Coming off a big win Sunday night, the New Jersey Devils welcome the San Jose Sharks to town for their second and final meeting of the year.
Tale of the Tape
Record: 9-6-4 (22 points, 6th in Metro)
The Opponent: San Jose Sharks (11-9-1) – FHN Blog: In The Tank
Puckdrop: 7:00 PM ET
Venue: Prudential Center
Expected Goaltenders: Mackenzie Blackwood (4-1-2) vs. James Reimer (7-4-1)
Television Broadcasts: ESPN+, Hulu
San Jose Sharks
San Jose is coming off a shutout win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. In that game, forward Timo Meier netted a pair of goals and goaltender James Reimer stopped 29 shots in the 2-0 victory.
The Sharks are sporting a 5-5-0 record over their last ten games and have cooled off significantly since collecting a point in seven of their first 11 games to start the season.
Reimer is expected to get the start tonight in New Jersey. The 33-year-old goaltender has been very good this season bringing a 7-4-1 record with 2.12 GAA and .933 save percentage as well as one shutout into tonight’s contest.
New Jersey Devils
In their previous outing, New Jersey rode a strong third period to a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Devils were led by Andreas Johnsson’s four points as well as multi-point games from Jesper Bratt and Dougie Hamilton.
Once again, goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood was solid when he needed to be. The 24-year-old stopped 23 of 25 shots in the victory.
Blackwood is expected to get his 9th start of the season tonight. In eight starts, he has a 4-1-2 record with 2.72 GAA and .922 save percentage as well as one shutout
Player to Watch: Jack Hughes
The Devils will get a much-needed boost as Jack Hughes will be back on the ice tonight for the first time since October 19. The 20-year-old looked different in his first two games this season with three points in four periods before he suffered a dislocated shoulder against the Seattle Kraken.
Hughes has been ramping up his activity over the past week before being a full participant in practice last Saturday. Today, head coach Lindy Ruff confirmed that Hughes will be back in the lineup against the Sharks.
Do not expect Hughes to pick up where he left off over a month ago. There will be an adjustment period for him but, because of his skill and hockey IQ, that should not take long.
Hughes will provide a boost to the power play that has struggled in his absence as well as draw coverage to provide openings for other players.