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While the New Jersey Devils have been holding their own against teams that are in the playoff hunt, tonight’s game is a game that the Devils need to win. Feeding on the bottom-feeders of the Eastern Conference is huge if they want to succeed in their playoff push.
Tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers is only the second meeting of 3 between the two teams. Tonight, the game will be played at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL for the one and only time this season.
The Devils took Game 1 on January 11th at the Prudential Center in a 2-1 OT victory.
The New Jersey Devils (29-24-13) are looking to keep up their latest push for the playoffs and could come out with their 3rd straight win tonight. Cory Schneider’s success will be a key thing to watch tonight.
Schneider (12-13-9) has struggled out of the gate since the Olympics going 0-2-0. He was involved in a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks and a 7-4 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. He has gotten 6 goals of support in 2 games which isn’t extraordinary but it isn’t as little as he was getting before the break. This game will be huge for Schneider’s confidence.
Whatever the result is, he will have to live with it until at least next week as Martin Brodeur starts tomorrow’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Roberto Luongo (1-2-0 with FLA) will be opposite him in the “rivalry” that can span back to their days on the Vancouver Canucks. Sure, the media (obviously us included) LOVE to make it extra dramatic between the two. Realistically, while there may have been some slight annoyance between the two (no more than Brodeur vs. Schneider, if you would even call that annoyance), they aren’t exactly mortal enemies.
Luongo has a friend in Tim Thomas for that role.
The Devils can move into a tie (again) for the last wild card spot with the win tonight.