The New Jersey Devils will face off against the Winnipeg Jets tonight for the third time in the last two weeks. Winnipeg has already won the three game season series, taking the first two contests by scores of 4-2 and 3-1 respectively.
Entering tonight’s contest, the Jets are led by Andrew Ladd and Tobias Enstrom. Ladd leads the team with 13 goals and 11 assists, and over his last seven games has collected four goals and four assists. Enstrom, a six year veteran, leads Jets defensemen with two goals and 11 assists in only 13 games played. Ondrej Pavelec leads the Jets in net with an overall record of 9-11-1 and a 2.87 goals against average.
The Devils are led by Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk. Elias has been on a tear all season long and is averaging one point per game. Elias leads the team with 17 assists and has netted eight goals. Kovalchuk has been hot as of late and has registered four points in his last three games, including two goals yesterday against the Carolina Hurricanes. On the season, Ilya has scored nine goals and has collected 13 assists. Johan Hedberg will be the man in between the pipes for the Devils yet again. Hedberg has struggled in the absence of Martin Brodeur. Hedberg is 3-7-2 with a 3.08 goals against avergae. His play needs to improve to get the Devils back to their winning ways. Jeff Frazee remains the backup goaltender.
The Devils (11-9-5) have fallen to third place in the Atlantic Division behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers. Their downward spiral continues as they are winless in seven of their last eight games. The Jets are curently in second place in theSoutheast Division at 12-11-1.
Tonight’s 7:00 matchup at the Prudential Center will be the final meeting of the two teams this season.
Just as was the case when the Devils took to the ice on Thursday against the Sabres in Newark, the Devils desperately need a win tonight and two points.