The New Jersey Devils (15-16-7) face the Carolina Hurricanes (16-13-7) at PNC Arena tonight at 7PM as the Devils look to get their second straight win against a hot Carolina team. The team traveled last night and did not hold a practice this morning. Carolina lost their last game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-1. New Jersey defeated the Boston Bruins in a 3-0 shutout last night. Carolina has won 10 of their last 11 games at home; their only loss came in a shootout against the Washington Capitals. New Jersey is 5-12-5 away from the Prudential Center this season.
These two teams have met twice already this season and will play each other four times total. New Jersey swept their home-and-home series back in November. They beat Carolina 4-1 at home and then again, 3-2 in a shootout, at The Rock. Michael Cammalleri ended his 14-game goal drought and recorded a hat trick, and Keith Kinkaid made 33 saves in the first game.
Coach Hynes has not made a goalie decision yet; it will depend on how Cory Schneider feels today. Jacob Josefson (illness) did not play last night and did not travel with the team. Travis Zajac (illness) also did not play last night but did travel with the team and is expected to be a game-time decision. I would expect Santini to make his second straight start after the performance he had last night.
The Devils power play continues to be unproductive; they are 0-25 and were 0-6 last night against Boston. They are only 13.4% effective on the man advantage and are currently ranked 28th in the NHL. Carolina is 19.4% on the PP and is ranked 14th. The Devils have allowed five shorthanded goals this season. The Devils’ penalty kill is 83.5% effective (10th in the league) and has been improving all season long. However, Carolina has the best penalty kill in the league and is 88.8% effective. I wouldn’t expect New Jersey to score any power play goals tonight.
The Devils are looking to start the New Year with two straight wins tonight. Puck drops at 7PM.