Recreation 42 Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins @ New Jersey Devils 04/11/2021: Traces the best way to see them
WHO: Pittsburgh penguins (26-13-2, 54 points, 3rd place in the Eastern Division) @ New Jersey Devils (14-19-6, 34 points, 7th place Eastern Division)
When: 7:00 p.m. East
How to watch: AT&T Sportsnet in Pittsburgh, MSG + 2 in the NYC area, NHL Network national
Chase opponents: The Devils are 1-3-1 in their last five games after losing 6-4 to the Pens on Friday night. After tonight, NJ will play the Rangers four times in a row from April 13-18, and then three straight games to Pittsburgh from April 20-24. From April 25th to May 1st you will receive the flyers four times in a row. You will not make the playoffs. At least in the coming weeks they will always get the impression that they are playing against the same teams over and over again.
Ballpoint pen way ahead: It’s finally the end of the road as the Pens wrap up a six-game seasonal road trip tonight. They are 3-2-0 so far, pretty good on their season record even if they don’t win tonight, but a win definitely makes it a successful trip. Pittsburgh is enjoying a non-COVID postponement for the best three consecutive days with no games next week before Philadelphia hits town next Thursday, and then the pens are back on the go this weekend for an afternoon matinee with Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday to dispute.
Season series: It’s been a 2-1-1 season for Pittsburgh so far against Jersey (2-2-0 in their view). NJ took the first round 3-2 on March 18 in New Jersey. The Pens returned the favor with a 3-1 win on March 20, but the Devils won 2-1 in OT on March 21 in Pittsburgh in OT. Pittsburgh won 6-4 on Friday. Tonight is the last @NJD game of the year. The Devils will come for three games in a row on April 20th, April 22nd. And 24.4. To Pittsburgh to end the season.
Recent history: The pens have been 5-2-1 against the Devils in their last eight games and have won eight of their last 12 @NJ, which defies the narrative “Devils always give pens problems”.
SBN team counterpart: Check out All About the Jersey for the latest news on the Devils.
Player statistics at a glance
Lines from Friday evening
Janne Kuokkonen – Jack Hughes – Yegor Sharangovich
Miles Wood – Pavel Zacha – Jesper Bratt
Michail Maltsev – Michael McLeod – Tyce Thompson
Andreas Johansson – Jesper Boqvist – Nick Merkley
Dmitry Kulikov / PK Subban
Ty Smith / Sami Vatanen
Ryan Murray / Damon Severson
Possible starting goalkeeper: Mackenzie Blackwood
Scratch: Will Butcher, Scott Wedgewood
IR: Nico Hischier, Nate Bastian
– Devil’s captain Nico Hischier, who has not played since February 27, skated on Wednesday and trained with the team. He will wear full face shield to protect his surgically repaired nose area for the remainder of the season. Really tough season for the Devils captain who missed all but five games this year with two separate editions. He can play tonight but the final word is not yet known as press time.
Devils say never die
After trailing 5-2 in the third game, New Jersey found a way to make it 5-4 on a hit while taking out the goalkeeper for an additional attacker. The Devils have played a lot of one-goal games (especially in removing blank nice ones, like the one the Pens scored 25 seconds ahead of), and close games didn’t go their way. But they have shown a certain resilience to keep fighting and building for the future. From devils.com:
The comeback attempt shows that this team has a lot of passion, but you can’t run a three-goal deficit against any team in the National Hockey League and expect success. The effort was brave; However, these early man advantage goals just made the task too big.
“We had some good fights tonight, but when it comes down to it, we’ve had too many sloppy calls,” said striker Miles Wood, who gave him two penalties in the game. “I’ll take the blame for the fourth goal, the power play goal they had.
“I loved the fight on our team. It was a big 6v5 goal for us. Just too little, too late. “
And now for the pens ..
Jake Güntzel – Sidney Crosby – Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker – Jared McCann – Evan Rodrigues
Zach Aston-Reese – Frederick Gaudreau – Sam Lafferty
I work Zohorna – Mark Jankowski – Colton Sceviour
Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang
Mike Matheson / Cody Ceci
Marcus Pettersson / John Marino
Possible starting goalkeeper: Tristan Jarry
Scratches: Juuso Riikola, Chad Ruhwedel
IR: Evgeni Malkin, Mark Friedman, Teddy Blueger, Kasperi Kapanen and Brandon Tanev
Taxi squad: Yannick Weber, Emil Larmi, Josh Currie, Anthony Angello
– We will see at noon whether Sceviour is not claimed by waivers. If so, he’ll likely play again tonight unless Teddy Blueger is injured and the lines are mixed up a bit. It’s a slightly uncomfortable scenario for Sceviour, but one that he has already been through this season was on 3/8. Refrained, clarified and then plays on March 9th. To the pens against the rangers.
– What a year it was for Sceviour too. He started hot and scored two goals in the first four games of the season. Then he went between the goals from January 19th until the last game on April 9th. And once he hits and has played his line well, he’s back on the waiver to give the pens flexibility. Throw a quick stint on the COVID protocol list in early March for a false positive test and it’s been quite a whirlwind for him.
The often vicious power play of the pens has really turned up the juice lately. In the last two weeks in the last eight games, the Pittsburgh Power Play reached the top 38.5% of the league (10 for 26).
11 different players recorded a point on this route. No wonder Sidney Crosby is at the top, but the hottest player has been Jared McCann, who has five PPG in the last eight games to represent half of the goals scored with the man advantage.
Overall, the pens for the season are at 22.3% of PP, which is good for 11th place in the league that starts over the weekend.