Of all the things the New Jersey Devils could deliver their fans on Fan Appreciation Night Thursday at the Prudential Center, clinching a spot in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs is at the top of the list.
With a magic number of two points coming into play Thursday, the preferred method of securing a postseason berth is a victory over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs, even though there are other scenarios involving the ninth-place Florida Panthers in which New Jersey would clinch, as well.
"We don't want to count on anyone else," said Devils winger Kyle Palmieri.
The Devils (43-28-9) have done their fair share of winning down the stretch to put themselves in this position. They are 6-0-1 in their last seven games, and carry a three-game winning streak into their home finale of the regular season following Tuesday's dominating 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers.
Taylor Hall continued to build on his Hart Trophy candidacy with two goals and two assists against the Rangers, extending his career highs to 39 goals and 93 points on the season. He has six goals in his last four games and carries a league-best nine-game point-scoring streak into Thursday's contest. << Read more
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