After yesterday’s embarrassing loss to to the Washington Capitals, the New Jersey Devils (10-4-4) are back home to host the back-end of back-to-back games tonight. The Devils will play the Winnipeg Jets (7-9-1) for the first time this season. It’s the first of two straight games against Winnipeg, as New Jersey will cross the border for a game against the Jets on Thursday night, too. Tonight’s game is set to start at 5 p.m. at Prudential Center. Here are the game notes and the preview:
Rebound Time: Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Capitals was ugly, to say the least, but it’s in the past now. The Devils have made a good habit of rebounding from ugly games, and they will have to do that again today. The Jets have struggled as a sub-.500 team all season, and New Jersey can’t afford another bad loss after losing to last-place Washington yesterday.
Back-End Magic: Tonight will mark the fourth time that the Devils are playing games on two straight days. In the previous three, they have gone 2-1 in the second game with wins over the New York Islanders on Feb. 3 and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 10. Their only loss came the last time they did this: a 5-1 loss to the Islanders on Feb. 16. New Jersey will look to right that ship again tonight, as they host the Jets in this odd lockout-shortened schedule.
Maaaarrtyyyy: After goalie Johan Hedberg had his second consecutive poor start, Martin Brodeur will likely be back in net for New Jersey today. It’s the first time that Brodeur will be in net for the back-end of a back-to-back set, as he normally starts the first one, but he will probably be there this time. In his 13 starts this year, Brodeur has posted an 8-2-3 record with a 2.27 goals-against-average.
Carter Still Out: Devils’ forward Ryan Carter remains out with an upper body injury, and New Jersey isn’t yet prepared to call it a concussion. Carter left Monday’s loss against the Ottawa Senators in the second period, so rookie Stefan Matteau will take his place in the lineup for the third straight game today.