New Jersey Devils Game 50 Preview: vs Tampa Bay Lightning

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 13: Brock McGinn #23 of the Pittsburgh Penguins battles Dawson Mercer #18 of the New Jersey Devils on February 13, 2022 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils take on the Tampa Bay Lightning for the final time this season with the season series tied at one.

Tale of the Tape

Record: 17-27-5 (39 points, 7th in Metro)

The Opponent: Tampa Bay Lightning (31-11-6)

Puckdrop: 7:00 PM ET

Venue: Prudential Center

Expected Goaltenders: Jon Gillies (3-7-1) vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy (25-8-4)

Television Broadcasts: MSG+, BSSUN

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning are in championship form as they currently find themselves in a battle for the top spot in the Atlantic Division. Only two teams in the entire league have more than Tampa Bay’s 68 points on the season.

In their last outing, the Lightning offense was clicking as they put 32 shots on net, 13 more than Arizona, in the 4-3 victory. Captain Steven Stamkos recorded two goals in the game bringing his season total up to 22. Goaltender Brian Elliott stopped 16 of 19 shots to capture his fifth victory on the year.

Andrei Vasilevskiy is expected to be back in net for Tampa Bay tonight. The 27-year-old is, once again, in the conversation for the Vezina Trophy with 2.25 GAA and .923 save percentage to go with his 25-8-4 record.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils are coming off another game where they played well, but a couple mistakes led to disaster as they lost 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes recorded the team’s two goals and goaltender Jon Gillies stopped 31 of 34 shots in the loss.

Hughes recorded his 13th goal of the season giving him his 28th point in only 29 games. The 20-year-old is only three points away from his career-high with 33 games left in the season.

Gillies will make his fourth consecutive start for the Devils tonight. The 28-year-old has a 3-7-1 record this season with 3.22 GAA and .900 save percentage.

New Jersey will be without Dougie Hamilton, Jesper Bratt, and Andreas Johnsson for another game. Head coach Lindy Ruff announced that the team will have same personnel tonight as Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh

Player to Watch: Dawson Mercer

With Bratt still day-to-day, Dawson Mercer will get his opportunity on the first line alongside Hughes and Yegor Sharangovich. The hope has to be that Hughes and Sharangovich can help get Mercer going as he only has three points in his last 10 games.

Mercer has been getting a look on the wing for the last couple of games in an attempt to get him more opportunities in the team’s top six. Mercer is a nice fill-in option until Bratt is ready to return from injury. Expect Hughes to get him the puck often getting him some good scoring opportunities.


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