Tampa Bay Lightning (6-3-0) @ New Jersey Devils (5-1-3)
This is the first meeting between the two teams this season. The Devils took 3 of the 4 meetings between the two teams last season.
The big news of the day is that Zubrus will be a scratch tonight, dealing with what’s being called an “Upper Body” injury and Stephan Matteau will suit up for his 6th game meaning that his entry-level contract will now kick in. It has been widely publicized that this is no way guaranteeing that he will stick around just that we are now using year 1 for him.
The Devils Last Game – Beat the Rangers 3-1 thanks to Marty and Clarkson.
The Last Lighning Game – Lost in Philly and in my opinion Vinny L made a HUGE mistake getting into a fight down a goal with only 8 mins remaining. The Lightning are paying him to be on the ice, not in the box.
Tonight’s Game – This game will tell us a lot about the Lightning. They are on their first losing streak of the season and a win tonight could help prove that they are a top team. Lose tonight and they will most likely start to feel the pressure of a 3 game losing streak. Are these guys for real of just a team that had a better start than last season?
Game plan is easy for NJ if they watched the tape from the TB/Philly game. The reason why Philly won was their intense forecheck, both 5 on 5 and when Tampa was on the PP. Tampa has some dangerous weapons but we have the guys to shut those down.
I would really approach this game the same way we did the Rangers. Forecheck, bang some bodies around and get traffic in front.
Here are the possible line combinations for the Devils:
Stefan Matteau – Travis Zajac – Ilya Kovalchuk
Patrik Elias – Adam Henrique – David Clarkson
Ryan Carter – Stephen Gionta – Steve Bernier
Krys Barch – Jacob Josefson – Bobby Butler
Bryce Salvador – Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov – Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene – Adam Larsson