New Jersey Devils improvements against St. Louis, plus opposing team standpoint.

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Nov 4, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (34) makes a save on New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) as Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (19) defends during the third period at Prudential Center. The Blues won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the New Jersey Devils were shutout by the St. Louis Blues 1-0 at the Prudential Center. Luckily for the Devils, they don’t have to wait long to get another shot at the Blues as their next game is tomorrow night in St. Louis. Home-and-home matchups are not very common in the NHL, but having one between teams in each conference is especially rare. In this article, we’ll take a look at what the Devils need to improve on when they fly to the Gateway City tomorrow. Also, our friends at Arch Authority will be giving a St. Louis take on last night’s game and tomorrow’s matchup as well.

The obvious change the Devils need to make tomorrow night is that they need to find a way to put the puck in the net. St. Louis is a very strong defensive team, but the Devils did have plenty of chances to light the lamp last night. In order to find a victory tomorrow, the Devils need to capitalize on the chances they get and not let them go to waste. St. Louis goaltender Jake Allen was terrific, and it’s unclear if the Blues will stick with Allen or return to starter Brian Elliott, but regardless of who’s in net the Devils need to pepper them with shots. To do that, they need to avoid the Blues defenders that do an outstanding job of getting their sticks in shooting lanes. The Devils had way too many shots blocked last night and that was a big reason they were unable to score.

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On the defensive end, the focus needs to be on Vladimir Tarasenko who is becoming a star in the league very quickly. The 22-year-old Russian winger has scored seven goals in the last five games, including one last night which came on the power play. It’s old news at this point, but the Devils might want to try some new things on the penalty kill because whatever they’re doing isn’t working. Back to Tarasenko, he only scored one goal last night, but it could have very easily been three or four. Cory Schneider robbed Tarasenko three times in the first period alone, all of which where high quality scoring chances. Tarasenko is a great offensive players and the Devils need to keep a man on him at all times if they don’t want to get burned tomorrow night.

The one thing the Devils don’t need to improve on is the play in the net. Cory Schneider was fantastic last night as he stopped 22 of 23 shots, many that should have found their way into the twine. Schnieder has played three great games in a row after a rough outing in Pittsburgh and is restoring faith in Devils fans that he can be the number one goalie moving forward. Since the Devils will be playing the first game of a back-to-back, it’s unknown if Schneider will play one or both games. Peter DeBoer might choose to let Keith Kinkaid get his first NHL start friday night in Detroit, but it’s confirmed that Schneider will start again versus the Blues. If the Devils get the same performance in net as they did last night, they will have a good chance at getting two points.

On the next page you will find Patrick Karraker’s assessment of where the St. Louis Blues are at from their perspective.