Who: Buffalo Sabres at New Jersey Devils
When: 7:00 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.
Media: TV - MSG+ (Channel listings); Radio - WFAN (660 AM or 101.9 FM)
Stats & Notes (via Devils PR)
- New Jersey needs a victory tonight to avoid a seven-game winless streak for the first time since Nov. 10-23, 2001 (0-5-2).
- New Jersey is 28-10-3 all-time at home vs. Tampa Bay, including 9-2 at Prudential Center.
- The Devils’ penalty kill unit is 14/15 over the past four games.
- Adam Henrique’s shorthanded goal Tuesday was his second of the season & sixth of his career. New Jersey has a league-leading six SHG on the year; Buffalo is second with four.
- Patrik Elias’ power play goal on Tuesday snapped an 0/18 stretch with the man-advantage.
- Ryan Carter has points in a career-high three straight games (4a) since his return to the lineup after missing four games with an upper body injury.
- Johan Hedberg is expected to make his seventh consecutive start tonight. He is 12-3-4 vs. Buffalo in his career.
Forwards Defense GoaliePonikarovsky-Zajac-Kovalchuk Salvador-Volchenkov Hedberg
Inactives: Barch, Larsson, Fayne
The streak: The Devils are on the verge of their longest winless streak in over a decade and their first seven-game losing streak since the mid-1980's. Those are dubious distinctions I'm sure Pete DeBoer would love to avoid. The problem being that it's hard to see reason for optimism entering this game. The Devils' problems have as much to do with physical, stagnant issues as they do with a lack of dedication to the playing style that made them successful earlier this year. They're starting a 39-year-old goalie who looks completely done and the defensive group in front of him looks ancient and out of place in today's NHL over the past six games. Oh, and this is a Sabres team the Devils already lost to when Buffalo was down its best player. Not a good mix.
Help! Moose needs somebody: First of all, apologies to anyone now unable to get the Beatles out of their head. Secondly, whether it's best positional play from the defensemen or actual sustained offensive pressure from the forwards, Johan Hedberg needs a helping hand. He needs the players in front of him to stop giving the opposition easy looks at the net. He needs more than two goals a game of offensive support. And he needs a game where he's not in over his head by the midway point of the second period. Is that too much to ask?
Hey, Harrold: It's a season debut for Mr. Peter Harrold as DeBoer tries to get "fresh legs" into the lineup. He'll skate in Adam Larsson's place alongside Andy Greene, but it remains to be seen how impactful he can be. Perhaps an infusion of new blood will snap the Devils' defensemen out of what's become a steady stream of bad habits and be one of those to "help" Hedberg. Then again, if Harrold were "the answer," wouldn't he have played before now?