Coming off a long, ugly road trip, the New Jersey Devils must be hoping that a return Tuesday to the Prudential Center to host the Pittsburgh Penguins is a case of Home, Sweet Home.
The Devils (6-8-1) have not skated on home ice since a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Oct. 27. Over the following two weeks, the Devils played seven games on the road, losing six. They allowed 33 goals in those six defeats, sinking to the cellar of the Metropolitan Division.
"You gotta power through it," Devils center Brian Boyle told nj.com. "You gotta will it to happen, expect good things, be positive. It's difficult right this minute, but it's a new day tomorrow."
To make matters worse, the Devils may have lost one of their key players in Sunday's trip-ending 5-2 loss to the Jets in Winnipeg. Center Nico Hischier, who is second on the club with nine assists and third with 12 points, departed in the second period with an upper body injury. Since the Devils did not practice Monday, there was no update on Hischier's condition.
Also in question is who the starting goaltender will be against the Penguins. Cory Schneider allowed five goals on 28 shots Sunday and has lost all three of his starts since being activated off injured reserve following offseason hip surgery. Schneider has a 4.81 GAA, .849 save percentage and is without a victory since Dec. 27, 2017, losing 13 decisions in a row.
Keith Kinkaid carried the Devils to the playoffs in the second half of last season and started strong this year. However, he lost three of his last four starts, surrendering 15 goals in the defeats.
Kinkaid did backstop New Jersey's most recent win, however, a 5-1 victory over the Penguins on Nov. 5 in Pittsburgh. >> READ MORE
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