New Jersey Devils vs. Carolina Hurricanes - 7:00 pm
Prudential Center - Newark, New Jersey
TV: MSG+ Radio: WCBS 880-AM
The New Jersey Devils were outplayed quite a bit during the Western Conference road trip but came away with four of a possible six points. On Monday night, they outplayed the Winnipeg Jets at home. However, a slow start doomed them for a 3-1 defeat.
So it seems things have evened out a bit for NJ. Now the Carolina Hurricanes are in town before the Thanksgiving holiday. The Hurricanes got off to a hot start but have lost four of their last five games. This is a stretch of games where the Devils are not facing a high quality of competition. Over the next four days, they see these Hurricanes twice and get the Buffalo Sabres at home. It sure would be a nice to have a holiday feast on a weaker schedule.
Some thoughts on tonight's game:
1. Offenses just about even. Imagine this...there are three teams with worse offenses than the New Jersey Devils. The Hurricanes are on of them. They average two goals a game on the button, compared to the Devils' mark of 2.08. That needs to stay that way. If the Devils defense and goaltending are on top of their game, a goal or two could win the game tonight.
2. Several ways to solve Ward. Devils fans are very familiar with Canes goaltender Cam Ward. However, he's been hit-or-miss of late. In three of his last five games, he's allowed three goals. Also in those three games, opponents have pumped in a total of four power play goals. Carolina has the fifth-worst penalty kill on the road this year. The Devils need to get back to outworking their opponent and drawing a few more penalties.
3. Brodeur again? Yup, he's back in the net again tonight. I thought this was a good spot to give Cory Schneider a start. Brodeur has been red hot, no doubt, but Schneider's numbers have been even better minus the win column. There's no point in overworking Brodeur this early. Hopefully, he stays hot but an off-game could be looming soon.
Prediction - Devils 2, Hurricanes 1
Both teams are inept offensively and it will show tonight. It's by no means a must-win, but it would be nice to avoid a three-game losing streak before they head into a back-to-back against mediocre teams. I think the Devils will dominate the play and leave a lot of scoring chances on the table, but they'll do just enough to win. In November, doesn't matter how you get them.
Enjoy the game, everyone.