With a foot of snow piled on the ground, the New Jersey Devils (6-1-3) will look to bury the first-place Pittsburgh Penguins (8-3) today. In the front-end of a home-and-home on back-to-back days, the Devils will look to avenge a 5-1 loss from last weekend and jump the Penguins in the Atlantic Division standings. The puck will drop at 1 p.m. at Prudential Center. Here are the game notes and preview:
Streaky Teams: The Devils, three games, and the Penguins, five games each enter today’s game with winning streaks that have pushed them ahead of every other team in the Atlantic Division. New Jersey hasn’t lost since the beat-down it was served on Saturday, and the Penguins haven’t had a defeat since last Thursday. Regardless, the winner of today’s game will take a lead in the division — for now.
Milestone Marty: Devils’ goalie Martin Brodeur will play in his 1,200 game today. Brodeur, who already holds the NHL record for games played by a goaltender, only trails Ken Daneyko, 1,283, for games played by a Devils player. He’ll start across from the Penguins Marc-Andre Fleury — the same match-up from last weekend’s game.
Zubrus Still Out, Matteau Likely in Lineup: Devils’ forward Dainius Zubrus will miss his second straight game with an upper-body injury, which means rookie Stefan Matteau will likely start again for New Jersey. Matteau played on the top line on Thursday with Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac, so he will probably be slated there again today.
Containing Crosby, Malkin: That will be the name of the game for New Jersey today. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin burned the Devils last weekend, but if they can keep them away from the net early today, the Devils will have a much better chance to get an early feel of the game and not fall behind like they did last time.