New Jersey Devils Game 52 Preview: at Chicago Blackhawks

PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 24: New Jersey Devils Right Wing Dawson Mercer (18) celebrates his goal with New Jersey Devils Center Jack Hughes (86) and New Jersey Devils Left Wing Jimmy Vesey (16) during the second period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New Jersey Devils on February 24, 2022, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Following last night’s win in Pittsburgh, the New Jersey Devils take on the Chicago Blackhawks in the second half of their back-to-back.

Tale of the Tape

Record: 18-28-5 (41 points, 7th in Metro)

The Opponent: Chicago Blackhawks (18-26-8)) – FHN Site: The Tomahawk

Puckdrop: 8:30 PM ET

Venue: United Center

Expected Goaltenders: Jon Gillies (3-8-1) vs. Kevin Lankinen (2-5-4)

Television Broadcasts: MSG+, NBCSCH, NHL Network

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks come into tonight’s game on a three-game losing streak. In their most recent outing, the Florida Panthers overwhelmed Chicago scoring five goals on only 25 shots. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20 of 23 shots in his 18th regulation loss of the year.

Kevin Lankinen will be in net against New Jersey. In only 13 games this season, the 26-year-old has a 2-5-4 record with a .889 save percentage and 3.41 GAA.

New Jersey Devils

Tonight will be New Jersey’s second game in as many nights. Last night, Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, and Jesper Bratt each recorded three points as the Devils defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-1. Nico Daws, in an unexpected start, stopped 37 of 38 shots to record the second victory of his career.

While he did not show up on the scoresheet, Dougie Hamilton played very well in his return to the lineup. The veteran defenseman was steady on the blueline while logging just over 19 minutes in his first game since January 2.

With Daws starting last night, Jon Gillies is expected to be in net for the Devils tonight. Gillies was pulled in his last start after allowing six goals on 30 shots against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He comes into tonight’s game with a 3.50 GAA and .893 save percentage to go with his 3-8-1 record.

Player to Watch: Jack Hughes

Hughes has had success against the Blackhawks in his young career. The 20-year-old has recorded three goals in three games against Chicago including his highlight reel overtime goal earlier this season.

Hughes has been on fire lately with eight points in his last five games. That includes last night where he had three assists bringing him up to 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) on the year. Expect the first line of Hughes, Yegor Sharangovich, and Dawson Mercer to find success again tonight and drive the team’s offense.

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