Who: Toronto Maple Leafs at New Jersey Devils
When: 7:00 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Prudential Center, Newark
Media: TV - MSG+ (Channel listings); Radio - THE ANSWER (970AM)
Stats & Notes (via Devils PR)
- New Jersey enters tonight’s game on a five-game losing streak (0-1-3). Tonight, the Devils are looking to avoid tying their season-high six-game losing stretch (0-5-1, February 23-March 5).
- Thursday night at Boston, New Jersey fell to 3-12-5 on the year when allowing the first goal. The Devils are 12-1-4 when scoring the first goal this season.
- Also Thursday, the Devils were shut out for the first time this season & for the first time since March 13, 2012 at Philadelphia.
- The Devils posted a season high 40 shots on goal Thursday at Boston (previously, 37, February 21 at Washington, in a 3-2 win).
- New Jersey dropped both games (0-1-1) at Prudential Center to Toronto last season, but is 21-14-10 vs. the Leafs at home all-time.
- Steve Sullivan was acquired in a trade from the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday and is looking to become the 24th player to be re-acquired and play for the Devils.
Inactives: Kostopolous, Barch, Larsson, Volchenkov
Sully's Return: For the first time in more than 16 years, Steve Sullivan will lace up the skates as a New Jersey Devil. I'd expect to see big things from Sullivan on New Jersey's top line. It's no stretch to call Sullivan a poor man's Zach Parise, and the Devils have been lacking that hunger and nose-for-the-net that guys like Parise and Sullivan bring. Look for the 5-8 forward to wreck havoc.
SCORE FIRST!: You see the stat above. Do the math. If the Devils are 3-12-5 when they allow the first goal, that means they are 12-1-4 when they score first. The first goal means everything, especially tonight when trying to break a five-game losing streak.
Cool Kadri: The last time New Jersey met the Maple Leafs, Nazem Kadri was the difference maker, as the 22-year old scored once and assisted on another in Toronto's 4-2 win. Kadri leads the Leafs with 39 points, but he's only recorded four in Toronto's last four games-- and they all came in the Leafs' 4-0 win over Ottawa on March 30. With Joffrey Lupul out, slowing Kadri becomes even more important for the Devils. Slow Kadri, beat Toronto.
Playoff Hockey: The Devils may have 11 games left, but they need to play every one of those desperately. New Jersey's played lackadaisically against inferior opposition but looked good against the highly-touted Bruins Thursday. Toronto is above them in the standings, but I'd expect to see the Devils come out blazing on their home ice in a huge game tonight.