The Devils head down to Nashville tonight to take on the Predators. I'll be honest, I am pretty much an Eastern Conference kind of guy so I don't pay that much attention to the Western Conference teams. If you look at the standings, the Preds certainly appear to be struggling although they beat the conference leading Sharks the other night and have won 7 of the last 9.
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (14-5-0) @ the Nashville Predators (10-8-1). This is the first of two meetings this season.
The Devils Last Game: The Devils are coming off their first road loss of the season and an end to their 8 game winning streak. The Flyers had a pretty easy time Monday night and took it to the Devils for the second time this season.
The Predators Last Game: The Preds are coming off of a big win where they defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-3 even though the clock operator made some mistakes late in the game that gave SJ time to catch their breath.
Tonight's Matchup: The Devils need to regroup a little bit after Monday's game. Philly had their way with NJ getting in deep on Marty A LOT and seemed to keep NJ from getting to Emery, both in body and in shots. The Preds are on a pretty decent streak of their own right now so confidence on their end won't be a problem. The Devils can't afford to let the Predators get a big lead early on. This has been a theme with NJ this season and they've shown great restraint in not getting frustrated and mounting comebacks, but playing that type of game eventually bites you.
NJ can get the Preds off their game by blocking as many shots as they can. Prior to the Sharks game, Nashville has REALLY struggled in the goal department. Keeping shots from reaching Brodeur might be the right prescription for frustrating the Nashville shooters. Nashville is a very disciplined team and they don't allow the opposition too many chances on the PP.
The Devils will have a rookie on defense in the lineup tonight. With NJ sending Cory Murphy back to Lowell, either Matt Corrente or new called up Tyler Ekford MUST be in the game tonight. Ekford was the AHL's player of the week last week so my vote is for him.