Breaking Down New Jersey Devils – Dallas Stars Match-up

DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 4: Cory Schneider
DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 4: Cory Schneider /

The Red-Hot New Jersey Devils Face Yet Another Difficult Challenge Tuesday Night As They Welcome Their Friends From The Lone Star State. Here’s a look at the Dallas Stars Match-up.

Back to Back Again

Another night where the Devils catch a break playing a team in the second game of a back-to-back, as the Dallas Stars are taking on the Senators in Ottawa Monday night. Ben Bishop is the confirmed starter in the Canadian capital, so it looks like Anton Khudobin could be between the pipes in Newark.

Generally speaking, seeing the backup is considered a break, but I do recall Khudobin being lights out against the Devs in Prudential Center last November. Not too sure what to think about that, but it is what it is.


The Stars have joined the Flyers and Rangers in the trend of bringing a collegiate coach directly to the NHL. In their case, the new mentor being Jim Montgomery from Denver University. It’s a nice opportunity for he and emerging Devils star Will Butcher, who played for Montgomery for the Pioneers, to exchange some pleasantries during the Stars match-up. Of course, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are a step up from the Frozen Four, so it remains to be seen how these coaches will assimilate into the National Hockey League.

Moving beyond that angle, it’s also always nice for Stefan Noesen and Blake Coleman to lock horns with a club hailing from their boyhood home.  A nice night for three of the Devils’ brighter  young players.

Line Changes Are A Key To The New Jersey – Dallas Stars Match-Up.

Line Changes

Dallas moved Blake Comeau up to play with Jamie Benn and Tyler Segiun over the weekend, shifting Alexander Radulov down to the second unit. Personally, I think Radulov is a lot scarier on the top line, but perhaps Jim Montgomery is looking for a bit more depth in the lines.  Segiun, Radulov and Benn have 10, 9 and 8 points respectively. They’ve been a highly productive unit thus far. The Devils need to keep a close eye on these three.

For the Devils, Blake Coleman moved up to the Zajac line in practice Monday. Could that be a sign that Coach Hynes wants three top tier defenders available as a shut-down unit against the Stars long-time dynamic duo and whomever completes the top line trio on Tuesday night?  I think so, and I think it’s a great plan.

Checking Lines

The Devils are not the only team in this game with a checking line in fine form. The Stars third unit, centered by Radek Faksa, has received some rave reviews in the press.  The line has taken on units centered by players like Clayton Keller, Mark Scheifele and Auston Matthews during the young campaign and done quite well. New Jersey’s top unit, including the high-flying Kyle Palmieri, faces another tough challenge against a unit looking to deny them time and space on Tuesday.

Special Teams

Dallas is off-the-charts good on the power play this season, scoring on 6 of 11 chances. That is, for those of you who don’t have an calculator handy, an amazing 54.5% clip. The Devils kill over 90% of the penalties they are forced to defend. One of those two exceptionally impressive numbers has to give whenever New Jersey is down a man Tuesday night.

Can A Repeat Be In Order

Last December, on a snowy Saturday evening, the Devils fired in five goals in a resounding 5-2 thumping of the Stars. It was a somewhat sloppy game, but a big win nevertheless.  Seeing a 5 spot Tuesday night would be awesome.

Next. Devils Win Versus San Jose. dark

Four In A Row?

Wouldn’t that be a dream start for the Devils. Not really what one would have expected when we looked at the first week or so of the schedule. The Devils have won games different ways — flying around scoring goals against the Oilers and Caps, or grinding out a come-from-behind victory against an experienced San Jose club over the weekend. Thus far, they’ve done quite well against some of the league’s better players and/or clubs. Can they do it again and get to eight points without a blemish on their record? Let’s hope so!