The New Jersey Devils (22-21-11) look to end their two game losing streak against the Dallas Stars (24-21-8) on the road in Dallas tonight. The Devils come into tonight's matchup having lost their last two games, including the dismal 7-3 loss against the New York Ranger at Yankee Stadium, followed by a 3-0 shutout loss in St. Louis against the Blues. The Stars enter with a 3-2 record over their last five games. Some game notes:
-The Devils will need to shut down Jamie Benn, one of the league's most productive offensive players this season, who is on quite a hot streak entering tonight. He has 8 points in the last 4 games, including 3 goals. If the Devils can hold Benn in check, they should have success.
-However, as a team, January has been a disaster for Dallas, with a record of just 4-9-1. Managing just 9 points in an entire month up to this point is extremely disappointing for a team hoping to make a playoff push, especially because they play in a strong western conference.
-The Devils need offense- plain and simple. They have not scored a single goal in over 5 periods of hockey. Pete DeBoer mixed up the lineup today during practice in hopes of getting the offense kickstarted. The Zubrus-Zajac-Jagr line that had much success earlier in the season was put back together this morning, forming a solid top line. If they can achieve the same success by keeping a good cycle in the offensive zone, maybe the Devils could find their groove again in this important part of the year.
-Cory Schneider gets the nod again in net tonight for a second consecutive game. Two nights ago, he allowed just two goals against a very solid St. Louis Blues team. However, he once again did not receive any offensive support, as the Devils were shut out by a score of 3-0. Here is an article about how Cory Schneider has done compared to Martin Brodeur, and why Scheider starting is a smart idea.
The Devils look to get back on track and on the win board tonight, and with just four games after tonight before the Olympic Break, they will need every point they can muster to prepare for the big playoff push at the end of the year.
Here are the projected lines for tonights game: