The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (7-8-5) visit the Anaheim Ducks (15-6-2)
Going Into Tonight’s Game: The Devils are coming off an impressive 4-1 victory against their Metropolitan Division opponent Pittsburgh Penguins. The Devils got great goaltending from Marty Brodeur and unlike when Schneider gives them a great performance, the Devils were actually able to give him some goal support to work with. Jagr had 2, Larsson had 1 and Andy Greene got things started on Saturday night.
The Ducks wrapped up a 4 game road trip in Pittsburgh on Monday night that ended in a 3-1 loss. The Ducks walked away with 1 point out of a possible 8 points on this road trip. Meanwhile, the Devils have earned 16 points in their last 13 games, including five in their last six contests. With that said, the Ducks are undefeated at home this season and the Devils don’t exactly instill confidence when on the road.
Defensively Tonight: Once again the Devils defense is going to get tested. The Ducks, they have the players that can score. Right now they are going through a winless stretch so I would imagine the Duck snipers are going to be hungry for blood tonight. The Ducks have outscored their opponents 72 to 59 so far and have found the back of the net 29 more times than the Devils have. The one are the Duck seem to have trouble would be their PP units. Good for NJ since the Devils tend to be a little undisciplined but you watch, tonight will be the night that costs NJ big time.
Offensively Tonight: After the performance against the Penguins, just keep it going. The Devils got 4 goals against a pretty solid team, a night after they couldn’t get even 1. The one thing to remember about the Ducks is that they do a very good job at blocking shots. Let’s hope the Devils offense doesn’t get frustrated by the Ducks shot blocking abilities. The one thing any team needs to do when playing against a good shot blocking team is to throw pucks at the net on every chance you get to look at the net. Don’t delay, don’t opt for the pretty pass/highlight reel moment just shoot the damn puck. Devils will have to play smart because Bruce Boudreau is obviously benefiting from getting last change at home.
Injury report: New Jersey is without defensemen Bryce Salvador (fractured foot), Anton Volchenkov (lower body) and forward Ryane Clowe (concussion). … Center Saku Koivu (concussion) is questionable for the Ducks, though he has resumed skating. Right wing Jakob Silfverberg (broken hand) remains on injured reserve.
NHL 14 Simulation Results: The Devils fell behind 1-0 after 1 on a Cory Perry goal but came storming back in the 2nd period with goals from Zubrus, Brunner, Ryder and Henrique. Ryder scored his second of the night in the 3rd period to help NJ cruise to a 5-1 victory in Anaheim. If the real thing were only that easy!!