New Jersey Devils vs Los Angeles Kings, 7 pm
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
TV: MSG+ Radio: WFAN 101.9 fm, 660 am
These were the lines from today's morning skate. According to The Record's Tom Gulitti, both Patrik Elias and Stephen Gionta will be game-time decisions. Though it does seem like both are ready to go.
DeBoer said Elias and Gionta are game time decisions.- Cory Schneider is in net tonight.
— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) November 15, 2013Elias said he plans to play tonight. Gionta siad he's good to go.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) November 15, 2013
- Anton Volchenkov is out tonight with a leg injury, which leaves the Devils with six defensemen: Andy Greene, Marek Zidlicky, Peter Harrold, Mark Fayne, Eric Gelinas and Adam Larsson. Jon Merrill is on injured reserve while recovering from a face laceration.
- The lines may vary based on if Elias and Gionta play, so we'll keep you updated as it gets closer to game time.
Some thoughts on tonight's game:
1) No Quick, no Carter for the Kings. The Kings come in to tonight's game without two of their best players, as Jonathan Quick and Jeff Carter are both out. In net for the Kings will most likely be Ben Scrivens, who came over from Toronto in the deal that sent Jonathan Bernier to the Maple Leafs. Though it seems like facing Scrivens may be an easy task, the former Cornell star has been very good in limited action this season. Scrivens is 2-1-1 with a 1.92 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. The loss of Carter hurts as well, because he brings a lot of dynamic offensive ability, but this is still a very good team.
2) The Devils have to keep the momentum going. After their rocky start, thing are starting to look up, as the team has taken seven of their last eight possible points. With tonight's home tilt, followed by a home game against the Penguins, three or four points would thrust the Devils right back into the playoff picture in the Metropolitan Division. The Kings played last night and used a huge effort to come from behind and score three goals in the third period to beat the Islanders. They might not be as fresh, so the Devils need to jump on them from the opening faceoff.
3) Speaking of faceoffs, this is a tough matchup for the Devils in the dot. The Kings are the number one faceoff team in the league, winning 55.3% of their draws. The Devils, they're toiling at a meager 45.3%, good for 27th in the league. They will struggle to win faceoffs against the Kings, so they must work the puck in deep and cycle the puck. Don't expect much offense coming from faceoff wins in the offensive zone.
Prediction: Devils 3, Kings 2
The Devils will come out strong and they'll get an early goal. The Kings might start a bit slow after their gutsy effort last night. The Kings will come back and score a pair of goals in the second before the Devils net a pair to come away with a hard fought win against a strong opponent.
New Jersey has points in all but one of its home games (1-0 loss to the Flyers) so another sterling effort from Prudential Center can be expected. This team has a lot of confidence after their 3-2 win at Madison Square Garden and it has to carry over tonight. If they're able to get two points, it will set up a huge matchup with the Penguins that could put the Devils over .500 and right into the playoff mix.