New Jersey Devils vs. Nashville Predators, 7 pm
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
TV: MSG+ Radio: WFAN 101.9 fm, 660 am
Andy Greene – Peter Harrold
Anton Volchenkov – Marek Zidlicky
Eric Gelinas – Adam Larsson
Goaltender: Martin Brodeur
Some thoughts on tonight’s game:
1) Prime opportunity to score some goals. Top goaltender Pekka Rinne is out for the Predators. Their other options have been really bad so far this season. Carter Hutton has posted a 3.32 GAA and .898 save percentage in eight games. That’s not good. The Devils need to score at least two goals tonight and honestly, they need to score three or more.
2) Discipline needed. The Devils can’t afford to take a lot of penalties tonight. They’re facing a Top-5 power play. Shea Weber has three power play blasts for goals while the crafty David Legwand has a pair as well. The Devils fought off several power plays but did get burned once. It’s frightening to take that many penalties on the road. Hopefully, things will be cleaned up a bit since the team is back at home.
3) Marty needs to stay hot. While it does appear the Devils can rack up some goals tonight, this game will come down to Martin Brodeur. If he’s sharp as the last few games, the Devils should win the game. If he allows a bad goal or two, it could be too much to overcome. If Brodeur gives up one goal or less, the Devils have to win this game. It appears for the time being the goaltending will have to win them games. At the very least, the Devils should put up two goals a game. If they get the goaltending they expect going into the season, even mediocre offensive production every night will win them a good share of games.
Prediction: Devils 3 Predators 1
I wouldn’t call this a “breakout” game, but three goals sure would feel like an offensive outburst for this team. They won’t dominate this game but they’ll take advantage of enough opportunities to control and dictate the pace of play. They’ve strung together two strong performances and the extra-session loss on Friday will only motivate this team to play better tonight.
Enjoy the game, everyone.