The New Jersey Devils (33-34-4) hit the road for four games starting with the Columbus Blue Jackets (32-28-10) in Ohio. This is the first and only meeting this season between these teams, who last played more than a year ago. The Devils won the game 6-3 and a repeat performance would go a long way in moving past the two game losing streak that’s put the Devils late season surge on life support.
After outplaying both the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals in their last two games but still losing the Devils have fallen back below .500. Once again the Devils couldn’t turn their offensive pressure in to any goals. The Devils remain last in the NHL with a goals per game average of just 2.08.
On the other side, a recent seven-game losing streak has Columbus in danger of missing the playoffs themselves. But, the Jackets have gone 2-2-0 since the losing streak, and need a strong season-ending run to be included in the post season.
Both the Devils and Jackets sit 8 points out of the last playoff spot with 11 games left. Neither team has any room for error.
Columbus is the last game the Devils will play against a Western Conference opponent. Columbus is 10-2-2 against the East this season. Considering Columbus’ fantastic record against the East, this game won’t be easy.
Once again Martin Brodeur (20-22-4) will start in net for New Jersey and Chris Mason (23-18-5) will man the pipes for the Blue Jackets.
Key Injuries -
Devils – Bryce Salvador (concussion), Zach Parise (knee) and Matt Taormina (ankle) are on IR. Defenseman Matthew Corrente (shoulder) is expected to be back soon. David Steckel will play despite missing the game against Washington with an upper body injury.
Blue Jackets – Kristian Huselius, Anton Stralman, Andrew Murray, and Chris Clark are all out with lower-body injuries.
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Devils Head to Columbus
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