Adam Henrique scores the overtime goal against the Jets last season - Jim McIsaac
The Winnipeg Jets are visiting New Jersey for the first time this season. The Devils will look to bounce back from their loss yesterday with a big win at home. This preview looks at what the Devils need to improve on in order to get the two points this evening.
The Devils will meet with the Jets in New Jersey for the first of two games against Winnipeg in five days.
The Time: 5:00 PM EST
The Broadcast: TV - MSG PLUS; Radio - 1130 AM WBBR
The TiqIQ Ticket Link: Want to see the Devils try to redeem themselves on home ice after the loss yesterday? Check out our partners at TiqIQ to get something from the secondary market. Here's a link: New Jersey Devils tickets.
The Last Devils Game: This one is still fresh in everyone's mind and I'm sure we'd all like to forget it. The Devils were defeated 5-1 by Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. Ovechkin had a hat trick, Hedberg killed us all with his poor puck handling allowing a shorthanded goal and the Devils rolled over in the third period. The first and second period weren't terrible, but the third period was a mess. You can read John's full game recap here.
The Last Jets Game: The Jets suffered a painful loss to the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday. They were leading after the second but allowed two power play goals in the final twenty minutes before the Flyers scored an empty netter to close out the game. The Jets lost to the Flyers with a final score of 5-3. Check out the full recap at Arctic Ice Hockey here.
The Devils and Jets haven't met in over a year. Their last game was January 17, 2012 and New Jersey took the win with a score of 5-1. Both teams have a few different faces from last season and with so much time passing since their last meeting, it's tough to say how this evening may go. Winnipeg has seen Chris Mason, the goalie the Devils faced last January, leave for Nashville and have signed Al Montoya and Mark Dekanich to take his place. They also signed Olli Jokinen from Calgary on defense. This will be Alexei Ponikarovsky's first game against his old team (for whom he played only 12 games) after starting his second stint in New Jersey. Here is a detailed look at the Jets' offseason changes.
The Goal: There's definitely a lot of room for improvement after the 5-1 loss yesterday afternoon. Hopefully the Devils won't underestimate the Jets and will be able to bounce back from the tough loss. After the game yesterday Kovalchuk said, "A good team can't lose two in a row." That's especially true in the shortened season. The Devils really need to shake off the loss and learn from their mistakes.
The Devils need to pick it up on the penalty kill. They let in two powerplay goals on three attempts yesterday. It was nice that they only took three penalties, but failing on the kill twice is unacceptable. The PK has been sloppy for a while now and it needs to turn around. I don't think anyone expected another record setting kill, but they are currently sitting at 23rd in the league only succeeding 77% of the time.
New Jersey needs to get more pucks on net today. They struggled to get shots through yesterday, seeing a number of shots either blocked or missing the net completely. As John pointed out in his recap, not many offenders stood out. Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac were non-factors with one shot each and David Clarkson only had one shot get through on three attempts. Kovalchuk was the most successful, scoring the Devils' lone goal and getting five shots to the net on eight attempts.
Playing the full 60 minutes would be nice. In the beginning of the season, the Devils had trouble in the first period, and yesterday it was the third period. A 60-minute effort will be essential. It may be tough playing their second game in as many days, but, after this evening, the team will have three days off before their next game.
How do you think the Devils will do against the Jets? Who do you think needs to step up in order for New Jersey to come away with a win? Do you think we will see a better 60-minute effort? How do you expect the guys to come out after the deflating loss yesterday? Feel free to discuss the game this evening and what you hope to see below. Thanks for reading.