than carrying Phoenix through Smith’s injury.
Phoenix has a poor penalty kill so NJ needs to draw penalties and capitalize on the man advantage as much as they can tonight.
NJ is 5 points behind that pack of 4 80 point teams that have a shot at the Wild Card. The Devils schedule eases up after tonight but they need 2 points out of this game tonight if they are going to have any shot at trying to challenge Toronto, Detroit, Columbus or Washington.
The Coyotes defense always scares me. They are young, quick and talented and I’ve seen Yandle be the difference maker in quite a few games.