The New Jersey Devils look to break their four-game skid as they take on the Montréal Canadiens.
Tale of the Tape
Record: 24-40-6 (54 points, 8th in Metro)
The Opponent: Montréal Canadiens (19-40-11) – FHN Site: Ville de Habs
Puckdrop: 7:00 PM ET
Venue: Prudential Center
Expected Goaltenders: Andrew Hammond (3-0-1) vs. Jake Allen (8-20-4)
Television Broadcasts: MSG+2, TSN2, RDS
The Canadiens come into tonight’s game having dropped four of their last five games. Their most recent game was a 6-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.
Montréal forward Brendan Gallagher was highly critical of Tim Stützle in his post-game press conference. The longtime Canadien accused Stützle of embellishing to get the eyes of the referees.
Young star Cole Caufield was able to find the back of the net against Ottawa. The 21-year-old has seemed to be the player that has benefited the most from Martin St. Louis taking over as Canadiens’ head coach. Caufield’s 16th goal of the season was almost a mirror image of a move St. Louis was teaching him in practice.
Jake Allen is expected to make his 34th start of the season tonight in New Jersey. The second-year Canadien has had his fair share of struggles this season as he comes into tonight’s game with a 3.27 GAA and .905 save percentage to go with his 8-20-4 record.
New Jersey Devils
The Devils most recent game was a 3-1 loss against the New York Rangers. New Jersey was unable to find a rhythm for a majority of the contest. Yegor Sharangovich accounted for the team’s only goal before leaving with an injury as New York rode three unanswered goals to victory.
New Jersey was noticeably flat offensively in their first game without Jack Hughes who will be out for the remainder of the season with a low-grade MCL sprain. To make matters worse, the team also lost Jimmy Vesey to a lower-body injury adding to the growing list of injuries
Andrew Hammond is expected to get the start against his former team tonight. Hammond struggled in his first game with the Devils as he gave up seven goals, most noticeably four in the third period, in the team’s 7-6 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers last Saturday. Hammond comes into tonight’s game with a 3.44 GAA and .894 save percentage in five games on the year.
Vesey, Nate Bastian, and Miles Wood will all be out of the lineup tonight against Montréal. Sharangovich will play tonight after playing just over two minutes against New York.
Player to Watch: Fabian Zetterlund
With several injuries to the forward group, the Devils have called up Fabian Zetterlund for the second time this season. Zetterlund has had a strong season with the Utica Comets recording 52 points (24 goals, 28 assists) in 58 games. The 22-year-old played three games with the big club in November recording no points.
Zetterlund will slot in on the third line with Jesper Boqvist and Janne Kuokkanen. The young trio will look to put their offensive abilities on display as all three of them are playing for future roster spots.