The New Jersey Devils (25-30-12) will look to snap their nine-game losing streak against the Arizona Coyotes (23-35-8) in their second and final meeting of the season. The Devils won their previous meeting 5-3 back in October; they outshot the Coyotes 35-31 and got goals from Taylor Hall (2), Travis Zajac (2), and Adam Henrique. Jordan Martinook and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (2) scored for Arizona. Cory Schneider made 28 saves (.903 save percentage) and Justin Peters made 30 saves on 34 shots (.882 save %).
The Devils are coming off of a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche; Hall and Stefan Noesen both scored. The Coyotes fell to the Ottawa Senators in overtime; Brendan Perlini and Lawson Crouse both scored.
Schneider will likely get his second straight start tonight; he has had excellent career numbers against Arizona, including four shutouts. Keith Kinkaid suffered a right knee injury during his start against Columbus so a decision has not yet been made on Ken Appleby, who served as backup against Colorado and was undoubtedly the highlight of the game. Kinkaid did practice with the team (the Devils had three goalies on the ice) but the team did not skate this morning. Mike Smith will likely be in net for the Coyotes.
Other lineup notes: Miles Wood crashed into the boards during practice yesterday and appeared to hurt his left shoulder but should be good to go tonight. Hopefully it’s nothing long-term. Andy Greene will also return to the lineup for the first time in a week since his father passed away last Saturday. Travis Zajac, however, did fly home yesterday to be with his wife for the birth of their third child. Henrique will likely center the top line in his absence (he did during practice yesterday).
The Devils have to get some wins and finish the season off strong. They will close out this three-game road trip tonight and have lost both games thus far. They have now lost nine straight games, six of them by a single goal (two in overtime). The Devils’ longest losing streak occurred from October 14 to November 4, 1983 (their second season in New Jersey), I believe. Here’s to hoping they get a win tonight.
15 games to go; puck drops at 8PM.